Research grant to advance knowledge in quantum tech

Friday, April 12, 2024

Waterloo Engineering professor Dr. Chris Wilson will work with researchers from SNOLAB near Sudbury, Ontario and Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden to investigate the impact of radiation and cosmic rays on quantum technologies.

The collaboration is made possible by a new grant sponsored by the U.S Army Research Office.

“By partnering with the experts in dark matter and cosmic radiation at SNOLAB, we can bring together their expertise and strengths with the superconducting qubit skills we have at IQC and Chalmers,” said Wilson, a faculty member at Waterloo’s Institute of Quantum Computing and professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

“We’re also able to connect to the quantum communities and funding within the United States while showcasing the unique facilities and capabilities in Canada’s scientific ecosystem.”

The team of researchers plans to examine the known link between cosmic rays and quantum bits, or qubits, which hold information at the quantum level. Recent experiments had identified that one source of errors that occur in qubits are from being hit by a high energy particle, such as a cosmic ray or radioactivity. This results in an error hotspot, which spreads out to neighbouring qubits, and has been seen happening at a rate of about once every ten seconds, setting an upper limit on quantum calculation time.

The grant “Advanced Characterization and Mitigation of Qubit Decoherence in a Deep Underground Environment,” was awarded to Wilson alongside Dr. Jeter Hall, Director of Research at SNOLAB and adjunct professor at Laurentian University, and Dr. Per Delsing, professor at Chalmers University of Technology and director of the Wallenberg Center for Quantum Technology. It is sponsored by the Army Research Office, a directorate of the U.S Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory.

Go to Cosmic rays, quantum bits and underground labs intersect to advance the future of computing for the full story.