Doctoral School on Quantum Information Processing
Publication date: October 1, 2015
Authors: IDEA League
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Within the last twenty years, a new field of research and study has arisen at the junction between quantum physics and computer science. We have realized that the basic carrier of digital information, the bit, is a concept rooted in ideas of classical physics. A bit can be endowed with the wave properties of quantum physics; it can exist in a wavelike superposition of 0 and 1, and its value can become entangled with the quantum state of its neighbors. This quantum-enhanced bit, now referred to as a qubit, makes new information-processing capabilities possible, including a fundamental enhancement of privacy and security in communication, and a tremendous speedup of algorithms for certain central computational problems.
Current research, as featured in these schools, follows several different directions. Quantum ideas have greatly invigorated the foundations of theoretical computer science, which has broadened its scope to encompass new ways of understanding thermodynamics and entropy, as well as the computational implications of the non-local correlations in the quantum world (you could win in tournament bridge, for example). Another major focus, building on particular strengths of the IDEA League Universities, is on realizing the qubit, and qubit systems, in the laboratory. The techniques of solid-state physics, which have had such tremendous success in giving the world functioning computing devices based on bits, can be extended further into the quantum world; by making transistors function one electron at a time, good qubits are starting to be possible. Many exotic new phenomena envisioned in quantum physics, including the elusive Majorana quasiparticle, are being studied for their possible application in the construction of a quantum computer.
The Doctoral School on Quantum Information Processing focused on these topics and allowed students, PhD candidates and researchers to collaborate in the field of Quantum Information Processing.