News: Centre WACQT related to Chalmers University of TechnologyThu, 07 Jul 2022 13:50:12 +0200ël-Van-Laer-appointed-future-research-leaders.aspx Frisk Kockum and Raphaël Van Laer appointed Research Leaders of the Future<p><b>​When the Foundation for Strategic Research appointed the Research Leaders of the Future, two of the 16 selected researchers were from MC2. Anton Frisk-Kockum and Raphaël Van Laer both receives a grant of 15 million SEK each over a five-year period and will during the program participate in a solid leadership training.</b></p><div>​“I’m both humbled by the trust in me and my research ideas that SSF shows by awarding this grant, and excited to start the project”, says Anton Frisk Kockum, who receives the grant for the project “Quantum simulation and communication with giant atoms”.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The project aims to harness a new regime of light-matter interaction, so-called giant atoms, for useful applications. In these systems, interference effects make it possible to turn on and off the coupling between a system emulating the properties of an atom and a surrounding environment.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Two purposes</h2> <div>&quot;I will use this setup for two purposes: first to efficiently simulate quantum systems of interest (e.g., molecules) that interact with their surroundings, and second to enable communication between quantum systems, e.g., two quantum-computing processors&quot;, says Anton Frisk Kockum. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;This funding will let me create a research group devoted to giant atoms and their applications. I currently have one PhD student working on these topics. I will now recruit one postdoc and one more PhD student. The funding also comes with an excellent leadership training program, which I look forward to participating in and learning from.&quot;</div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Overlooked potential in acoustic and optical devices<br /></h2></div> <div>Raphaël Van Laer receives the grant for his project “Attojoule-per-bit acousto-optics”.<br /><br />&quot;Society relies heavily on transistor-based information technologies such as computers and the internet. These systems became increasingly powerful in what is known as Moore’s law. Today, this trend is faltering as transistors are reaching performance limits. The project’s goal is to lay the foundations for new types of information technology with chip-scale light and sound&quot;, he says.<br /><br />He aims to greatly reduce the energy footprint of emerging coherent information processors based on photonics and quantum technology.<br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">High hopes and aspirations<br /></h2> <div>&quot;The broad potential of acousto-optic interactions has mostly been overlooked. In this project, we will develop near-term use-cases of acoustic and optical devices and especially in quantum technology. This will synergize well with the more fundamental quantum engineering we do&quot;, he says. He adds that it feels very exciting and humbling to receive the grant, and that it is a great opportunity that comes with great responsibility.</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;We are a small team in quantum photonics with a new laboratory supported mainly by the EU and WACQT. The new SSF grant will make a big impact on our ability to pursue risky ideas and build critical mass. Our hopes and aspirations are high. The grant gives us a mandate to be brave and to keep going especially when things become difficult. We need to adapt and learn quickly from trial-and-error. I am also eager to join SSF's leadership program. Finally, I believe that the project will be well-suited for near-term interaction with related work at MC2. I look forward to exploring this with colleagues in photonics and quantum engineering&quot;, he says.</div></div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Contact</h2> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Anton-Frisk-Kockum.aspx">Anton Frisk Kockum</a>, Researcher, <a href=""></a>, +46317723190<br /></div> <div><span><a href="/en/staff/Pages/raphael-van-laer.aspx">Raphaël Van Laer</a>, <span></span></span>Assistant Professor, <a href=""></a>, +46317724030<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Robert Karlsson</div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Read more</h2> <div><a href="/en/news/Pages/They-are-the-future-research-leaders.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />They are the Future Research Leaders</a>,</div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />SSF press release</a>,<br /></div>Mon, 27 Jun 2022 11:00:00 +0200 for ICT seed projects 2023<p><b> Call for proposals within ICT strategic areas and involving interdisciplinary approaches.​</b></p><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3" style="color:rgb(153, 51, 0)"><br /></h3> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Important dates:</h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><ul><li><b>NEW! Submission date: </b><span>9 May, at 09.00</span>, 2022</li> <li><b>Notification:</b> mid-June, 2022</li> <li><b>Expected start of the project:</b> January 2023</li></ul></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Background</h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><b>The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Area of Advance</b> (AoA) provides financial support for SEED projects, i.e., projects involving innovative ideas that can be a starting point for further collaborative research and joint funding applications. </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>We will prioritize research projects that <strong>involve researchers from different research communities</strong> (for example across ICT departments or between ICT and other Areas of Advances) and who have not worked together before (i.e., have no joint projects/publications). </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Research projects involving a <strong>gender-balanced team and younger researchers</strong>, e.g., assistant professors, will be prioritized. Additionally, proposals related to <strong>sustainability</strong> and the UN Sustainable Development Goals are encouraged.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><b><em>Note: </em></b><em>Only researchers employed at Chalmers can apply and can be funded. PhD students cannot be supported by this call.  Applicants and co-applicants of research proposals funded in the 2021 and 2022 ICT SEED calls cannot apply. </em></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><em><br /></em></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><b>The total budget of the call is 1 MSEK.</b> We expect to fund 3-5 projects</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Details of the call</h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><ul><li>The project should include at least two researchers from different divisions at Chalmers (preferably two different departments) who should have complementary expertise, and no joint projects/publications.</li> <li>Proposals involving teams with good gender balance and involving assistant professors will be prioritized.</li> <li>The project should contribute to sustainable development. </li> <li>The budget must be between 100 kSEK and 300 kSEK, including indirect costs (OH). The budget is mainly to cover personnel costs for Chalmers employees (but not PhD students). The budget cannot cover costs for equipment or travel costs to conferences/research visits. </li> <li>The project must start in early 2023 and should last 3-6 months. </li></ul></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">What must the application contain?</h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>The application should be at most 3 pages long, font Times–Roman, size 11. In addition, max 1 page can be used for references. Finally, an additional one-page CV of each one of the applicants must be included (max 4 CVs). Proposals that do not comply with this format will be desk rejected (no review process).</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>The proposal should include:</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>a)<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>project title </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>b)<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>name, e-mail, and affiliation (department, division) of the applicants</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>c)<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>the research challenges addressed and the objective of the project; interdisciplinary aspects should be highlighted; also the applicant should discuss how the project contributes to sustainable development, preferably in relation to the <a href="" title="link to UN webpage">UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)</a>. Try to be specific and list the targets within each Goal that are addressed by your project.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>d)<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>the project description </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>e)<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>the expected outcome (including dissemination plan) and the plan for further research and funding acquisition</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>f)<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>the project participants and the planned efforts</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>g)<span style="white-space:pre"> </span>the project budget and activity timeline
</div> <div><div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Evaluation criteria</h3> <div><ul><li>Team composition</li> <li>Interdisciplinarity</li> <li>Novelty</li> <li>Relevance to AoA ICT and Chalmers research strategy as well as to SDG</li> <li>Dissemination plan</li> <li>Potential for further research and joint funding applications</li> <li>Budget and project feasibility​</li></ul></div></div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">Submission</span></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>The application should be submitted as <b>one PDF document</b>.<span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="" target="_blank" title="link to submission"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Submit​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span><br /></span></p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The proposals will be evaluated by the AoA ICT management group and selected Chalmers researchers.

