The power of quantum research
The Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) harnesses the quantum laws of nature to develop powerful new technologies. Our interdisciplinary research spans theory and experiment; fosters collaborations across science borders; and focuses on four core research pillars: quantum computing, quantum communication, quantum sensing and quantum materials.
Quantum computing harnesses the quantum behaviour of atoms, molecules, and nanoelectronic circuits for a radically different and fundamentally more powerful way of computing. Quantum computers promise tremendous advances in information science and technology with many potential applications from simulating new drugs to designing materials and beyond.
By harnessing the laws of quantum mechanics, quantum sensors achieve the ultimate limits in sensitivity, selectivity and efficiency. Quantum sensors play a critical role in material science, neuroscience, personalized medicine, improved cancer treatment, geological exploration, defence and more.
In todays connected world, we rely on communication networks for everything from banking to education, from global business exchanges to national defence. Through the study of quantum communication, researchers are developing ultra-secure communication channels, quantum-safe cryptography protocols and global quantum networks that leverage the power of the quantum world.
By engineering how materials are built at the quantum scale, devices with unique properties emerge. The development of novel quantum materials is leading to applications such as energy storage, transportation, and laying the foundation for practical quantum information processing devices.
IQC has a critical mass of expertise in several major research areas within quantum information, including but not limited to:
- Quantum error correction and fault tolerance
- Quantum complexity
- Quantum algorithms
- Quantum information theory
- Spin-based quantum information processing
- Nanoelectronics-based quantum information processing
- Optical quantum information processing
- Quantum cryptography
- Ultracold atoms and trapped ions
Our vibrant community brings together scientists, mathematicians and engineers to advance quantum opportunities. Explore the advances our theoretical and experimental researchers are leading in their research groups.
The impact of quantum research
MAKING MOLECULES BEHAVE AT THE QUANTUM LEVEL
Alan Jamison likes looking at what happens when individuals become groups. Do behaviours change? Or do the groups act as expected? He examines these questions in his lab where he sticks laser-cooled atoms together to create molecules. Its a frigid temperature around 100 nanoKelvin cold one billion times colder than Antarctica in winter.
HOW QUANTUM LIGHT IS SHAPING THE FUTURE OF OUR EYE HEALTH
Can quantum technologies help keep our eyes healthy? Researchers at IQC have constructed a device designed to do just that. A collaboration between two very different teams led to the development of diagnostic tools to detect macular degeneration in patients earlier.
At IQC, Dmitry Pushins team is interested in how the human eye interprets different states of light. They realized their research overlapped with Ben Thompsons research group in the School of Optometry that studies how the eye and brain see light, specifically in macular degeneration.
ON THE TRAPPED ION TRAIL
As a physics undergraduate student, Crystal Senko explored the labs of Duke University, not realizing she was about to set forth on a future career path in quantum research. Intrigued by a forest of optics on the table of an atomic physics lab, she entered the world of experimental research and hasnt looked back.
Now, as principal investigator of the Trapped Ion Quantum Control lab at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC), Senko and her team are paving the way towards the realization of a trapped-ion quantum computer.
The graphics processing unit (GPU) was a windfall for artificial intelligence, as the architecture turned out to be well-suited for deep learning. What if quantum computing enabled an even more advanced form of artificial intelligence (AI)?
Machine learning depends on Big Data right now, said Pooya Ronagh. A deep learning program might need to see tens of thousands of pictures of cats and dogs to learn the difference. But human intelligence even a toddler might be able to learn the same thing with a single drawing.
Perhaps quantum machine learning could bridge that gap.
CANADAS QUANTUM INTERNET
The quantum revolution is happening, and that means our private information wont stay private for long. Powerful quantum computers will have the ability to crack the encryption of public keys that we currently use to secure our banking and so much more.
But there is hope for the future. Quantum physics also provides a way to secure our information with an unbreakable lock: Quantum Key Distribution (QKD).