(HPCWire) The University of Toronto’s Centre for Quantum Information and Quantum Control (CQIQC) has awarded Martinis the John Stewart Bell Prize for Research on Fundamental Issues in Quantum Mechanics and Their Applications.
The CQIQC cited “his innovations in the design and control of superconducting devices, in particular his leadership in devising low-error multi-qubit superconducting chips, which has resulted in the first plausible claim of quantum supremacy, ushering in a new era of computing.”
At the heart of Martinis’ accomplishment is the superconducting Josephson-junction qubit, an architecture that realizes the complex and powerful quantum nature of an atom with all its possible states and superpositions, but in a form that can be fabricated, controlled, tuned and aggregated into a circuit. By cooling these qubits to within absolute zero, the materials in them lose their normal electrical resistance and enter a superconducting state, which is essential for maintaining the coherence of the system — its ability to reliably and rapidly compute.
In a series of milestones over several decades, Martinis and his research team have built and demonstrated the capabilities of their quantum system, with findings and improvements that have advanced the field. His research picked up speed in 2014 when he joined Google, leading a large team in the creation of a multi-qubit programmable processor. According to CQIQC, “this team has excelled in its relentless focus on optimizing device performance by implementing successful engineering choices for qubit design, couplers and scalable input/output.”