Quantum Supremacy Explained at CQuIC Seminar

ECE / P&A Asst Prof Tameem Albash and P&A Asst Prof Elizabeth Crosson co-presented “What is quantum supremacy and did Google do it?” at the Center for Quantum Information and Control (CQuIC) Seminar on November 21 to give the general scientific community a slightly deeper exposition of the subject matter. Attendees represented multiple disciplines in the UNM community. The presenters put into context the significance of Google’s milestone of showing that a quantum computer can perform a task faster and more efficiently than the current fastest supercomputer. Crosson and Albash noted the work of other research groups that are following on the heels of Google’s announcement and trying to find ways to improve the computational time for supercomputers.

The focus of this seminar is a recently published paper by The Google Quantum AI team in Nature.

“Neither Elizabeth nor I are co-authors on this work,” said Albash. “However the work is rather important and has garnered a lot of press and we believed it would be both useful and fun to give the general scientific community a slightly deeper exposition of the subject matter.”

The Google Quantum AI team has recently published their work [Nature 574, 505–510 (2019)] detailing their demonstration of quantum supremacy on their 53 qubit ‘Sycamore’ processor, heralding (perhaps) a new era in quantum computing. But what is ‘quantum supremacy’, did Google actually achieve it, and what are the implications of this demonstration?

See the video (UNM NetID login required):

What is quantum supremacy and did Google do it?

Welcome Visiting Academic Scholar, Marco Rodriguez Garcia

CQuIC welcomes Marco Rodriguez Garcia, Visiting Academic Scholar from Universidad Nacional Autonoma Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City. Marco is a graduate student of Pablo Barberis-Blostein. The Barberis-Blostein group studies quantum metrology, quantum optics, and some topics of quantum information. Marco has been selected to receive a scholarship from El Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia – – CONAYCT (The National Council for Science and Technology). As a doctoral student under this program, Marco is encouraged to spend time at a foreign host institution. Marco is here at CQuIC to work with the Deutsch group until July 31, 2020. Marco looks forward to collaborating with CQuIC faculty, postdocs and graduate students to expand his knowledge in the area of quantum information science. Marco hopes to see the Aztec Ruins National Monument in New Mexico as well as visit the nearby mountains.

CQuIC Welcomes Victor Acosta as a Faculty Associate

Victor Acosta is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Physics & Astronomy and Center for High Technology Materials at UNM. His research is focused on the development of quantum sensors, broadly defined as the use of qubit systems to measure environmental parameters.  His lab uses color centers in diamond as quantum sensors to study nanoscale magnetic phenomena in physical, chemical, and biological systems. They are also developing nanophotonic surfaces for applications ranging from few-photon optical logic to ultra-thin microscopes.  CQuIC welcomes Professor Acosta as an associate and looks forward to working together on mutual projects. 

External Advisory Board Commends CQuIC’s Interdisciplinary Direction

 Steve Girvin Christiane Koch K. Birgitta Whaley

The three-person External Advisory Board (EAB) — Steven Girvin (Yale), Christiane Koch (Univ. Kassel) and Birgitta Whaley (Berkeley) — met with CQuIC members and representatives of the UNM administration on August 29-30, 2019.

The EAB’s preliminary report to CQuIC stated, “We are very impressed by the quality of the science going on in CQuIC . . . and by the very good working atmosphere among faculty, postdocs, and students within the Center.   Under the leadership of Ivan Deutsch, CQuIC has worked hard to promote this atmosphere and tried to expand connections across the campus.”

The Board commended CQuIC for welcoming new opportunities for mentoring and the expansion of the breadth of CQuIC interests with the addition of junior faculty.    They recognized the potential for growing CQuIC’s interdisciplinary collaborations given its ongoing relationships with Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) as well as new and strengthening links with faculty in departments at UNM such Chemistry & Chemical Biology (CCB), Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Computer Science (CS), and Center for High Technology Materials (CHTM).   The report noted, “the EAB encourages continued efforts in this direction” and also that the “move to central campus will be generally beneficial to further interdisciplinary collaborations.”