New Physics specialization prepares MSc students for quantum technology future

Friday, November 11, 2022

After a memorable and inspiring premiere year, the Master of Science Degree in Physics with a specialization in Quantum Technology program has come to a close. The year saw a whirlwind of exciting learning that paved the way for the initial cohort of master’s students to embark on their own journeys to learn about quantum technology. Quantum technology breakthroughs are transforming the world, with applications in medicine, security, communications, and many other fields. By providing students with comprehensive training, we can help inform future generations of the vast opportunities to bring quantum technologies to real-world applications. This program offers a rare opportunity for students to gain expertise in quantum information theory and experiments through a combination of standard course-based and hands-on learning.

Students in the program enrol in core quantum courses to develop a solid theoretical background, while choosing electives from the world’s most comprehensive graduate program in quantum information. In addition, students have exclusive access to the Quantum Exploration Space (QES), a dedicated space to support quantum training activities that showcases quantum technologies in an interactive environment. Three specialized laboratory courses included in the QES provide Quantum Technology MS students with hands-on learning using state-of-the-art quantum devices. When asked about the lab courses, Evan White, a recent graduate from the first cohort, said, “having the opportunity to utilize those kinds of resources – to work with lasers, detectors and other equipment that is hard to come by – was useful. The labs afforded me an excellent opportunity to try a lot of things in the whole sphere of quantum information.”

Quantum mechanics can often feel mystical to prospective students. However, alumnus Rahul Menon praises this program for offering a realistic hands-on introduction to the field. “The program gives us an in-depth understanding of what experimental work is like, and it also gives us a place to understand and learn the theory very well,” said Menon. White and Menon both expressed appreciation for gaining an understanding of the practicality of quantum mechanics, with White saying, “I really appreciated getting a chance to apply the things I am learning in theory in more practical settings. It has given me a better understanding of how things work practically.”

With this unique, comprehensive training, students graduating from the program are well-positioned for further graduate study or careers in the quantum industry. “This program was appealing because it leads to various career outcomes, where you can go into industry or pursue a Ph.D. after the program. It gives you the best of both worlds, and then you can choose from there,” Menon said. Due to the programs’ affiliations with the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC), Transformative Quantum Technologies (TQT) and the Department of Physics and Astronomy, students can also leverage the opportunity to network with a large collective of researchers, industries and start-ups at the forefront of quantum technology. This allows them to learn about and explore opportunities they otherwise may not have had exposure to, furthering the program’s strength in training students for various post-graduate options.

Quantum technologies are spearheading the next technological revolution. The resources available in this program will enable students to develop a strong comprehension of quantum subject matter and supply them with an exceptional toolset to advance research and development in the field. The Master of Science degree in Physics sets students up for success in contributing to the field of quantum technology in their future endeavours.

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