The Biden White House, Zapata, Multiverse and more on World Quantum Day

Today (April 14) is World Quantum Day–a day of awareness about quantum science, as if the rapidly rising ector needed such a thing–and the quantum ecosystem has been celebrating itself with a multitude of news announcements and Twitter toasts.

Here is just a handful:

The White House Office of Science and Technology issued a lengthy statement recognizing World Quantum Day that not only explains the reason why it falls on April 14 (fans of Planck’s Constant will get it), but also delves into quantum science learning opportunities happening in schools around the U.S.

Zapata Computing Founder and CTO Yudong Cao told Fierce Electronics via email, “World Quantum Day is the perfect time to take stock of how much has changed over the past 12 months across the quantum computing landscape. It feels like the quantum ecosystem is celebrating progress every week – progress in software, hardware, more signs of growing adoption and preparation for a quantum future. And while it’s interesting to look back, I’m even more optimistic about what’s ahead. I can’t perfectly predict where we’ll be as a quantum industry at the fifth anniversary of World Quantum Day, but if we maintain the current pace of progress, based on our hardware partners’ roadmaps, we might be at the beginnings of practical quantum advantage – a point where we will be using quantum devices in performant solutions for industry. We also hope to see more consistent standards for the quantum-classical stack and a larger, more diverse talent pool of folks pushing this technological revolution ahead.”

Talent pool growth is a nearly universal wish list item in the quantum computing sector, and that is also true at the university level where much of the critical quantum research work is being done. With that in mind, UCLA has landed a top scholar, Professor Prineha Narang, to join its chemistry faculty as the Howard Reiss Development Chair, according to a statement. Currently an Assistant Professor at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, Professor Narang will transition NarangLab, her interdisciplinary group founded at Harvard, to UCLA where she will be able to expand her research to continue to explore topics at the intersection of computational science, condensed matter theory, quantum photonics, and quantum information science.

Two emerging players in the sector, Quantum Machines and Alice&Bob, have teamed up with top European quantum computing research groups led by Prof. Benjamin Huard from the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon and Prof. Florian Marquardt of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, to launch a three-year project to establish and commercialize a radically new approach to quantum control based on neural networks. 

The project will focus on the development of a quantum controller that incorporates real-time neural networks capable of generating controls, the companies said in a statement, adding, “The use of neural networks is expected to enhance the accuracy and performance of quantum processors, and heavily reduce the classical control resources needed, which is a true bottleneck towards scaling up error correction and optimal control methods.”

Those involved in the project are expecting it could lead to the deployment of “a universal quantum controller with a user-friendly interface and accompanying open-source code libraries for the implementation of the new approach on a variety of quantum processors and devices.” In addition, they are hoping it will result in “the public availability of a cloud-based quantum processor with a unique user interface, allowing for the programming and execution of a rich variety of real-time neural networks. This will allow researchers to explore this new approach toward practical quantum computing and quantum sensing, even if they do not have direct access to quantum hardware.”

Meanwhile, Multiverse Computing, which has been pursuing applications in finance based on today’s quantum computing capabilities, announced it has completed a proof of concept project with the Bank of Canada through which the parties used quantum computing to simulate the adoption of cryptocurrency as a method of payment by non-financial firms.

“We are proud to be a trusted partner of the first G7 central bank to explore modeling of complex networks and cryptocurrencies through the use of quantum computing,” said Sam Mugel, CTO at Multiverse Computing. “The results of the simulation are very intriguing, and insightful as stakeholders consider further research in the domain. Thanks to the algorithm we developed together with our partners at the Bank of Canada, we have been able to model a complex system reliably and accurately given the current state of quantum computing capabilities.”