</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><b><br /></b></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><b>Questions</b> can be addressed to <a href="">Erik Ström</a></span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">General information about the ICT Area of Advance can be found at <a href="/en/areas-of-advance/ict/Pages/default.aspx"> ​</a></span><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Information%20and%20Communication%20Technology/About%20us/IKT_logo_600px.jpg" alt="" /><span style="background-color:initial">​​<br /></span></div>Wed, 30 Mar 2022 00:00:00 +0200 L’Huillier wins Wolf Prize in Physics<p><b>​WACQT principal investigator Anne L’Huillier is one of this year's recipients of the Wolf Prize – the most prestigious award in physics next to the Nobel Prize. She wins the prize for her pioneering work in ultrafast laser science and attosecond physics.</b></p><br /><b style="background-color:initial"><span lang="EN-GB"></span></b><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/WACQT/LHuillier-Wolf-Prize-2022.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:250px" />”It feels incredible – I’m really amazed. The prize is a recognition of almost everything I have done during my career as a researcher,” says Anne L’Huillier, professor in atomic physics at Lund University.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">She shares the 2022 Wolf Prize in Physics with professors Paul Corkum at the University of Ottawa, Canada, and Ferenc Krausz at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Germany.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">“I have collaborated with many researchers, but very little with Corkum and Krausz. Having entered the field from different directions, we have mostly done complementary work. My entrance, and somewhat my privilege, is that I have been involved from the very beginning,” she says.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">It all started in 1988, when Anne L’Huillier and her colleagues in Paris discovered high-order harmonics of light being generated in a gas exposed to an intense laser field.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">“It was a bit of a coincidence. Our intention was to study fluorescence in the gas, but instead we saw these high-order harmonics. I found it very fascinating and really got stuck in exploring this new phenomenon which is an interesting combination of atomic physics, more precisely the response of an atom to a strong laser field and non-linear optics.”</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="background-color:initial">A powerful titanium sapphire laser – the first of its kind in Europe – brought Anne L’Huillier to Lund in 1992 to do experiments. Two years later, she moved to Lund permanently to share her life with one of the researchers behind the Lund high-power laser facility.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">Early on, it was theoretically predicted that if the high-order harmonics can be synchronized with each other, it would result in a series of extremely short light pulses, with durations of a few tens or hundreds of attoseconds. It took the field 14 years, until 2001, to show it experimentally.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">The time scale is unfathomably short; an attosecond is no more than a billionth of a billionth of a second. Using light pulses this short as “camera flashes” enables the detection of the incredibly rapid motion of electrons.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">“The second part of my research has been to use these pulses to study the ultrafast dynamics of atoms and molecules, especially photoionization,” tells L’Huillier.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">In their experiments with the short pulses, her team constantly creates entangled quantum states – entangled electron pairs, entangled ion and electron, and entangled degrees of freedom. During the last couple of years, L’Huillier – and part of the research field – have become increasingly interested in characterising these entangled quantum states, and understanding their decoherence mechanism (the concepts of entangled states and decoherence are explained in the <a href="/en/centres/wacqt/discover/Pages/default.aspx"><span>WACQT website</span></a>).</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">In 2021, L’Huillier became one of the principal investigators in the WACQT management, where she is one of the coordinators of research in quantum sensing. She also leads a WACQT project on characterizing and controlling atomic matter on attosecond timescales.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">“Anne L’Huillier’s group brings important expertise to WACQT regarding time-resolved spectroscopy and control of the dynamics of quantum systems,” says Göran Wendin, senior advisor in WACQT and also theoretical supervisor of L’Huillier when she was a PhD student in Paris and during her postdoc at Chalmers in 1986.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">“Being a part of WACQT is really exciting. I learn new things and follow the development of the quantum information field. We want to apply many of the concepts from this field to the entangled electrons that we create with our attosecond pulses,” says Anne L’Huillier.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">The work done within WACQT is one of her main priorities at the moment. Another priority is to work with industrial applications in order to contribute to the utilisation of attosecond light pulses. The fact that these pulses are coherent and broadband is of interest, for example, for the semi-conductor industry. </span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">“I see a very nice future for ultrashort laser pulses, with many applications in different directions. After 30 years with titanium sapphire lasers, there is now a shift to ytterbium-based laser systems which are much smaller and easier to handle. This should open the field also to people who are not laser specialists, but rather specialists within one of the many possible applications,” L’Huillier predicts.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b><span lang="EN-GB">About the Wolf Prize</span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">The Wolf Prize is awarded annually by the Israeli Wolf Foundation to outstanding scientists and artists from around the world for “achievements promoting science and art in the interest of mankind and friendly relations among peoples, regardless of race, religion, gender, geographical location or political opinion.”</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b><span lang="EN-GB">Read more</span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"><a href=""><span>The Wolf Prize</span></a><br /></span><a href=""><span>Anne L’H</span><span style="background-color:initial">uillier’s research group</span>​</a></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">Te</span><span style="background-color:initial">xt: Ingela Roos</span></p> Mon, 07 Mar 2022 09:00:00 +0100​Time to inaugurate all-wise computer resource<p><b>​Alvis is an old Nordic name meaning &quot;all-wise&quot;. An appropriate name, one might think, for a computer resource dedicated to research in artificial intelligence and machine learning. The first phase of Alvis has been used at Chalmers and by Swedish researchers for a year and a half, but now the computer system is fully developed and ready to solve more and larger research tasks.​</b></p><br /><div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Information%20and%20Communication%20Technology/300x454_Alvis_infrastructure_1.png" alt="A computer rack" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:10px;width:270px;height:406px" />Alvis is a national computer resource within the <strong><a href="">Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing, SN​IC,</a></strong> and started on a small scale in the autumn of 2020, when the first version began being used by Swedish researchers. Since then, a lot has happened behind the scenes, both in terms of use and expansion, and now it's time for Chalmers to give Swedish research in AI and machine learning access to the full-scale expanded resource. The digital inauguration will take place on <span style="font-weight:normal"><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/ict/calendar/Pages/Alvis-inauguration-phase-2.aspx">February 25, 202</a>2.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><b>What can Alvis contribute to, then? </b>The purpose is twofold. On the one hand, one addresses the target group who research and develop methods in machine learning, and on the other hand, the target group who use machine learning to solve research problems in basically any field. Anyone who needs to improve their mathematical calculations and models can take advantage of Alvis' services through SNIC's application system – regardless of the research field.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;Simply put, Alvis works with pattern recognition, according to the same principle that your mobile uses to recognize your face. What you do, is present very large amounts of data to Alvis and let the system work. The task for the machines is to react to patterns - long before a human eye can do so,&quot; says <b>Mikael Öhman</b>, system manager at Chalmers e-commons.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">How can Alvis help Swedish research?</h3> <div><b>Thomas Svedberg</b> is project manager for the construction of Alvis:</div> <div>&quot;I would say that there are two parts to that answer. We have researchers who are already doing machine learning, and they get a powerful resource that helps them analyse large complex problems.</div> <div>But we also have those who are curious about machine learning and who want to know more about how they can work with it within their field. It is perhaps for them that we can make the biggest difference when we now can offer quick access to a system that allows them to learn more and build up their knowledge.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The official inauguration of Alvis takes place on February 25. It will be done digitally, and you will find all <a href="/en/areas-of-advance/ict/calendar/Pages/Alvis-inauguration-phase-2.aspx">information about the event here.</a></div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Facts</h3> <div>Alvis, which is part of the national e-infrastructure SNIC, is located at Chalmers. <a href="/en/researchinfrastructure/e-commons/Pages/default.aspx">Chalmers e-commons</a> manages the resource, and applications to use Alvis are handled by the <a href="">Swedish National Allocations Committee, SNAC</a>. Alvis is financed by the <b><a href="">Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation</a></b> with SEK 70 million, and the operation is financed by SNIC. The computer system is supplied by <a href="" target="_blank">Lenovo​</a>. Within Chalmers e-commons, there is also a group of research engineers with a focus on AI, machine learning and data management. Among other things, they have the task of providing support to Chalmers’ researchers in the use of Alvis.</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Voices about Alvis:</h3> <div><b>Lars Nordström</b>, director of SNIC: &quot;Alvis will be a key resource for Swedish AI-based research and is a valuable complement to SNIC's other resources.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Sa</strong></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>ra Mazur</strong>, Director of Strategic Research, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation: &quot;</span>A high-performing national computation and storage resource for AI and machine learning is a prerequisite for researchers at Swedish universities to be able to be successful in international competition in the field. It is an area that is developing extremely quickly and which will have a major impact on societal development, therefore it is important that Sweden both has the required infrastructure and researchers who can develop this field of research. It also enables a transfer of knowledge to Swedish industry.