Sunday, April 24, 2016

Australian Prime Minister Hails UNSW's Quantum Computing Research as the World's Best

Opening: Prime Minister hails UNSW's quantum computing research as the world's best

Friday, 22 April, 2016

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, accompanied by the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Christopher Pyne, today opened a new quantum computing laboratory complex at UNSW

[caption id="attachment_802" align="aligncenter" width="5760"]Australian Prime Minister Hails UNSW's Quantum Computing Research as the World's Best Australian Prime Minister Hails UNSW's Quantum Computing Research as the World's Best[/caption]

"There is no bolder idea than quantum computing," said Prime Minister Turnbull, hailing UNSW's research in the transformative technology as the “best work in the world".

He praised the leadership of Scientia Professor Michelle Simmons, director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T) and congratulated the centre's team on their research breakthroughs.

"You're not just doing great work, Michelle, you're doing the best work in the world.

"You're not just solving the computing challenges and determining the direction of computing for Australia, you are leading the world and it is a tribute to your leadership, your talent ... that you've attracted so many outstanding scientists and engineers from around the world,” Mr Turnbull said.

"This is a very global team and it's right here at the University of New South Wales.”

The laboratories will double the productive capacity of the UNSW headquarters of the CQC2T.

They will also be used to advance development work to commercialise UNSW’s ground-breaking quantum computing research and establish Australia as an international leader in the industries of the future. The work has attracted major investment from the Australian Government, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Telstra.

CQC2T is leading the international race to build the world’s first quantum computer in silicon.

The new laboratories, which have been funded by UNSW, will house six new scanning tunnelling microscopes, which can be used to manipulate individual atoms, as well as six cryogenic dilution refrigerators that can reach ultra-low temperatures close to absolute zero.

“The international race to build a super-powerful quantum computer has been described as the space race of the computing era,” said Professor Michelle Simmons.

“Our Australian centre’s unique approach using silicon has given us a two to three-year lead over the rest of the world. These facilities will enable us to stay ahead of the competition.”

The new labs will also be essential for UNSW researchers to capitalise on the commercial implications of their work.

In December 2015, as part of its National Innovation and Science Agenda, the Australian Government committed $26 million towards a projected $100 million investment to support the commercial development of UNSW’s research to develop a quantum computer in silicon.

Following the Australian Government’s announcement of support, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Telstra each pledged $10 million for the development of a ten-qubit prototype. This prototype will be partly designed and built in the new facility.

“In addition to our fundamental research agenda, we now have an ambitious and targeted program to build a ten-qubit prototype quantum integrated circuit within five years,” said Professor Simmons. “By mapping the evolution of classical computing devices over the last century we would expect commercial quantum computing devices to appear within 5-10 years of that milestone.”

It is a prospect strongly endorsed by UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs.

“UNSW is committed to supporting world-leading research, and quantum computing is a key part of our future strategy. We are excited by the opportunities these new laboratories provide us to work jointly with industry and government.

“Our hope, long term, is that this will one day establish Australia as an international leader in one of the key industries of the future,” Professor Jacobs said.

Commonwealth Bank Chief Information Officer David Whiteing said: “Commonwealth Bank is proud to support the University of New South Wales' world-leading quantum computing research team and join the Australian Government in providing tangible support for their National Innovation and Science Agenda.

“In today’s world everyone relies increasingly on computers from those in the palm of our hand to the computers on our desk. Quantum computing is set to increase the speed and power of computing beyond what we can currently imagine. This is still some time in the future, but the time for investment is now. This type of long-term investment is a great example of how collaboration between universities, governments and industry will benefit the nation and our economy, now and into the future.”

Kate McKenzie, Telstra Chief Operations Officer, said that the opening of the new CQC2T laboratories was a significant milestone for science and innovation in Australia.

“In December 2015 we announced our proposed $10 million investment to help with development of silicon quantum computing technology in Australia with CQC2T. It’s an important part of Telstra’s commitment to help build a world class technology nation,” Ms McKenzie said.

“Quantum computing has huge potential globally, so I’m delighted to be here today to see this dynamic, world-leading program.”

Researchers at CQC2T lead the world in the engineering and control of individual atoms in silicon chips

The UNSW-based ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology is leading the global race to build the world’s first quantum computer in silicon.

In 2012, a team led by Professor Simmons, of the Faculty of Science, created the world’s first single‑atom transistor by placing a single phosphorus atom into a silicon crystal with atomic precision, achieving a technological milestone ten years ahead of industry predictions. Her team also produced the narrowest conducting wires ever made in silicon, just four atoms of phosphorus wide and one atom high.

In 2012, researchers led by Professor Andrea Morello, of the Faculty of Engineering, created the world’s first qubit based on the spin of a single electron on a single phosphorus atom embedded in silicon.

