Quantum Information Science
The Quantum Information Science program focuses on the fundamental science behind quantum information and quantum technologies in order to understand how best to harness it, solve important computational problems, and develop new insights into physics and information. The program takes a broad interdisciplinary approach, bringing together physicists, computer scientists, and others working in connected disciplines in order to address the field’s most fundamental challenges.
RESEARCH AND SOCIETAL IMPACT HIGHLIGHTS
A breakthrough in silicon quantum computing
Through a Catalyst Fund grant bridging quantum hardware communities, Fellows Stephanie Simmons (Simon Fraser University) and Lilian Childress (McGill University) developed a new approach to silicon quantum computing. Introducing point defect colour centres — or altering the regular spacing of atoms within a solid that absorbs light — via ion implantation, makes silicon a competitive candidate for integration into future commercial-scale quantum networks with long-lived quantum memory and computing capabilities. If successful, their collaboration could lead to a research shift at a scale rarely seen in two decades. This platform could not only be used to make a quantum computer but also to make provably secure quantum communication, quantum sensors, and more.
Tailoring the characterization of quantum devices with machine learning
Quantum computers require careful calibration of their components for operation, and accurate device characterization is crucial for producing highfidelity quantum operations and algorithms. Fellows Alexandre Blais (Université de Sherbrooke) and Irfan Siddiqi (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) collaborated to utilize machine learning to characterize the fundamental component of a quantum computer: a qubit. This was done by weakly measuring the qubit and inferring information from the collected state about the qubit’s dynamics. Introducing the basic rules of quantum mechanics into the machine learning model improves the accuracy and efficiency of this characterization task to efficiently extract the most information, thus laying the groundwork for more scalable characterization techniques.
Simulating subatomic particles on a quantum computer
A team of researchers led by CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar Christine Muschik (University of Waterloo) performed the first-ever simulation of baryons — a type of subatomic particle — on a quantum computer. With this result, the group has taken a step toward more complex quantum simulations that will allow scientists to better understand the origins of the Universe and large celestial objects such as neutron stars, learn more about the earliest moments of the Universe, and realize the revolutionary potential of quantum computers. This breakthrough demonstration is an important step toward a new era of understanding our Universe based on quantum simulation.
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Negrevergne, C. et al. "Benchmarking quantum control methods on a 12-qubit system." Physical Review Letters, 96 (2006) : 170501 ABSTRACT
L. A. Rozema et al., “Quantum Data Compression of a Qubit Ensemble,” Physical Review Letters 113, 16 (2014). ABSTRACT
J. Zhang et al., “Digital quantum simulation of the statistical mechanics of a frustrated magnet,” Nature Communications 3, 880 (2012). ABSTRACT
2007, 2012, 2019
Computer science, including quantum computing and theory of computation
Quantum, condensed matter, mathematical and atomic physics
Electronic and information engineering
Fellows & Advisors
CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars
CIFAR is a registered charitable organization supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations.