Within the last two decades, a second wave of quantum technology (QT) progressed from fundamental research to experiments in university labs. They promise a myriad of applications, products and services that have the potential to transform medicine, information technology, communications and artificial intelligence among others.
As per DSTL’s definition, we can distinguish two quantum technology revolutions, waves or generations, based on harnessing different quantum phenomena as follows:
Quantum Technology Wave 1.0: These are reliant on quantum effects such as spin, Q-tunnelling, quantised energy. Quantum 1.0 technologies include: lasers, transistors, semiconductor devices and MRI scanners.
Quantum Technology Wave 2.0: These technologies explicitly exploit, create, manipulate and read out quantum states of matter and phenomena such as superposition and correlation. Quantum 2.0 technologies are concerned with imaging, timing, computing, sensors (gravity, magnetic fields), communication and many more.
Events, competitions, news
PRIMER IN QUANTUM COMPUTATION & PROGRAMMING COURSE
A short primer for quantum computation and programming course, online, during the week starting 12th of July 2021. The course will be a mix of theoretical and practical sessions, such as implementing quantum algorithms.
Registration: is now closed.
The course will allow participants to:
- Understand how Quantum Computing as a Service platforms work and know how to program and execute quantum algorithms using libraries such as IBM Qiskit.
- Take the IBM Quantum exam and receive the IBM’s developer certification for programming a quantum computer.
- Learn the basic principles of quantum mechanics applied in quantum technologies and particularly in quantum computers.
- Learn how quantum computing could be leveraged to solve a range of practical computational problems in simulation, optimisation, and machine learning.
- Develop an appreciation for the opportunities and challenges in designing new applications.
- Explore the impacts of quantum computing on the security of cyber-physical systems and learn about solutions to prevent the risks posed by quantum decryption.
- Gain an overview of the sectoral applications of quantum computing in chemistry, finance, logistics, energy, materials science, data science, etc.
An additional module, courtesy of Amazon Quantum, will introduce participants to Amazon’s Braket quantum computing platform which allows scientists, researchers, and developers to begin experimenting with computers from multiple quantum hardware providers.
The University of Chicago invites applications for its first annual “Quantum Creators Prize Symposium”, which will recognize the achievements of early career researchers in the broad areas of Quantum Science and Engineering. The symposium will take place on September 29-30, 2021 and will be held virtually.
To apply follow the link in the title and submit the information by August 15 2021. Graduate students and postdocs from any institution are encouraged to apply.
Apply for funding to develop your quantum technology career and work towards becoming an independent researcher. Opening date: 4 August 2021, Closing date: 6 October 2021 16:00 UK time.
Win €10,000 by submitting a short description of your quantum research. Atos and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Hartree Centre Joseph Fourier Prize aims at rewarding the work of researchers, academics and industrial scientists in Quantum Computing. Application deadline: Monday 26 April 2021.
QUANTUM COMPUTING RESOURCES
Research credits for the IonQ trapped ion quantum computer
IonQ launched the IonQ Research Credits Program to provide teams and individuals from academic institutions with free credits for quantum compute time on IonQ’s trapped ion hardware.
The program is open to all graduate students, faculty, and other researchers and teachers from accredited academic institutions in any country that IonQ or one of its cloud partners serves (UK included).
The complete call for proposals with eligibility details and other frequently asked questions can be accessed via this link, and the application form can be found here. Applications are accepted at any time. To be considered for the first cohort of grantees, applicants must submit their proposals by 11:59PM Eastern Time on Tuesday, June 15th 2021.
Oxford Quantum Circuits launches "Sophia", OQC's QCaaS platform
OQC's proprietary technology will be available to enterprises via a private cloud. Cambridge Quantum will be the first to access the private cloud QCaaS, to demonstrate their IronBridge cybersecurity platform. For more information see OQC delivers first UK's Quantum Computing as a Service.
OTHER QUANTUM COMPUTING PLATFORMS
Some organisations are already making quantum computers (NISQ) available online, together with copious amounts of tutorials and useful documentation to attract interested students, researchers and developers to learn their programming language and interact with their technology. For example see Amazon’s Braket, IBM Qiskit and Xanadu's Strawberry Fields.
Books, textbooks, courses
For those who with to develop an intuition before they delve into the full science, the gentle introductory book Q is for Quantum, by Prof. Terry Rudolph explains the concepts of superposition and entanglement and the connection with quantum computers in an accessible manner.
A good reference source is by M. Nielsen and I. Chuang Quantum computation and quantum information, Cambridge University Press. This comprehensive textbook describes relevant topics such as fast quantum algorithms, quantum teleportation, quantum cryptography and quantum error-correction.
Some further textbooks
- A. Yu. Kitaev, A. H. Shen and M. N. Vyalyi. Classical and Quantum Computation, AMS, 2002.
- P.Kaye, R. Laflamme, M. Mosca. An Introduction to Quantum Computing, Oxford University Press, 2007.
- M. Wilde. Quantum Information Theory, Cambridge University Press, 2013.
Introduction to QT 2.0 landscape
In the UK, the QT landscape is evolving fast, due to a series of initiatives in which the public and private sectors came together for the UK National Quantum Technology Programme.
The UK’s quantum strategy is focusing on development as well as commercialisation of quantum sciences and technologies, through its quantum hubs, dedicated to four groups of technologies as follows:
- Sensors and Timing led by University of Birmingham
- Quantum Enhanced Imaging led by University of Glasgow
- Quantum Communication led by University of York
- Networked Quantum Information Technology led by University of Oxford.
More recently, the National Quantum Computing Centre and the Quantum Metrology Institute of the National Physical Laboratory were added to the UK’ quantum research capabilities.
For more details on quantum landscapes in the UK and EU, including organisations, research activities, funding and development programmes see QT interactive maps:
- UK Quantum Landscape map, provided by Knowledge Transfer Network.
- EU Quantum Landscape map, provided by QuantERA which is a network of 32 organisations from 27 countries, coordinated by the National Science Centre, Poland, supporting international research projects in the field of Quantum Technologies (QT).
Why is this of interest to mathematicians and what is their possible role?
New technologies require mathematics to make them viable. From fundamental research to real world applications mathematics plays a significant role along the innovation journey. This applies to quantum technology as well. For example, we need new algorithms to interact with quantum computers. To be effective, these methods must take into account the qubit physics and their limitations such as noise and de-coherence.
The same is true for quantum sensors. For example, quantum imaging aims to make ‘the invisible visible’ by operating at previously inaccessible wavelengths, timescales and length-scales. But, the more subtle and sparse the signal acquired (e.g. a single photon), the more difficult it is to interpret it. As a result, quantum imaging devices require new mathematical methods to invert domains, compose and analyse information. An older but illustrative example is the new mathematics developed around re-purposing compressed sensing, for image composition in single pixel cameras.
For a selection of problems posed by quantum LIDAR and quantum radar that are relevant to the mathematical community, see past seminars and associated materials here.
For an overview of the quantum computing landscape in the UK, see materials from our quantum computing seminar here.
There are many opportunities for mathematicians to take part in QT2.0 innovation journey. If you would like to learn more or are curious about using your research to innovate and accelerate the future QT2.0, please get in touch.