&quot;<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><b>Philipp Schlatter</b>, Professor, Chairman of SNIC's allocation committee Swedish National Allocations Committee, SNAC: &quot;Calculation time for Alvis phase 2 is now available for all Swedish researchers, also for the large projects that we distribute via SNAC. We were all hesitant when GPU-accelerated systems were introduced a couple of years ago, but we as researchers have learned to relate to this development, not least through special libraries for machine learning, such as Tensorflow, which runs super fast on such systems. Therefore, we are especially happy to now have Alvis in SNIC's computer landscape so that we can also cover this increasing need for GPU-based computer time.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Scott Tease</strong>, Vice President and General Manager of Lenovo’s High Performance Computing (HPC) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) business: <span style="background-color:initial">“Lenovo </span><span style="background-color:initial">is grateful to be selected by Chalmers University of Technology for the Alvis project.  Alvis will power cutting-edge research across diverse areas from Material Science to Energy, from Health care to Nano and beyond. </span><span style="background-color:initial">Alvis is truly unique, built on the premise of different architectures for different workloads.</span></div> <div>Alvis leverages Lenovo’s NeptuneTM liquid cooling technologies to deliver unparalleled compute efficiency.  Chalmers has chosen to implement multiple, different Lenovo ThinkSystem servers to deliver the right NVIDIA GPU to their users, but in a way that prioritizes energy savings and workload balance, instead of just throwing more underutilized GPUs into the mix. Using our ThinkSystem SD650-N V2 to deliver the power of NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs with highly efficient direct water cooling, and our ThinkSystem SR670 V2 for NVIDIA A40 and T4 GPUs, combined with a high-speed storage infrastructure,  Chalmers users have over 260,000 processing cores and over 800 TFLOPS of compute power to drive a faster time to answer in their research.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/ict/calendar/Pages/Alvis-inauguration-phase-2.aspx" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /></a><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/ict/calendar/Pages/Alvis-inauguration-phase-2.aspx">SEE INAUGURATION PROGRAMME​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Jenny Palm</em></div> <em> </em><div><em>Photo: Henrik Sandsjö</em></div> <div><em>​<br /></em></div> <div><em><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Information%20and%20Communication%20Technology/750x422_Alvis_infrastructure_3_220210.png" alt="Overview computor" style="margin:5px;width:690px;height:386px" /><br /><br /><br /></em></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> ​Sun, 13 Feb 2022 00:00:00 +0100 technique to measure electric forces acting on a trapped ion<p><b>​Trapping ions by using carefully controlled electrical fields is a method used in precision spectroscopy, atom clocks and prototype quantum computers. However, this platform is sensitive to stray electric fields that reduce performance. Now, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and Stockholm University have developed a new technology that can measure the unwanted fields with greater accuracy and precision, and thus compensate for them.</b></p><div>​One second in 30 billion years. That is the error margin in the most precise atomic clock that humankind has produced today. Atomic clocks rely on stable atomic transitions as frequency references, but this method doesn’t come without problems. Trapped-ion atomic clocks are sensitive to stray electric fields which cause the ion to move and experience Doppler shifts, and this decreases the clock’s precision and accuracy.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>It is this problem that Gerard Higgins, researcher at Chalmers University of Technology, has found a new solution to. He demonstrated the technique with Markus Hennrich’s Trapped Ion Quantum Technology group at Stockholm University.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“I came up with a technique to more precisely measure unwanted electric forces acting on a trapped ion, and I demonstrated it experimentally”, he says. “My technique allows the forces to be measured more quickly and more precisely than the existing techniques.”</div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Drives the development of quantum physics</h2></div> <div><img src="/sv/institutioner/mc2/nyheter/PublishingImages/Gerard%20Higgins.jpeg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:230px;height:391px" />Atomic clocks go hand in hand with precision spectroscopy. In precision spectroscopy, the energy levels of atoms and molecules are probed, and used to reveal properties of atoms and molecules, and their constituent electrons, protons and neutrons. Spectroscopy has driven the development of quantum physics – as measurements have become more precise, unexpected results have been found and quantum theory has had to be refined. Likewise, spectroscopy has allowed new theories to be tested, and continues to be used to search for new physics; researchers are using ever more precise spectroscopy to test whether the fundamental constants are really constant, and to test the similarities and differences between normal matter and anti-matter. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Ever more precise spectroscopy requires ever more careful control of unwanted effects which can bias the results, such as unwanted electric fields in an ion trap”, says Gerard Higgins.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The new technique will make atomic clocks more accurate, as they involve spectroscopy. They use the difference between two atomic energy levels as a frequency reference, and so more precise spectroscopy means more precise atomic clocks.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Unwanted electric fields can also limit the fidelity of a trapped ion quantum information processor, the sensitivity of a trapped ion force sensor, and pose limits to fundamental studies of trapped ion-neutral atom interactions. With the new technique, unwanted electric fields can be probed and compensated, so that they don’t pose a problem.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> “To my knowledge, the technique is faster than the existing techniques – this means one doesn’t need to spend much time interrupting the main experiment to be able to diminish unwanted fields, and the technique is more precise than the existing techniques. What’s more it’s quite easy to implement and automate”, says Gerard Higgins.</div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">About the new technique</h2> <div>The new technique uses interferometry to precisely measure the ion displacement caused by the weak forces. Interferometers are used for the most sensitive displacement measurements, for instance most gravitational wave detectors are interferometers. Instead of a normal interferometer with two optical paths, though, the new technique relies on a technique called Ramsey interferometry. Ramsay interferometry is a standard technique used in experimental quantum physics, often used for quantifying a qubit’s coherence time. During Ramsey interferometry, the trapped ion qubit is excited to a superposition of two electronic states, and two laser pulses act as an interferometer’s beam splitters. The ion qubit is sensitive to the laser phase, so if the ion is displaced between application of the laser pulses, a measurement of the qubit reveals the displacement</div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Read the full scientific article in New Journal of Physics</h2></div> <div><a href="" target="_blank">&quot;Micromotion minimization using Ramsey interferometry&quot;</a><br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Contact information</h2></div> <div>Gerard Higgins<br />Postdoc at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience, Quantum Technology Laboratory<br /></div> <div><a href=""></a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Robert Karlsson<br />Photos: Markus Hennrich and Cristine Calil Kores <br />Illustration: Gerard Higgins, Marion Mallweger and Robin Thomm<br /></div>Wed, 09 Feb 2022 10:10:00 +0100 multi-qubit gates enhance the performance of quantum computers<p><b>​Available quantum computers struggle with noise that causes the qubits to quickly forget their values. Therefore, it is desirable to execute the algorithms swiftly. A team of WACQT researchers have now shown how two-qubit gates can be run simultaneously to create multi-qubit gates, which are more powerful – but still take less time to execute – than the constituent two-qubit gates. ​​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Quantum algorithms may outperform classical ones on important computational tasks in chemistry, optimization, and many other fields. However, to run on current quantum computers, these algorithms must be compiled into long sequences of elementary operations (gates) on one or two qubits. </span><div><br /></div> <div>Since the available quantum hardware still struggles to protect qubits from noise, it is desirable to execute the algorithms as swiftly as possible. In a recent publication, a team of WACQT researchers at Chalmers shows how two-qubit gates on existing quantum hardware can be run simultaneously to create new, powerful multi-qubit gates, which surprisingly take less time to execute than the two-qubit gates from which they are constructed.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“This is not entirely intuitive, but it arises from interference between the simultaneous two-qubit gates,” says Anton Frisk Kockum who led the study.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The team has specifically explored how to create three-qubit gates. The key in their scheme is two-qubit gates that swap excitations between two neighbouring qubits. When the middle qubit in a chain of three qubits simultaneously interacts in that manner with both its neighbours, a pathway is created for swapping states between the two outer qubits, conditioned on the state of the middle qubit. And thus a three-qubit gate is created.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Through extensive numerical simulations, the team has shown that such three-qubit gates can be constructed for multiple quantum computer architectures and that they can be implemented with high reliability in available experimental setups. The results also suggest that additional multi-qubit gates can be discovered using similar constructions with other two-qubit gates. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“This new way of creating multi-qubit gates opens up for re-compiling many quantum algorithms into shorter gate sequences, enhancing the performance of existing quantum computers without needing to upgrade the hardware,” says Frisk Kockum.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read more in the paper <a href="" target="_blank">Fast Multiqubit Gates through Simultaneous Two-Qubit Gates​​​​</a>, published in PRX Quantum.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Ingela Roos</div>Thu, 16 Dec 2021 10:00:00 +0100 research on how to reduce the interference in superconducting components<p><b>​In a newly published article in Science Advances, Chalmers researchers present experiments and models that explain how to reduce the interference from defects in materials for superconducting electronic components. The interference is reduced by exposing the materials to a radio frequency electric field.The new results may in particular play an important role in the production of quantum computers.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Superconducting materials contain defects that generate disturbing noise. Today, no one knows for sure exactly what these defects consist of.</span><div><br /></div> <div>&quot;They are atoms or molecules with electric charge that exist in dielectric * materials, on the surface of metals and insulating materials. There is always a thin oxide that forms on the surface, and the oxide is not completely perfect but has defects in it&quot;, says Jonas Bylander, associate professor at the  Quantum Technology Laboratory at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In the newly published research, Jonas Bylander and his colleagues show how it is possible to reduce the noise in the materials by exposing them to a radio-frequency electric field.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;We discovered that it is the same kind of defects that dominate how well different materials and components work&quot;, says Jonas Bylander. &quot;And we developed a model that explains in detail what is happening.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The researchers discovered that the defects display so-called &quot;motional narrowing&quot; when they are exposed to the radio-frequency electric field, something that has not been previously detected in dielectric materials. Jonas Bylander compares the effect that occurs with that of reduced motion blur in a photograph.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;One can say that these existing defects can have several different positions, and when the background fluctuates, the defects can jump between these positions. But when we make the background fluctuate faster, the defects do not catch up. The result is that the defects appear to be sitting still. Unintuitively, it’s almost the opposite of motion blur.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The newly published research increases the understanding of how materials used to build superconducting circuits work – when reducing the noise, the components perform better.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;We try to build better components from better materials and design the components so that they are not so sensitive to noise, and if we understand the materials better, we will also be able to build better quantum computers.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Robert Karlsson<br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Read the scientific article here</h3> <div><a href="" target="_blank"></a></div> <div>---</div> <div>* A dielectric material is an electrical insulator that can be polarized by an applied electric field.</div>Thu, 21 Oct 2021 15:30:00 +0200 computer project boosted by superstar<p><b>​John Martinis, superstar in quantum computing and former leader of Google's venture in the field, has spent the last month at Chalmers as a guest researcher.“The quantum computing team at Chalmers is doing all the right things and is in a position to make good progress,” he says.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">In 2019, a research team at Google made a big breakthrough: their quantum computer managed to surpass the world's best supercomputers in solving a computational task (read more in <a href="/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Big-breakthrough-for-quantum-computers.aspx" target="_blank">Big breakthrough for quantum computers​</a>).</span><div><br /></div> <div>The chief scientist behind Google's quantum computer, world-famous Professor John Martinis, left Google the following year and returned to his university, University of California, Santa Barbara. However, he spent last month in Gothenburg as a guest researcher in Chalmers’ quantum computing team where Per Delsing and Jonas Bylander lead the engineering of a Swedish quantum computer. The focus has mainly been on the basic building blocks of the quantum computer – the qubits.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Broke new ground</h2> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Although Martinis and his former colleagues at Google broke new ground with their 53-qubit quantum computer, he admits that it did not work quite as well as they wanted. But it was difficult to find out why in the complex system that made up the quantum computer.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/sv/institutioner/mc2/nyheter/PublishingImages/John2_400x400px.jpg" alt="John Martinis" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:200px" />“Today people tend to focus on how many qubits you have. In my opinion, one needs to go back and improve the qubits before scaling up. I’ve been thinking quite deeply on how to make superconducting qubits better, and I wanted to come here because the Chalmers team is doing great work on this,” says John Martinis.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>He does not have his own research group at the moment, but still many ideas about experiments that could be done to better understand the factors that affect the performance of the qubits.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Many of the experiments I wanted to do last year, they already did here. From their data I’ve been able to better understand what’s going on with the materials in the qubits. And I have shared my ideas on how to analyze the data and about further experiments to do.”</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">&quot;Many valuable suggestions&quot;</h2> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Per Delsing describes John Martinis' visit as a shot in the arm:</span></div> <div>“The entire group looks up to him, like a hero. The fact that we all got to spend time with him and his deep interest in what everyone is doing has been like a huge shot. John is extremely skilled and experienced and has given us many valuable suggestions on how to continue our work.”</div> <div>The plan now is to stay in touch, to share results, thoughts and ideas.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“I think that really good things will come out of this,” says John Martinis.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div>Text: Ingela Roos</div> <div>Photo: Kamanasish Debnath</div></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More about Chalmer’s quantum computer project</h2> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US" style="font-size:10.5pt;background-image:initial;background-position:initial;background-size:initial;background-repeat:initial;background-attachment:initial;background-origin:initial;background-clip:initial">The research is part of the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT), a twelve-year, billion-SEK investment with two main purposes: to develop Swedish expertise in quantum technology, and to build a useful quantum computer with at least one hundred quantum bits. The research centre is mainly funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.</span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span lang="EN-GB">Read more:</span></h2> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:7.5pt;line-height:16.5pt;background-image:initial;background-position:initial;background-size:initial;background-repeat:initial;background-attachment:initial;background-origin:initial;background-clip:initial"><span lang="EN-GB"><a href="/en/news/Pages/Engineering-of-a-Swedish-quantum-computer-set-to-start.aspx"><b>Engineering of a Swedish quantum computer set to start</b></a></span><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:10.5pt"> (initial press release from 2017)<br /> </span><span lang="EN-GB"><a href="/en/centres/wacqt/discover/Pages/default.aspx"><b>Discover quantum technology</b></a></span><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:10.5pt"> (introduction to quantum technology)<br /> </span><span lang="EN-GB"><a href="/en/centres/wacqt/discover/Pages/Quantum-computing.aspx"><b>Quantum computing</b></a></span><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:10.5pt"> (introduction to quantum computing)<br /> </span><span lang="EN-GB"><a href="/en/centres/wacqt/Pages/default.aspx"><b>Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT)</b></a></span><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:10.5pt"><br /> </span><span lang="EN-GB"><a href="/en/centres/wacqt/research/Pages/Research-in-quantum-computing-and-simulation.aspx"><b>Research in quantum computing and simulation</b></a></span><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-size:10.5pt"> (about quantum computing research within WACQT) ​</span></p></div> Tue, 07 Sep 2021 16:30:00 +0200 light emitters developed for quantum circuits<p><b>​The promise of a quantum internet depends on the complexities of harnessing light to transmit quantum information over fiber optic networks. A potential step forward was reported today by WACQT researchers working at KTH who developed integrated chips that can generate light particles on demand and without the need for extreme refrigeration.</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/WACQT/Ali%20Elshaari%20kth.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:120px;height:120px" /><span>The new method enables photon emitters to be precisely positioned in integrated optical circuits that resemble copper wires for electricity, except that they carry light instead, says Associate Professor </span>Ali Elshaari<span>.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span>Read more at </span><span style="background-color:initial"><a href=""></a></span></p>Tue, 11 May 2021 08:00:00 +0200 thermometer can accelerate quantum computer development <p><b>Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden, have developed a novel type of thermometer that can simply and quickly measure temperatures during quantum calculations with extremely high accuracy. The breakthrough provides a benchmarking tool for quantum computing of great value – and opens up for experiments in the exciting field of quantum thermodynamics.​​​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">A key component in quantum computers are coaxial cables and waveguides – structures which guide waveforms, and act as the vital connection between the quantum processor, and the classical electronics which control it. Microwave pulses travel along the waveguides to the quantum processor, and are cooled down to extremely low temperatures along the way. The waveguide also attenuates and filters the pulses, enabling the extremely sensitive quantum computer to work with stable quantum states.  </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>In order to have maximum control over this mechanism, the researchers need to be sure that these waveguides are not carrying noise due to thermal motion of electrons on top of the pulses that they send. In other words, they have to measure the temperature of the electromagnetic fields at the cold end of the microwave waveguides, the point where the controlling pulses are delivered to the computer’s qubits. Working at the lowest possible temperature minimises the risk of introducing errors in the qubits.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Until now, researchers have only been able to measure this temperature indirectly, with relatively large delay. Now, with the Chalmers researchers' novel thermometer, very low temperatures can be measured directly at the receiving end of the waveguide – very accurately and with extremely high time resolution.</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20210101-20210631/Simone%20Gasparinetti%20(1).jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px 10px;width:180px;height:157px" /><br />&quot;Our thermometer is a superconducting circuit, directly connected to the end of the waveguide being measured. It is relatively simple – and probably the world's fastest and most sensitive thermometer for this particular purpose at the millikelvin scale,&quot; says Simone Gasparinetti, Assistant Professor at the Quantum Technology Laboratory, Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span style="font-family:inherit;background-color:initial"><br />Im</span><span style="font-family:inherit;background-color:initial">portant for measuring quantum computer performance</span><br /></h2> <div>The researchers at the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology, WACQT, have the goal to build a quantum computer – based on superconducting circuits – with at least 100 well-functioning qubits, performing correct calculations by 2030. It requires a processor working temperature close to absolute zero, ideally down to 10 millikelvin. The new thermometer gives the researchers an important tool for measuring how good their systems are and what shortcomings exist – a necessary step to be able to refine the technology and achieve their goal.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20210101-20210631/PerDelsing_171101_02%20(1).jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px 10px;width:180px;height:157px" />&quot;A certain temperature corresponds to a given number of thermal photons, and that number decreases exponentially with temperature. If we succeed in lowering the temperature at the end where the waveguide meets the qubit to 10 millikelvin, the risk of errors in our qubits is reduced drastically,&quot; says Per Delsing, Professor at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience, Chalmers University of Technology, and leader of WACQT.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Accurate temperature measurement is also necessary for suppliers who need to be able to guarantee the quality of their components, for example cables that are used to handle signals down to quantum states.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">New opportunities in the field of quantum thermodynamics</h2> <div>Quantum mechanical phenomena such as superposition, entanglement and decoherence mean a revolution not only for future computing but potentially also in thermodynamics. It may well be that the thermodynamic laws somehow change when working down at the nanoscale, in a way that could one day be exploited to produce more powerful engines, faster-charging batteries, and more.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;For 15-20 years, people have studied how the laws of thermodynamics might be modified by quantum phenomena, but the search for a genuine quantum advantage in thermodynamics is still open,&quot; says Simone Gasparinetti, who recently started his own research group and plans to contribute to this search with a novel range of experiments.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The new thermometer can, for example, measure the scattering of thermal microwaves from a circuit acting as a quantum heat engine or refrigerator.</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20210101-20210631/Marco%20Scigliuzzo%20(2).jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px 10px;width:180px;height:157px" /><br />&quot;Standard thermometers were fundamental for developing classical thermodynamics. We hope that maybe, in the future, our thermometer will be regarded as pivotal for developing quantum thermodynamics,&quot; says Marco Scigliuzzo, doctoral student at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience, Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Read more in the scientific article in Physical Review X:</strong></div> <div><a href="">Primary Thermometry of Propagating Microwaves in the Quantum Regime</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>More about: How the primary thermometer works</strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The </span><span style="background-color:initial">novel thermometer concept relies on the interplay between coherent and incoherent scattering from a quantum emitter driven at resonance. The emitter is strongly coupled to the end of the waveguide being tested. Thermal photons in the waveguide lead to a measurable drop in the coherently scattered signal, which is recorded continuously. In this way, the number of photons in the propagating mode of the microwave waveguides can be read – this corresponds to a temperature. The Chalmers researchers’ implementation, which uses a superconducting circuit operated at gigahertz frequencies, offers simplicity, large bandwidth, high sensitivity, and negligible power dissipation.<br /></span><span style="background-color:initial"><br /><b>More about: The Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology</b></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><div><a href="/en/centres/wacqt/Pages/default.aspx">The Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology​</a>, WACQT​, is a 12 year research center that aims to take Sweden to the forefront of quantum technology. The main project is to develop an advanced quantum computer. WACQT is coordinated from Chalmers University of Technology, and has activities also at the Royal Institute of Technology, Lund University, Stockholm University, Linköping University and Göteborg University. </div></span></div> Tue, 23 Mar 2021 07:00:00 +0100 L’Huillier wins the Max Born Award<p><b>The Optical Society, OSA, awards WACQT principal investigator, professor Anne l’Huillier, the Max Born Award for pioneering work in ultrafast laser science and attosecond physics.​</b></p>​Anne L’Huillier, principle investigator in WACQT and professor of Atomic Physics , has been awarded the Optical Society Max Born Award 2021 “for pioneering work in ultrafast laser science and attosecond physics, realizing and understanding high harmonic generation and applying it to time-resolved imaging of electron motion in atoms and molecules.”<br /><div><span style="background-color:initial">Read more on </span><span style="background-color:initial"><a href=""></a></span></div>Tue, 16 Mar 2021 09:00:00 +0100's quantum computer project shifts up a gear<p><b>​Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation is almost doubling the annual budget of the research initiative Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology, based at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. This will allow the centre to shift up a gear and set even higher goals – especially in its development of a quantum computer. Two international workshops will kick-start this new phase. ​​​​​​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">”Quantum technology has enormous potential and it is important that Sweden has the necessary skills in the area. During the short time since the center was founded, WACQT has built up a qualified research environment, established collaborations with Swedish industry and succeeded in developing qubits with proven problem-solving ability. We can look ahead with great confidence at what they will go on to achieve,” says Peter Wallenberg Jr, Chair Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.<br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Since 2018, Chalmers University of Technology has been managing a large, forward-thinking research initiative – the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT) – setting Sweden on course to global prominence in quantum technology. The main project is to develop and build a quantum computer, offering far greater computing power than today's best supercomputers.</span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>During the first three years, the quantum computer researchers within WACQT have focused first on making the basic building blocks of the quantum computer – the qubits – work as well as possible, at small scale. A milestone was reached in 2020, when they managed to solve a small part of a real-world optimisation problem with their well-functioning two-qubit quantum computer.</div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Increases the quality of the hundred qubits​</h2></div> <div>Now comes the time to significantly scale up the number of qubits, and increase the efforts on developing software and algorithms. At the same time, the entire research initiative is being scaled up, with <a href="">Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, KAW</a>, deciding to almost double WACQT's annual budget, from SEK 45 to 80 million per year for the coming four years. The investment has previously also been extended from its original ten years to twelve, and has now a total funding of at least SEK 1.3 billion including contributions from industry and the participating universities.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20210101-20210631/PerDelsing_171101_02%20(1).jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:175px;height:152px" /> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“It is very encouraging that KAW shows such great confidence in us. It strengthens WACQT’s research programme and gives us the opportunity to build an even better quantum computer. In terms of the number of qubits, the goal is still one hundred, but now we are aiming at one hundred really high-performance qubits,” says Per Delsing, director of WACQT and Professor at Chalmers.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Calculations have shown that the performance of the final quantum computer will benefit more from increasing the quality of the individual qubits, rather than the total number of qubits. The better their quality , the more useful the final quantum computer.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>With the increased funding, WACQT will, among other things, invest in improving the materials in the superconducting chips that constitute the qubits. Quantum states are extremely sensitive, and the slightest disturbance in the materials can impair performance. The qubits manufactured at Chalmers are already among the best in the world, so improving them entails moving the entire research field into new territory. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“These disturbances are extremely small. It requires research just to understand what they are and which are most common. We need to study the entire manufacturing process in detail and explore new ways to eliminate disturbances in the material,” Delsing explains.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Will employ another 40 researchers​</h2> <div>With the increased funding, the number of researchers working in the quantum computer project can now be significantly increased. For example, a new team will be formed to study nanophotonic devices that can enable the interconnection of several smaller quantum processors into a large quantum computer. Within the next two years, the research force will be expanded by 40 people, almost double the current amount. In a first step, fifteen new postdocs will be recruited.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“This is an ambitious recruitment in a highly competitive niche area. But our hopes are high – through previous recruitments we have attracted top talents both from Sweden and internationally. We have a unique interaction with the industry, extensive experience of superconducting circuits and an amazing clean room facility,” says Delsing.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>To mark the quantum computer project’s new, next-level development, WACQT is organising two international workshops: one on quantum software and optimisation (8–9 April), and the second on enabling technology and algorithms for quantum computing (13–14 April). Anyone curious to hear about the state of the art in quantum computing can follow the workshops online.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“These are very exciting times in quantum computing. New steps are being taken all the time and the competition is rapidly increasing, with many countries making major investments. This investment will ensure that Sweden and Chalmers remain at the global forefront,” Delsing says.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Read more:</strong></div> <div><p class="chalmersElement-P"><span><span><a href="/en/centres/wacqt/calendar/Pages/ttp-qs.aspx" target="_blank">Quantum Software and Optimisation online workshop 8-9 April​</a><br /></span></span><a href="/en/centres/wacqt/calendar/Pages/ws%20enabling%20technology.aspx" target="_blank">Workshop on Enabling Technology and Algorithms for Quantum Computing 13-14 April</a><br /><a href="" target="_blank">Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT)</a><br /><a href="/en/news/Pages/Engineering-of-a-Swedish-quantum-computer-set-to-start.aspx" target="_blank">Engineering of a Swedish quantum computer set to start</a><span style="background-color:initial"> (initial press release from 2017)<br /></span><a href="/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Tiny-quantum-computer-solves-real-optimisation-problem.aspx" target="_blank">Tiny quantum computer solves real optimisation problem</a><span style="background-color:initial"> (press release from 2020)​</span></p></div> <div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><strong>More about: The Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/centres/wacqt/Pages/default.aspx">The Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology, WACQT​</a>, is a 12 year research center that aims to take Sweden to the forefront of quantum technology. The main project is to develop an advanced quantum computer. WACQT is coordinated from Chalmers University of Technology, and has activities also at the Royal Institute of Technology, Lund University, Stockholm University, Linköping University and Göteborg University.</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>For more information, please contact:</strong></div> <div>Per Delsing, Director of Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, <a href="">​</a>, +46-70-308 83 17</div> <div>​<br /></div> ​Mon, 15 Mar 2021 10:00:00 +0100 physicist elected member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences<p><b>Göran Johansson, professor at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience, has been elected member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He thus becomes the seventh Chalmers professor in the class of physics, and the third from our department. </b></p>​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/Göran%20Johansson%20600_900.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:375px" /><span style="background-color:initial">G</span><span style="background-color:initial">öran</span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"> Johansson is head of Applied Quantum Physics Laboratory and was elected at the Academy's meeting on 13 January as a member of the Class for physics.</span><div><br /></div> <div>&quot;I feel honored and actually I’m a bit shocked. I hope that I will be able to contribute with my expertise in quantum technology and my curiosity in other research areas. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is a heavy referral body in the Swedish research community and, among other things, does a very important work with the Nobel Prizes.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>According to the website, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is an independent organisation that aims to promote the sciences and strengthen their influence in society. The Academy also rewards outstanding research achievements through numerous prizes – the most famous are, of course, the Nobel Prizes in Chemistry and Physics. Being elected as a member of the Academy is seen as an exclusive recognition for efforts in research.</div> <div> </div> <div>An overall goal of Göran's research is to understand how quantum physics works in nature and how to take advantage of quantum physical effects in practical applications. Among other things, he studies the dynamic Casimir effect, which describes how photons are created out of vacuum when a mirror accelerates and moves close to the speed of light.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>A more applied question is how to best build a quantum computer. The Quantum bit, the smallest information carrier in a quantum computer, can have both the value 0 and 1 at the same time and can therefore provide a computational capacity much larger than today's fastest supercomputers. For example, a quantum computer could study complex molecular structures in medical research and provide new drugs. It could also give us completely new opportunities to see structures in large data sets in order to find better solutions to difficult optimization problems, such as traffic planning.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><a href="" style="background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255)"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a>Read more about the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on <a href="">the Academy's website</a>. </div> <div><a href="" style="background-color:rgb(255, 255, 255)"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a>Read more about Göran in the article  <a href="/en/centres/gpc/news/Pages/Goran-wants-to-build-Swedens-first-quantum-computer.aspx">&quot;Göran wants to build Sweden's first quantum computer&quot;​</a></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Susannah Carlsson<br />Photo: Kerstin Jönsson</div> <div><div></div> <div><br /></div> </div>Wed, 20 Jan 2021 17:00:00 +0100 quantum computer solves real optimisation problem<p><b>Quantum computers have already managed to surpass ordinary computers in solving certain tasks – unfortunately, totally useless ones. The next milestone is to get them to do useful things. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have now shown that they can solve a small part of a real logistics problem with their small, but well-functioning quantum computer.​</b></p><div><div><span style="font-size:14px">Interest in building quantum computers has gained considerable momentum in recent years, and feverish work is underway in many parts of the world. In 2019, Google's research team made a major breakthrough when their quantum computer managed to solve a task far more quickly than the world's best supercomputer. The downside is that the solved task had no practical use whatsoever – it was chosen because it was judged to be easy to solve for a quantum computer, yet very difficult for a conventional computer.<br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">T</span><span style="background-color:initial">herefore, an important task is now to find useful, relevant problems that are beyond the reach of ordinary computers, but which a relatively small quantum computer could </span><span style="background-color:initial">solve.</span><br /></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/WACQT/PIs/GiuliaFerrini_180109_02%20kvadrat.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Giulia Ferrini" style="margin:5px;width:180px;height:180px" />“We want to be sure that the quantum com​puter we are developing can help solve relevant problems early on. Therefore, we work in close collaboration with industrial companies”, says theoretical physicist Giulia Ferrini, one of the leaders of Chalmers University of Technology’s quantum computer project, which began in 2018.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">Together with Göran Johansson, Giulia Ferrini led the theoretical work when a team of researchers at Chalmers, including an industrial doctoral student from the aviation logistics company Jeppesen, recently showed that a quantum computer can solve an instance of a real problem in the aviation industry.</span></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>The algorithm proven on two qubits</span></h2> <div><span style="font-size:14px">All airlines are faced with scheduling problems. For example, assigning individual aircraft to different routes represents an optimisation problem, one that grows very rapidly in size and complexity as the number of routes and aircraft increases.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">Researchers hope that quantum computers will eventually be better at handling such problems than today's computers. The basic building block of the quantum computer – the qubit – is based on completely different principles than the building blocks of today's computers, allowing them to handle enormous amounts of information with relatively few qubits. </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">However, due to their different structure and function, quantum computers must be programmed in other ways than conventional computers. One proposed algorithm that is believed to be useful on early quantum computers is the so-called Quantum Approximate Optimization Algorithm (QAOA).</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">The Chalmers research team has now successfully executed said algorithm on their quantum computer – a processor with two qubits – and they showed that it can successfully solve the problem of assigning aircraft to routes. In this first demonstration, the result could be easily verified as the scale was very small – it involved only two airplanes.