The United States has placed quantum information science (QIS) at the top of its science and technology agenda with an unprecedented investment in research to ensure that the U.S. maintains and advances its global leadership in this emerging technological arena recognized for its economic impact and importance to national security. The National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science mirrors similar significant investments in the U.K., Europe, China, Canada, and Australia.
The urgency of U.S. interest in QIS is motivated by a realization at the highest levels of government, industry, and academia that the nation faces a significant risk of falling behind global competitors in this area, with corresponding lost opportunities and increased threats to our national security, economy, and workforce. This situation is historically unique because the laws of quantum mechanics dictate the limits of what is possible at the most fundamental known level, differing in character from earlier revolutions dependent on the limits of thermodynamics (steam engine), bulk materials (wired communications), or semiconductor gate densities (computers).
In partial response to the national need, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) funded several Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes: multi-organization, interdisciplinary collaborations designed to pursue breakthroughs in fundamental knowledge and applications of QIS, position those advances for adoption and commercialization by established and start-up companies for the benefit of the nation, and educate and train a workforce adept in quantum technologies.
Q-SEnSE is an NSF Quantum Leap Challenge Institute led by the University of Colorado Boulder in partnership with a dozen other research organizations across the nation and abroad. Within the Institute, almost forty researchers share their quantum expertise in multi-disciplinary teams to investigate promising solutions to formidable quantum challenges of both fundamental and practical significance.