In 2014, his group then went on demonstrate that these qubits could be engineered to have the longest coherence times (greater than 30 seconds) and highest fidelities (>99.99%) in the solid state.

In 2013, Scientia Professor Sven Rogge, of the Faculty of Science, demonstrated the ability to optically address a single atom, a method that could allow the long-distance coupling of qubits.

And in 2015, researchers led by Scientia Professor Andrew Dzurak, of the Faculty of Engineering, built the first quantum logic gate in silicon – a device that makes calculations between two qubits of information possible. This clears one of the critical hurdles to making silicon-based quantum computers a reality.

More Information Links:

Backgrounder: Quantum computing at UNSW and timeline of major scientific and engineering advances

Backgrounder: New quantum computing laboratories at UNSW

News Release Source : Opening: Prime Minister hails UNSW's quantum computing research as the world's best

Image Credit : UNSW

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Australian Researchers Advance Towards Silicon Based Quantum Computer

Atoms placed precisely in silicon can act as quantum simulator

22 APR 2016

Coinciding with the opening of a new quantum computing laboratory at UNSW by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, UNSW researchers have made another advance towards the development of a silicon-based quantum computer.

[caption id="attachment_792" align="aligncenter" width="562"]Australian Researchers Advance Towards Silicon Based Quantum Computer                                       Australian Researchers Advance Towards                          Silicon Based Quantum Computer[/caption]

Coinciding with the opening of a new quantum computing laboratory at UNSW by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, UNSW researchers have made another advance towards the development of a silicon-based quantum computer.

In a proof-of-principle experiment, they have demonstrated that a small group of individual atoms placed very precisely in silicon can act as a quantum simulator, mimicking nature – in this case, the weird quantum interactions of electrons in materials.

“Previously this kind of exact quantum simulation could not be performed without interference from the environment, which typically destroys the quantum state,” says senior author Professor Sven Rogge, Head of the UNSW School of Physics and program manager with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T).

“Our success provides a route to developing new ways to test fundamental aspects of quantum physics and to design new, exotic materials – problems that would be impossible to solve even using today’s fastest supercomputers.”

The study is published in the journal Nature Communications. The lead author was UNSW’s Dr Joe Salfi and the team included CQC2T director Professor Michelle Simmons, other CQC2T researchers from UNSW and the University of Melbourne, as well as researchers from Purdue University in the US.

Two dopant atoms of boron only a few nanometres from each other in a silicon crystal were studied. They behaved like valence bonds, the “glue” that holds matter together when atoms with unpaired electrons in their outer orbitals overlap and bond.

The team’s major advance was in being able to directly measure the electron “clouds” around the atoms and the energy of the interactions of the spin, or tiny magnetic orientation, of these electrons.

They were also able to correlate the interference patterns from the electrons, due to their wave-like nature, with their entanglement, or mutual dependence on each other for their properties.

“The behaviour of the electrons in the silicon chip matched the behaviour of electrons described in one of the most important theoretical models of materials that scientists rely on, called the Hubbard model,” says Dr Salfi.

“This model describes the unusual interactions of electrons due to their wave-like properties and spins. And one of its main applications is to understand how electrons in a grid flow without resistance, even though they repel each other,” he says.

The team also made a counterintuitive find – that the entanglement of the electrons in the silicon chip increased the further they were apart.

“This demonstrates a weird behaviour that is typical of quantum systems,” says Professor Rogge.

“Our normal expectation is that increasing the distance between two objects will make them less, not more, dependent on each other.

“By making a larger set of dopant atoms in a grid in a silicon chip we could realise a vision first proposed in the 1980s by the physicist Richard Feynman of a quantum system that can simulate nature and help us understand it better,” he says.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Microsoft Supports Quantum Nanoscience Laboratory at Sydney University

Microsoft supports Sydney University quantum effort

20 April 2016

Scientists from Microsoft's quantum computing program visit the University of Sydney to launch AINST Share

The Quantum Nanoscience Laboratory at the University of Sydney, headed by Professor David Reilly, is among a small collection of labs worldwide that are collaborating with Microsoft on quantum computing by doing revolutionary engineering and physics.

Leading scientists and directors from Microsoft’s quantum computing program are visiting Australia to speak at the launch of the Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology (AINST) and its headquarters, a new $150m building where electrons are manipulated at temperatures of just above -273.15C – colder than deep space.

For more than a decade, Microsoft has been undertaking theoretical quantum research through Station Q at the University of California, Santa Barbara, with an eye towards one day building a scalable universal quantum computer. Now the blue-sky investment is ramping up as the world’s largest software maker extends its efforts with experimental research that could usher in a new digital revolution.

A select and very small collection of labs worldwide are collaborating with Microsoft on quantum computing by doing revolutionary engineering and physics, including the Quantum Nanoscience Laboratory at the University of Sydney headed by Professor David Reilly – whose group is world-leading in understanding the interface between quantum physics and the grand engineering challenges of building reliable quantum machines.