</span></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Potential to handle many aircraft</span></h2> <div><span style="font-size:14px">With this feat, the researchers were first to show that the QAOA algorithm can solve the problem of assigning aircraft to routes in practice. They also managed to run the algorithm one level further than anyone before, an achievement that requires very good hardware and accurate control.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/WACQT/PIs/JonasBylander_171101_kvadrat.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Jonas Bylander" style="margin:5px;width:180px;height:180px" /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">​“We have shown that we have the ability to map relevant problems onto our quantum processor. We still have a small number of qubits, but they work well. Our plan has been to first make everything work very well on a small scale, before scaling up,” says Jonas Bylander, senior researcher responsible for the experimental design, and one of the leaders of the project of building a quantum computer at Chalmers. </span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">The theorists in the research team also simulated solving the same optimisation problem for up to 278 aircraft, which would require a quantum computer with 25 qubits.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">“The results remained good as we scaled up. This suggests that the QAOA algorithm has the potential to solve this type of problem at even larger scales,” says Giulia Ferrini.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px">Surpassing today’s best computers would, however, require much larger devices. The researchers at Chalmers have now begun scaling up and are currently working with five quantum bits. The plan is to reach at least 20 qubits by 2021 while maintaining the high quality. </span></div></div> <div><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></div> <strong>Text:</strong> Ingela Roos<br /><strong>Portrait pictures: </strong>Johan Bodell<br /><p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">The research results have been published in two articles in <em>Physical Review Applied</em>:</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="sv"><span lang="EN-GB"><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Improved Success Probability with Greater Circuit Depth for the Quantum Approximate Optimization Algorithm</a><br /></span></span><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /><span lang="EN-GB">Applying the Quantum Approximate Optimization Algorithm to the Tail-Assignment Problem</span></a><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>More about: The Swedish quest for a quantum computer</span></h2> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:14px">The research is part of the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT), a twelve-year, billion-dollar investment with two main purposes: to develop Swedish expertise in quantum technology, and to build a useful quantum computer with at least one hundred quantum bits. The research centre is mainly funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.</span><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span lang="EN-GB">Read more:</span></h2> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="sv"><a href="/en/news/Pages/Engineering-of-a-Swedish-quantum-computer-set-to-start.aspx"><span lang="EN-GB">Engineering of a Swedish quantum computer set to start</span></a></span><span lang="EN-GB"> (initial press release from 2017)</span><span lang="EN-GB"><br /></span><span lang="sv" style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/centres/wacqt/discover/Pages/default.aspx"><span lang="EN-GB">Discover quantum technology</span></a></span><span lang="EN-GB" style="background-color:initial"> (introduction to quantum technology)<br /></span><span lang="sv" style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/centres/wacqt/discover/Pages/Quantum-computing.aspx"><span lang="EN-GB">Quantum computing</span></a></span><span lang="EN-GB" style="background-color:initial"> (introduction to quantum computing)<br /></span><span lang="EN-GB"><a href="/en/centres/wacqt/Pages/default.aspx">Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT)</a><br /></span><span lang="sv" style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/centres/wacqt/research/Pages/Research-in-quantum-computing-and-simulation.aspx"><span lang="EN-GB">Research in quantum computing and simulation</span></a></span><span lang="EN-GB" style="background-color:initial"> (about quantum computing research within WACQT)</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span lang="EN-GB">For more information, please contact:</span></h2> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="background-color:initial;font-size:14px">Giulia Ferrini, Assistant Professor in Applied Quantum Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, <a href=""></a>, +46 31 772 6417<br />Jonas Bylander, Associate Professor in Quantum Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, <a href="">​</a>, +46 31 772 5132</span><span style="background-color:initial">​​​</span>​ ​</p>Thu, 17 Dec 2020 09:00:00 +0100 Delsing: It is easier to rule an electron than raise four daughters<p><b>​A doctorate in 1990, Assistant Professor in 1991, Senior Lecturer in 1994, Professor in 1997, all by the age of 37. Per Delsing’s academic journey has moved swiftly. Now he’s heading up the billion SEK project the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT), the aim of which is to build a functioning quantum computer within twelve years. “I have worked on fundamental research for a great many years, but it’s actually only now with WACQT that applications are starting to come from it, and that industry is interested”, he says. </b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">Like many others, Delsing works mainly from home in these times. He receives me at his home in Landvetter. We sit down in front of the stove, which is not currently lit – it is the height of summer after all.</span><br /></div> <div>“I usually sit here in front of the fire in my favourite armchair when I’m reading and writing, when I’m working at home or have some free time and am taking it easy,” he says about the place he has chosen for our meeting. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Per lives here with his wife Désirée, a language teacher. His four daughters have moved out and in the past few years Per and Désirée have had the pleasure of becoming grandparents to three grandchildren.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>There is a quotation hanging in his office at Chalmers from the former US president Lyndon B Johnson: “It is easier to rule a nation than raise two daughters”.</div> <div>“I can certainly sign up to that! But I’ve changed the quotation from two to four daughters and replaced “nation” by “electron”. So on my wall it states “It is easier to rule an electron than raise four daughters”. Over time I’ve added “photon” and “phonon” too, he laughs.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/pdelsing_300x450__artikelbild.jpg" alt="Picture of Per Delsing." class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />He is Professor of Experimental Physics and Head of the Quantum Technology Laboratory (QT) at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience, MC2, at Chalmers. His research area is quantum physics with nanocomponents. <span style="background-color:initial">It started with single-electron tunnelling.</span></div> <div>“This research area has developed but still has many ‘golden threads’. As a doctoral student I worked on individual electrons. Early on things didn’t go well. I persevered for four years without getting anything to work and was almost ready to give up. But when we changed the material from tin and lead to aluminium, everything worked properly. The measuring equipment and everything else had already been prepared so a great many results came all at once. It was a ‘ketchup effect’!”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Per took a framed photograph of his father along with him to the photo shoot in Henrik Sandsjö’s studio at Röda Sten. Tore Delsing passed away in 2001 and was the person who opened Per’s eyes to technology and the natural sciences.</div> <div>“Dad was a timber logger until one of his fingers was sawn off in an accident and he received an insurance payout as a result. Thanks to that, he was able to study and become an engineer at Stockholm Technical Institute in Stockholm. It was in the 1940s and 1950s and studying wasn’t all that common at the time,” he says.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>We backtrack a few decades. Västerbotten. Way up in the countryside. A different Sweden. The firstborn son became a big brother when Per Delsing and his twin brother were born at the hospital in Umeå on 14 August 1959. </div> <div>“But I’ve actually never lived in Umeå. When Dad came and picked us up from the maternity ward, he took us to a new apartment in Lycksele. And after two and half years we moved to Malmö where I grew up,” he explains.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>As a qualified engineer Tore got a job at the hydroelectric power station on the banks of the Norrland rivers. After a couple of years he gained employment at the construction company Armerad Betong (later NCC) in Malmö and took his family there. They lived in the Kronprinsen district which had long housed Malmö’s highest building.</div> <div>“Yes, we had quite a long journey, but we maintained contact with our home district and spent four weeks there every summer in our holiday home, 1,500 km north. You couldn’t just nip back over a weekend,” he smiles.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>When he was five the furniture van was on the go again. The family then settled down in a residential district near Bulltofta airport. Mum Ann-Marie stayed at home when the children were small, but she was a trained tailor and gradually started working as a needlework teacher. She passed away a few years ago.</div> <div><strong>How would you describe your childhood?</strong></div> <div>“I was a bit of a street fighter when I was small. And I was interested in sport, and was involved in football and swimming. Competitive swimming too for a while,” explains Per.</div> <div>It was Dad Tore who inspired Per and his two brothers to understand that knowledge was both important and fun.  </div> <div>“Before we went to bed in the evening when we were small, he would come in to us and we’d have a quiz. All three of us thought this was great fun. It was important to take that with you into school. I remember us watching the moon landing together. I was nine years’ old. It was one of those moments, when I knew that ‘wow, I want to work on that’!” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>At secondary school Per created a chemistry box which he supplemented with ‘more advanced things’, as he expresses it with a smile. He used these to carry out various chemical experiments.</div> <div>“It was like having your own chemistry lab out in the garage. I produced gunpowder, did distillations and things like that.”</div> <div><strong>Did the garage survive?</strong></div> <div>“Yes,” laughs Per.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Per and his brother, who was two years’ older, followed one another. Both studied engineering physics at the Lund University Faculty of Engineering, and his brother even became a student guidance counsellor.