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January 2016

A blog written by quantum researchers for quantum researchers and those interested in their work.

Launching QUANTUM: The Exhibition

Special guests at the launch of QUANTUM: The Exhibition holding a sign with the hashtag #quantumkw

On August 30, Martin Laforest wrote a blog post about how to create a 4,000 square foot museum exhibition about an invisible science. That exhibition, QUANTUM: The Exhibition, came to life at THEMUSEUM for an invitation-only premiere on October 13, 2016 and then for the general public the next day.

Alumna Sarah Sheldon on the IBM Quantum Experience

Sarah Sheldon with the USEQIP students

On Tuesday, June 7, 24 students attending the Undergraduate School on Experimental Quantum Information Processing (USEQIP) at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) used the IBM Quantum Experience to test algorithms that they were learning about in the classroom. Former IQC  PhD student, Dr. Sarah Sheldon, now a research staff member at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, introduced the students to the platform, assisted them in working through examples and described the inner workings of IBM’s quantum processor.

Specialized Quantum Computing

Attendees of the Semi-Quantum Computing workshop in 2016

On August 16-17 we organized (the first1) workshop on Semi-Quantum computing. It was a chance to discuss different approaches towards the first demonstration of a real quantum computational advantage. The approaches are seemingly very different, but many open challenges turn out to be similar.

How do you make a 4,000 square foot museum exhibition about an invisible science?

Artist's rendition of QUANTUM: The Exhibition

Following a PhD in experimental quantum information and a two-year stint as a postdoctoral researcher, I have been fortunate enough to land my dream job. For the last six years, I have been a full-time outreach scientist. My job is to communicate and teach the wonders of quantum information science and technology to a variety of audiences: from high school students and teachers, to undergraduate students, the general public, government officials and members of the high tech industry.

New Electron Beam Lithography equipment at Quantum NanoFab

The Quantum NanoFab is used by many researchers at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) to build new quantum structures for study in their labs. It is a cleanroom laboratory that uses technologies from the microelectronics industry in order to enable the fabrication of a variety of experimental quantum devices. As the Quantum NanoFab’s resident process engineer I would like to talk briefly about electron beam lithography in general and our new JEOL JBX-6300FS electron beam lithography tool in particular.

USEQIP students take on the IBM Quantum Experience

Emily Tyhurst

The first time that the IBM Quantum Experience was used as a classroom educational tool was June 7 at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC).

Stories from the 66th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

They say when you meet the love of your life, time stops, and that's true. What they don't tell you is that when it starts again, it moves extra fast to catch up.

 -Edward Bloom in Big Fish

What I left with from RQI-N 2016

The IQC recently hosted a conference on Relativistic Quantum Information (RQI). My research falls within this field, which is a relatively-new, but quickly-expanding field which exists at the intersection of quantum information and relativity. By utilizing tools from these fields, RQI provides insights into the nature of gravity and the structure of spacetime, as well as how relativity can affect quantum information tasks.

When quantum correlations need a helping hand

Imagine you have a box with some switches and knobs, which displays a message on its screen every time you press the big red button that says "press me".

My experience with the IBM Quantum Experience

On Tuesday, June 7, 24 students attending the Undergraduate School for Experimental Quantum Information Processing (USEQIP) at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) used the IBM Quantum Experience to test algorithms that they were learning about in the classroom.

This was the first time that the platform was used as an educational tool in a classroom. Here's what one student, Michael Wolfe, an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, had to say about the experiment:

What you can expect from RQI-N 2016

The decade of the 2000s has seen the birth of the fast-growing field of Relativistic Quantum Information (RQI). RQI brings together the two pillars of modern physics, general relativity and quantum theory, with information theory. Results in the field of RQI range from new insights into the laws of Nature (e.g., black hole physics and cosmology) all the way to concrete applications in quantum computing and quantum-secured communication.

Tomography turns out to be harder than expected

Recently, I had a very interesting discussion with Joel Klassen, one of the PhD students here at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC). He's been working on a problem that is closely related to that of quantum marginals.

Anyone can understand quantum mechanics - Part 3

On the left Walter White from Breaking Bad. On the right: Heisenberg in front of a blackboard full of equations

Before we begin, HAVE YOU WATCHED THE VIDEO “ANYONE CAN QUANTUM”??? Paul Rudd, Keanu Reeves, Stephen Hawking, Quantum Chess, Quantum Physics for Babies, and even tardigrades: this video has it all!

Detecting Gravitational Waves. Can Quantum Mechanics Help?

Massive bodies warp spacetime

Secrets can be very hard to keep. The thought of having to wait five months to be able to talk about what is arguably the biggest scientific discovery in a century is incomprehensible. But for every member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), it was absolutely essential that nobody let the cat out the bag (or should that be box?).

Quantum Computational Intelligence

Imagine solving mathematical problems where you could use the full physical range of computational possibilities within the laws of the universe, and be inspired by the sublime algorithmic intelligence of the human brain. This is precisely why the emerging field of quantum machine learning (QML) has received so much recent attention. In this blog post, we’d like to discuss the fundamental ideas and applied value of machine learning to computation in general, and then contextualize these ideas in a new way within the paradigm of quantum computation.

Diary of a quantum engineer

Quantum engineering is a term that is becoming increasingly common across research groups and industry alike. One example, which is the subject of this blog post, is the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Centre for Doctoral Training in Quantum Engineering, based at the University of Bristol. It is a centre that I myself have been trained in, and currently am part of. But what is a Centre for Doctoral Training (or ‘CDT’ as they are commonly referred to), and what is quantum engineering?

Lights, camera, experiment. Why video abstracts are here to stay.

Until recently, researchers had two common ways they could share their work: written papers and verbal lectures. In fact, for centuries these were our only basic forms of communication with one another, and if an individual wished to share an idea with someone else they would either have to write it down or tell them in person.

Tomaytos, Tomahtos and Non-local Measurements

A projective measurement of an observable A

One of my discoveries as a physicist was that, despite all attempts at clarity, we still have different meanings for the same words and use different words to refer the the same thing. When Alice says measurement, Bob hears a `quantum to classical channel', but Alice, a hard-core Everettian, does not even believe such channels exist. When Charlie says non-local, he means Bell non-local, but string theorist Dan starts lecturing him about non-local Lagrangian terms and violations of causality. And when I say non-local measurements, you hear ????

QIP 2016

Elk in the winter

Quantum Information Processing (QIP) is a conference held each year about quantum computation and quantum information that brings out a large portion of the quantum computing community. The QIP conference started in 1998, and has continued annually. QIP 2016 marks the 19th gathering of scientists and researchers from around the world to join together and discuss various aspects of this specialized field.

Ask not for which local-hidden-variable-theory the Bell tolls. It tolls for all.

The diagram of the Shalm lab setup

It looks like 2015 is the year of the loophole-free Bell test. Three different papers, with three very different p-values, all claim to put the final nail in the local-realistic coffin. I will compare the designs and results of the three experiments with an eye towards their strengths and weaknesses.[1] The three papers are, in order of experiment completion:

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Educational programs

QKD - Quantum Key Distribution Summer School

USEQIP - Undergraduate School on Experimental Quantum Information Processing

QCSYS - Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students

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