Visiting Australia from Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington, with a colleague from the Quantum Architectures and Computation group (QuArC), is distinguished scientist and Managing Director of MSR NexT: Special Projects Dr Norm Whitaker.

Dr Whitaker arrived in Sydney this week and was scheduled to spend a couple of days touring the new Sydney Nanoscience Hub – the first purpose-built facility for nanoscience in Australia co-funded with $40m from the Australian government – before addressing a meeting of leading businesses as part of the official launch proceedings.

"We are extremely pleased to have the University of Sydney as a partner on this journey," said Dr. Whitaker. "The group here represents the rare combination of world-class research abilities with a pragmatic, can-do enthusiasm."

Microsoft Research Station Q Director and Fields Medallist Michael Freedman said: “The Microsoft quantum program pushes to the very edge of physics and engineering in its goal of harnessing topological effects for computation.

“To succeed, we have made a worldwide search for the most dynamic and innovative collaborators; In David Reilly and his team at the Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, we have found such a partner.”

As part of the work leading Station Q Sydney, Professor Reilly said his focus in the next few years would be to scale up, constructing specialised electronic systems that operate both at room and cryogenic temperatures and go well beyond the specifications of off-the-shelf technology.

“Building a quantum computer is a daunting challenge; it’s something that will only be realised in partnership with the world’s biggest technology companies and we’ve been fortunate to partner with Microsoft,” Professor Reilly said.

“To build a quantum computer you need more than just the [quantum] qubits; more than just the elementary constituents of matter – the electrons and so on. You also need a range of electronics and classical control technology that is pushing the limit of what’s available today.

“So we’ve been focusing on both aspects in parallel and our plan is over the next few years to see these classical and quantum streams meet up in order to be able to build quantum machines.”

University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence said: “Sydney’s membership in this highly exclusive international team represents a significant endorsement of our capacity in this area, focusing on long-term research, which can also have shorter-term spin-offs.”

Image Credit : Sydney University

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Quantum Computing Closer as RMIT Finds a Pathway Towards The Quantum Data Bus

Quantum computing closer as RMIT drives towards first quantum data bus

RMIT researchers have trialled a quantum processor capable of routing quantum information from different locations, in a critical breakthrough for quantum computing.

RMIT University
19 Apr 2016

The work opens a pathway towards the “quantum data bus”, a vital component of future quantum technologies.

[caption id="attachment_775" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Quantum Computing Closer as RMITFinds a Pathway Towards The Quantum Data Bus                              Quantum Computing Closer as RMIT Finds a Pathway Towards The Quantum Data Bus[/caption]

The research team from the Quantum Photonics Laboratory at RMIT, Politecnico di Milano and the South University of Science and Technology of China have demonstrated for the first time the perfect state transfer of an entangled quantum bit (qubit) on an integrated photonic device.

Quantum Photonics Laboratory Director Dr Alberto Peruzzo said after more than a decade of global research in the specialised area, the RMIT results were highly anticipated.

“The perfect state transfer has emerged as a promising technique for data routing in large-scale quantum computers,” Peruzzo said.

“The last 10 years has seen a wealth of theoretical proposals but until now it has never been experimentally realised.

“Our device uses highly optimised quantum tunnelling to relocate qubits between distant sites.

“It’s a breakthrough that has the potential to open up quantum computing in the near future.”

The difference between standard computing and quantum computing is comparable to solving problems over an eternity compared to a short time.

“Quantum computers promise to solve vital tasks that are currently unmanageable on today’s standard computers and the need to delve deeper in this area has motivated a worldwide scientific and engineering effort to develop quantum technologies,” Peruzzo said.

“It could make the critical difference for discovering new drugs, developing a perfectly secure quantum Internet and even improving facial recognition.’’

Peruzzo said a key requirement for any information technology, along with processors and memories, is the ability to relocate data between locations.

Full scale quantum computers will contain millions, if not billions, of quantum bits (qubits) all interconnected, to achieve computational power undreamed of today.

While today’s microprocessors use data buses that route single bits of information, transferring quantum information is a far greater challenge due to the intrinsic fragility of quantum states.

“Great progress has been made in the past decade, increasing the power and complexity of quantum processors,” Peruzzo said.

Robert Chapman, an RMIT PhD student working on the experiment, said the protocol they developed could be implemented in large scale quantum computing architectures, where interconnection between qubits will be essential.

“We experimentally relocate qubits, encoded in single particles of light, between distant locations,” Chapman said.

“During the protocol, the fragile quantum state is maintained and, critically, entanglement is preserved, which is key for quantum computing.”

The research, Experimental Perfect State Transfer of an Entangled Photonic Qubit, has been published in Nature Communications.

News Release Source : Quantum computing closer as RMIT drives towards first quantum data bus

Image Credit : RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia