Inside Quantum Technology

Quantum News Briefs October 16: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute begins installation of first-ever IBM Quantum System One on a university campus;UofRochester researchers developing quantum photonic chips to replace gyrocopes in drones; Chinese scientists led by Pan Jianweiby claim record smashing quantum computing breakthrough;

Quantum News Briefs looks at news in the quantum industry.

Quantum News Briefs is a news series that looks at news in the quantum computing industry.

Quantum News Briefs October 16:

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute begins installation of first-ever IBM Quantum System One on a university campus

On October 13, 2023, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and IBM held a ceremonial groundbreaking to celebrate the first-ever deployment of an IBM Quantum System One on a university campus.Quantum News Briefs summarizes the announcement.
The event featured a grand reveal of the IBM Quantum System One chandelier, the intricately wired golden structure containing the quantum processor chip. “We are celebrating a new era at RPI,” said RPI President Marty A. Schmidt ’81, Ph.D. “Today’s groundbreaking is an enormous win, not just for RPI, but for the region. It is part of a surge of regional strength in all aspects of computing. Today we are headed even deeper into the future. New York’s Hudson River Valley has the potential to become Quantum Valley.”
The IBM Quantum System One to be deployed at RPI will be powered by the 127-qubit IBM Quantum Eagle processor, with which the company has recently demonstrated the capability to perform utility-scale calculations. IBM defines utility-scale as the point at which quantum computers could serve as scientific tools to explore a new scale of problems that remain intractable for classical methods.
“Today is a monumental day for RPI, IBM, and for the field of quantum computing,” said Darío Gil, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Director of IBM Research; “Housing an IBM Quantum System One at a university, especially one as rich in creativity and scientific knowledge as RPI, will serve as a cornerstone of pushing the boundaries of quantum computing to the next level. Now, with a quantum computer, RPI will be at the forefront of ushering in a completely new paradigm of computing that offers profound possibilities for the exploration of a range of previously intractable problems across areas such as materials design, sustainability, pharmaceutical development, healthcare and much more.”  Click here to read the original, lengthy announcement on the website.

UofRochester researchers developing quantum photonic chips to replace gyrocopes in drones

Researchers at the University of Rochester are developing photonic chips that could replace the gyroscopes currently used in unmanned aerial vehicles or drones, enabling them to fly where GPS signals are jammed or unavailable. Quantum News Briefs summarizes the October 15 SciTechDaily announcement.
Using a quantum technique called weak value amplification, the scientists aim to provide the same sensitivity level of bulk optical gyroscopes on small, handheld photonic chips, potentially transforming navigation for drones.
Jaime Cardenas, an associate professor at the Institute of Optics, received a new National Science Foundation grant to develop the chips through 2026. Cardenas says the optical fiber gyroscopes used in the most advanced drones today contain spools of fiber several kilometers long or have limited dynamic range.
According to Cardenas, weak value amplification provides advantages over traditional methods because it boosts the signal of an interferometric measurement without the cost of amplifying several forms of technical noise. However, previous demonstrations of weak value amplification have required complex lab setups with precise alignment; Cardenas strives to implement weak value amplification on a tiny photonic chip with a high-quality factor ring resonator. Click here to read ScitechDaily article in-entirety.

Chinese scientists led by Pan Jianweiby claim record smashing quantum computing breakthrough

South China Morning Post reported on October 11 that China scientists say their latest quantum computer has solved an ultra-complicated mathematical problem within a millionth of a second – more than 20 billion years quicker than the world’s fastest supercomputer could achieve the same task. The article claims they’ve increased the number of photons from 76 to 113 in the first two versions, improving to 255 in the latest iteration.
The JiuZhang 3 prototype also smashed the record set by its predecessor in the series, with a one million-fold increase in calculation speed, according to a paper published on Tuesday by the peer-reviewed journal Physical Review Letters.
The research team is led by Pan Jianwei, often referred to as the father of China’s quantum program. a leading scientist in China’s national quantum research programme, from the University of Science and Technology of China at Hefei, in the eastern province of Anhui. Click here to read SCMP in-entirety.

The Blaise Pascal [re]Generative Quantum Challenge underway to reimagine sustainable solutions to environmental challenges

With rising concerns over climate change and the environmental footprint of digital solutions, the inaugural Blaise Pascal [re]Generative Quantum Challenge, a unique hackathon running from October 5th to November 15th, seeks to bridge the gap. Dedicated to creating solutions to environmental challenges with quantum computers, the hackathon has garnered overwhelming interest, exceeding original capacity limits of 700 participants. Quantum News Briefs summarizes this development.>The Challenge’s core objective: harness quantum computing for tangible, sustainable progress. Embracing the philosophy that “quantum computing is the roadmap towards greener calculations,” participants from diverse backgrounds and expertise have been inspired to reimagine sustainable solutions.
The interest in quantum computing and desire to solve the world’s toughest problems is exemplified by large number of registrations and more than 60 projects proposed. Participants hail from over 25 countries and six continents. The strongest interest came from France, India, United States, United Kingdom and Germany. Emphasizing inclusivity and accessibility, the hackathon has drawn participants with backgrounds ranging from the fields of artificial intelligence and quantum computing to marketing and design.
Competing teams have the chance to share a prize pool of 50,000€, including an impressive 15,000€ award for the top contender, to be unveiled on the final demo day, November 15. In collaboration with PASQAL, participants will immerse themselves in advanced quantum computing technologies, fostering innovation, networking, and exploration.  Click here to read in-detail about the Challenge and review the announcement in-entirety.

Sandra K. Helsel, Ph.D. has been researching and reporting on frontier technologies since 1990.  She has her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.

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