The CUbit Quantum Initiative is built on four technology pillars, each led jointly by scientists and engineers and each targeting ambitious advances.
Quantum Sensing and Metrology
Quantum sensing and metrology are among the fastest-growing areas in quantum information science and technology, with broad applications beyond quantum science, including standards for industry, fundamental physics, defense, homeland security and medicine.
CUbit will be the national—and indeed international—leader in this area. This pillar will advance the frontiers of quantum sensing, apply quantum sensors to searches for new fundamental physics, develop probes of quantum many-body systems, and translate frontier quantum sensor technologies into advanced metrological capabilities in deployable systems with reduced size, weight and power, and with higher measurement bandwidth, greater precision, enhanced accuracy and robustness.
Quantum Networks and Communications
The broad area of quantum networks and communications represents an existing strength for CU Boulder. NIST Boulder is also very strong in these areas, with several active and highly productive CU Boulder/NIST research partnerships. Many of the quantum industry companies along the Colorado Front Range are working directly on quantum networks/communications and/or providing the crucial supporting technologies.
The topic is uniﬁed by the drive to establish entanglement between well-controlled quantum systems that are remote from one another. The notion of distance between the quantum systems may have the everyday meaning that they are separated by many meters. More generally, quantum networks are formed between quantum systems that do not interact directly but through some propagating intermediary such as optical or microwave photons. As such, this topic is closely associated with the ability to manipulate and measure microwave optical photons at the quantum scale.
Quantum Matter and Dynamics
All quantum technologies rely ultimately upon materials. The materials-related challenges that must be overcome to successfully develop quantum technologies span the disciplines of science and technology, from solid-state chemistry and quantum condensed matter physics, to materials fabrication and characterization, to packaging and manufacturing engineering.
Thus, materials aspects of quantum technology are a natural common ground for collaboration by scientists and engineers from the many disciplines that will contribute to the success of CUbit. This highly interdisciplinary approach is not only eﬀective, but is also likely to be required for a competitive response to federal funding opportunities.
Quantum Computing and Simulation
The overarching technical goal of this pillar is to harness highly controllable large-scale quantum systems to solve diﬃcult problems that are computationally inaccessible for even the largest classical supercomputers. Our approach includes methods from quantum computing and quantum simulation, as well as techniques that bridge the two.
We will tackle questions in mathematics, physics and chemistry as well as the more applied realms of optimization and machine learning. A key strength of this eﬀort will be multiple world-leading experimental eﬀorts: ion traps at NIST, superconducting circuits at JILA and NIST, and neutral atoms at JILA.