The Army is funding two quantum-related projects on the Pi

Image: Quantum computing at the Michael Hatfield Lab to be funded by two US Army grants. see more

Credit: University of Pittsburgh/Aimee Obidzinski

The US Army has provided more than $5.7 million for two projects led by Michael Hatridge, associate professor of physics and astronomy at the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. Both projects bring together a diverse group of researchers to overcome obstacles in the field of quantum computing.

A four-year, $2.67 million grant targets the next generation of modular quantum computing systems. Hatridge and co-principal researcher Robert Schoelkopf at Yale University have each developed unique methods to connect qubits over long distances.

With the help of Alex Jones, a professor at the Swanson School of Engineering and co-principal investigator on the grant, they hope to bring these methods together and use them together to create a new kind of quantum computing system. Jones will explore the best ways to exploit the unique properties of each method using the modular quantum computing system developed in the Hatridge and Schoelkopf labs.

Once complete, the team will have developed new hardware approaches for designing superconducting quantum computers with powerful processors, bringing the field one step closer to error-detected operations, or the ability to solve problems consistently and accurately.

The Army has also awarded Hatridge’s amplifiers a four-year, $3.03 million grant for projects related to both physics and the manufacture of parametric amplifiers, or “paramps,” which are necessary components of the processors that form the heart of quantum computing. The project’s principal investigators include David Pekker, Assistant Professor of Physics at Pitt’s Dietrich School; José Aumentado, physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology; and Hakan Türeci, engineering professor at Princeton University.

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Building parameters that meet the needs of these high-tech processors has been a challenge: they require large, instantaneous bandwidths and the ability to handle multiple and large signals. Paramps also require that they add minimal noise to the amplified signals. Currently, Hatridge’s team’s amplifiers are within a factor of two of the ultimate limit allowed by quantum mechanics.

Over the next four years, Hatridge and his team will work to better understand how the rules of physics limit the performance of Paramps. The team also wants to develop and produce practical devices to push the field towards the next generation of processors.

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