SUNY campuses are partner institutions in $115M DOE center on quantum computing
Stony Brook University and SUNY Polytechnic Institute University are part of a new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) research center devoted to quantum information science research.
Led by Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), the Co-design Center for Quantum Advantage (C2QA) will focus on quantum computing. Comprising several national labs, research centers, universities, and industry, the C2QA team will build the fundamental tools necessary for the United States to create quantum computers that provide a true advantage over their classical counterparts. BNL is managed for the DOE by Brookhaven Science Associates, a partnership between the Research Foundation for SUNY on behalf of Stony Brook University, and Battelle.
“The founding of the Co-design Center for Quantum Advantage (C2QA) establishes Stony Brook University as one of the nation’s leading centers in quantum information, a strategically important and highly competitive area of research worldwide,” said Dmitri Kharzeev, PhD, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook University and Director of the Center for Quantum Materials. “C2QA will incorporate Stony Brook’s quantum science expertise to develop new approaches to quantum computing and quantum technology, as well as educate the next generation of quantum scientists and engineers.”
World-leading experts in QIS, materials science, computer science, and theory will work together to resolve performance issues with today’s quantum computers by simultaneously designing software and hardware (co-design). Their goal is to achieve quantum advantage in computations for high-energy and nuclear physics, chemistry, materials science, condensed matter physics, and other fields. Quantum advantage refers to a quantum computer outperforming a classical computer on a useful task.
The other partnering institutions on C2QA are: Ames Laboratory, Caltech, City College of New York, Columbia University, Harvard University, Howard University, IBM, Johns Hopkins University, MIT, Montana State University, National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Ames Research Center, Northwestern University, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Princeton University, Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, University of California-Santa Barbara, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, University of Pittsburgh, University of Washington, Virginia Tech, and Yale University.
Quantum computers have the potential to solve scientific and other kinds of problems that would be practically impossible for traditional supercomputers. However, the current generation—called noisy intermediate-scale quantum—suffers from a high error rate because of noise, faults, and loss of quantum coherence. Quantum bits (qubits), the information-storing elements of quantum computers, are very delicate. Vibrations, temperature changes, electromagnetic waves, and other interactions between qubits and the environment or material defects in qubits can cause quantum decoherence. In quantum decoherence, these errors cause the qubits to lose their information, and the calculation cannot be completed.
Through materials, devices, and software co-design efforts, the team will understand and control material properties to extend coherence time, design devices to generate more robust qubits, optimize algorithms to target specific scientific applications, and develop error-correction solutions. To achieve these goals, they will leverage materials characterization facilities at Brookhaven’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials and National Synchrotron Light Source II, device design and fabrication capabilities in industry and academia, and IBM’s Qiskit open-source framework for writing quantum programs and its Q Prime prototype quantum computer.
The DOE announced five research centers in all, based at national laboratories around the country. Supporting the National Quantum Initiative Act, each of these interdisciplinary, multi-institutional centers receives $115 million in DOE funding over five years.
Adapted from press releases from the Brookhaven National Laboratory, Stony Brook University and the U.S. Department of Energy.
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