Quantum News Briefs September 14: How the CHIPS Act supercharges the US quantum industry, Scary future of the Internet in face of emerging technologies such as quantum, AI, Smart Cities, ML; UTsukuba researchers create mini-magnets that induce a quantum anomalous Hall effect that may enable low-power electronics
Quantum News Briefs September 14 begins with editorial from Gil and Dabbar discussing how the CHIPS Act supercharges the US quantum industry followed by a look at the “Scary future of the Internet” in the face of emerging technologies such as quantum technology, AI, Smart Cities, ML, and then to Asia where UTsukuba researchers have created mini-magnets that induce a quantum anomalous Hall effect that may enable low-power electronics. And MORE.
How the CHIPS Act supercharges the US quantum industry
Dario Gil and Paul Dabbar, opinion contributors to The Hill, explained in their September 13 article that the CHIPS and Science Act authorized substantial investments to accelerate emerging technologies like quantum computing which can help solve some of the world’s most complex problems and is critical to our national security. Quantum News Briefs summarizes below. Click here for original article in The Hill.
Gil and Dabbar remind the readers that “As we approach the fourth anniversary of the National Quantum Initiative (NQI), we are witnessing how government-funded programs can significantly accelerate prospects for quantum technology — an ‘industry of the future.’ They also caution ” there’s more work to be done” — we must continue building on the progress we’ve made through NQI, capitalize on the bold, new investments in the CHIPS and Science Act and significantly expand the support and development of quantum technologies. The NQI authorized several major increases– including an additional $1.25 billion of federal support for quantum efforts into the Department of Energy (DOE), National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
At DOE, it authorized several new national quantum research centers with joint participation from private quantum companies. For NSF, it authorized several new university research and teaching programs on quantum technologies. NIST was able to build a broad industry consortium, the Quantum Economic Development Consortium or QED-C.
The recently passed CHIPS and Science Act authorizes new efforts to advance quantum technologies and presents a new opportunity to double down on our advancements. For DOE, it creates two new efforts: the QUEST program will have DOE procure quantum computing capacity over the cloud for the use of science researchers. This $166 million purchase over five years, amounting to $33.2 million a year, is a good foundation to provide quantum computing capacity to researchers and help nurture the user community for quantum computing applications. The second DOE effort authorizes $500 million over five years to build large-scale quantum network infrastructure around the country. The CHIPS and Science Act also increases support for quantum technologies at NSF.
The authors conclude: “The NQI and investments under the CHIPS and Science Act and the QUEST program give us an important jump start. Growing the quantum industry to full capacity requires continuing to increase the level of focused investment in high-impact initiatives with ambitious national goals as outlined above.”
Authors of the article summarized above are: Dario Gil, Ph.D., senior vice president and director of research at IBM, and a member of the National Science Board. The Honorable Paul Dabbar, former undersecretary for Science at the U.S. Department of Energy, a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Columbia University, and CEO of Bohr Quantum Technology.
Scary future of the Internet in the face of emerging technologies such as quantum technology, AI, Smart Cities, ML
ZDNet’s Senior writer Denny Palmer has written an overarching look at the threats posed to the Internet by new technologies such as AI, the growth of Smart Cities and also quantum computing. Quantum News Briefs summarizes Palmer’s quantum computing discussion; readers may well want to click through to Palmer’s original ZDNet discussion here.
One of the most significant technological breakthroughs is quantum computing. While while quantum computing will bring benefits to scientific research and society, it will also create new challenges. Most notably, the power of quantum computing could make quick work of cracking the encryption algorithms we’ve used for decades to secure a range of areas, including online banking, secure communications and digital signatures.
The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has already warned that action must be taken now to help protect networks from cyberattacks powered by quantum computing, particularly those that support critical national infrastructure.
Disruptive cyberattacks powered by quantum computing are a key cybersecurity threat of the future, quantum computers could themselves be a lucrative target of hackers. This includes the specific example of crypto-mining malware. This is a form of malware that attackers install on computers and servers to secretly use the power of someone else’s network to mine for cryptocurrency and pocket the profits.
Quantum News Briefs directs our readers interested in learning more about quantum cybersecurity to these IQT resources:
IQT Quantum Cybersecurity Conference & Exhibition in New York City, October 25-27
Researchers devise new algorithm to solve quantum chemistry problem
A team of researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University have devised a new quantum algorithm to compute the lowest energies of molecules at specific configurations during chemical reactions, including when their chemical bonds are broken. As described in Physics Review Research, compared to similar existing algorithms, including the team’s previous method, the new algorithm will significantly improve scientists’ ability to accurately and reliably calculate the potential energy surface in reacting molecules.
For this work, Deyu Lu, a Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) physicist at Brookhaven Lab, worked with Tzu-Chieh Wei, an associate professor specializing in quantum information science at the C.N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics at Stony Brook University, Qin Wu, a theorist at CFN, and Hongye Yu, a Ph.D. student at Stony Brook.
The new quantum algorithm improves on the previous algorithm to tackle this problem in a creative way. It exploits a smooth, geometric deformation made by continuously varying bond lengths or bond angles in the molecule’s structure. With this approach the scientists say they can calculate the ground state of molecules very accurately, even as chemical bonds are breaking and reforming during chemical reactions.
For this new version of the algorithm, the team worked with the Brookhaven-Lab-led Co-design Center for Quantum Advantage (C2QA), which was formed in 2020. Wei contributes to the center’s software thrust, which specializes in quantum algorithms. The team’s new algorithm uses an adiabatic approach—one that makes gradual changes—but with some adaptations that ensure it remains reliable when chemical bonds are broken.
Making mini-magnets that induce a quantum anomalous Hall effect; findings may enable low-power electronics in future
A new device has been fabricated that can demonstrate the quantum anomalous Hall effect, in which tiny, discrete voltage steps are generated by an external magnetic field. Quantum News Briefs summarizes the development as reported in Phys.org.
This work may enable extremely low-power electronics, as well as future quantum computers. A team of researchers led by the Institute of Materials Science at the University of Tsukuba have used a topological insulator material, in which current flows at the interfaces but not through the bulk, to induce a quantum anomalous Hall effect.
By using a ferromagnetic material, iron, as the top layer of the device, the magnetic proximity effect can produce magnetic ordering without introducing disorder that would be caused by an alternative method of doping with magnetic impurities. “Current produced by the quantum anomalous Hall effect can travel along the interface of a layer without dissipation, which might be utilized in novel energy-saving devices,” says Professor Kuroda Shinji.
“Our research points the way towards a means for realizing next-generation spintronics and quantum computational devices,” Professor Kuroda says.
These applications may require layers that exhibit the quantum anomalous Hall effect, which this research has shown is possible and can be easily produced.
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.