</div> <div>“Two years into the course he came to me and told me about an exchange with ETH in Zürich. He said: ‘Nobody has applied, wouldn’t this be something for you?’” Per explains. </div> <div>He spontaneously answered no, he was enjoying it so much in Lund, but after a while he changed his mind and submitted an application after all. This was how Per Delsing ended up moving to Zürich after almost three years in Lund, and spent the rest of his engineering studies there.</div> <div>“I have never regretted it. ETH is a really good university.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Per’s realisation that he wanted to pursue research came early on, and after the years in Zürich he wanted to continue and take a PhD. So in 1984 he sat down and wrote three letters, one to Helsingfors, one to Copenhagen and one to Tord Claeson at Chalmers. They were the three universities where research was being undertaken into superconductivity at the time.</div> <div>“Tord called me as soon as he got the letter and thought I should come and meet him. I didn’t get much of a response from the others. I was offered a PhD student position at Chalmers.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>During his period of study in Lund, Per had met his future life partner Désirée. In 1984 Per moved to Gothenburg. Désirée followed one year later, and in 1987 the arrival of twins expanded the family.</div> <div>“Désirée actually grew up in the Kronprinsen district in Malmö where I also lived from the age of two and a half until I was five. Without knowing it, we had lived on the same estate!”</div> <div>Delsing publicly defended his doctoral thesis in 1990 with a thesis on ‘Single electron tunnelling in ultrasmall tunnel junctions’. Shortly afterwards he obtained a position as an assistant professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Gothenburg. Per stayed there for seven years before he applied to go back to Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In 2017 it was twenty years since he had become a professor of experimental physics at Chalmers, ‘specialising in tunnelling and single electronics’ as it was described at the time.</div> <div>Over the years many prizes, appointments and research grants have been bestowed upon Delsing: Wallenberg Scholar, the Swedish Research Council’s Distinguished Professor grant, the Göran Gustafsson Prize and the Gustaf Dalén Medal to name but a few. </div> <div>He is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA), as well as the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (KVA) and the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg (KVVS). Between 2007 and 2015 he was a member of the Nobel Committee for Physics. In 2014 he was also chair of the committee with all that it entails.</div> <div>“I am of course highly delighted with all these honours. But being elected to the Nobel Committee still stands out. It was a really great job, one that I’m really proud of and pleased with.</div> <div>A lot of the work on the committee is confidential, but Per explains that he was involved in and presented three Nobel prizes for Physics: Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene” (2010), David Wineland and Serge Haroche “for groundbreaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems” (2012) and Isamu Akasaki, Haroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources” (2014).</div> <div>“The committee normally consists of eight people who are experts in different areas so that the committee covers the entire field of physics. It is a considerable amount of work that has to be divided up between the members. As chair you also present the prize at the award ceremony,” Per explains.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>As a Distinguished Professor at the VR Per Delsing has been awarded ten years’ research funding up until 2025.</div> <div>“It is extremely important that you have the courage to pursue difficult subjects that may not work at all, and that wouldn’t be possible with three years’ funding.”</div> <div>Being awarded an ERC Advanced Grant from the European Research Council against fierce competition also meant a lot:</div> <div>“It was a major grant which was also international recognition.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Wallenberg-funded quantum computer investment WACQT is, of course, one of those things that Delsing is most proud about. Chalmers had the honour of hosting the centre. WACQT has two missions: to raise the level of expertise in quantum technology and to build a quantum computer. The team are working in parallel on both assignments. Since its inception in 2018, a lot has happened:</div> <div>“I would like to emphasise that there are a lot of us working in the centre in different roles. We have put a great deal of effort into building up the operation. We have now employed 58 people and have entered a different phase. We have established a structure for our way of working and have got industry on board in various collaborations. It feels really good, I definitely think that progress is being made,” explains Per.</div> <div>“I have worked on fundamental research for a great many years, but it’s actually only now with WACQT that applications are starting to come from it, and that industry is interested. After having worked on research which is of more academic interest, it’s really great that it’s actually turning into something that is of interest to industry and the general public.”</div> <div>He also thinks that the construction of a quantum computer is going well:</div> <div>“We can run certain algorithms on small processors now. It’s looking good, and we have been able to proceed with building larger processors.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Per seems to divide his time between many different activities. Apart from being a head of division and head of the WACQT unit, he supervises eight doctoral students.</div> <div><strong>How do you manage everything?</strong></div> <div>“The simple truth is that I don’t. Nor can you run as fast when you are 60 as you did when you were 40. I’m trying to get rid of some assignments. For instance, I’m not taking on any more doctoral students.”</div> <div><strong>What do you enjoy most?</strong></div> <div>“There’s a lot that is enjoyable. I think it’s extremely enjoyable to work with really intelligent people who you can have high-level discussions with. But those eureka moments when you realise that ‘that’s how it must be’ or that we’ve found what we had sought for two years is also a wonderful feeling.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>At some points in his career Per has been involved in groundbreaking scientific breakthroughs. The first one came during his time as a doctoral student.</div> <div>“I discovered single electron tunnelling oscillations. There were many others who tried to observe it, but I succeeding in being the first to do so in 1989,” he explains.</div> <div>In collaboration with Yale, an experiment was carried out in which they successfully developed an ultra-fast single electron transistor. </div> <div>“We built the circuit at Chalmers and then one of my doctoral students went to Yale and carried out the experiment. It was a very important step. A great deal of my research over the next ten years was based on this transistor. We performed many interesting experiments on it, which were also published in Science and Nature.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>A research breakthrough that attracted a great deal of attention was what is popularly called creating light out of a vacuum: the Dynamical Casimir Effect.</div> <div>“It was an important discovery that we were the first to achieve at Chalmers,” says Per.</div> <div>The results, which were published in Nature, were called a ‘milestone for which researchers have waited 40 years’, and it was ranked as the fifth greatest scientific breakthrough in the world in 2011 by the journal Physics World.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Three years later Delsing’s experimental research team succeeded, in collaboration with his colleague Göran Johansson’s theoretical group, in capturing sound from an atom, and showing that this sound can communicate with an artificial atom. This made it possible to demonstrate a quantum phenomenon with sound instead of light. A door that was previously closed to the world of quantum physics now opened.</div> <div>“We could place quantum dots (artificial atoms) on a piezoelectric substrate so that it was possible to connect the atom to sound instead of light. The results were published in Science, they have been well cited and have gained many followers. There are a lot of research groups working in that direction now,” he says.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>How does it feel to make such a discovery? Delsing describes it as having the hairs stand up on your arms once the realisation sinks in. Like managing to do a high jump or scoring a goal from a penalty kick in football.</div> <div>“Sometimes you’re looking for something special that you either find or don’t find, but if you see it, it’s quite obvious. I remember how, as a doctoral student, late one July evening I was standing looking at a curve that was being generated on an xy printer, as it was at the time. I knew that the curve should have a little peak, and suddenly saw the printer’s stylus start to go up and then down again. ”Wow, a peak”, I thought. Within a few seconds I realised that I’d got something there.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Other times researchers stumble over something quite different from what they were looking for.</div> <div>“It can take quite a while for you to understand what it was that happened and how it took place. Sometimes you find something that you didn’t expect and that’s almost more exciting.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Michael Nystås</div> <div>Photo: Henrik Sandsjö</div> <div>Photo of Per in his armchair: Michael Nystås</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Chalmers-scientists-create-light-from-vacuum.aspx">Read more about creating light from a vacuum</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;<span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/news/Pages/The-sound-of-an-atom-has-been-captured.aspx">Read more about capturing sound from an atom​</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;<span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><div><strong>Read a recent interview with Per Delsing by writer Ingela Roos &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong></div> <div><a href=""></a></div></span></div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">MORE ABOUT PER</h3> <div><strong>Born:</strong> In Umeå on 14 August 1959.</div> <div><strong>Lives:</strong> In a house in Landvetter.</div> <div><strong>Family:</strong> Married to Désirée, a language teacher. Four grown-up daughters and three grandchildren, who are three months, six months and two years’ old (in June 2020). “It all goes so fast”.</div> <div><strong>Job: </strong>Professor of Experimental Physics at Chalmers.</div> <div><strong>Leisure interests: </strong>Tennis, skiing and swimming. Very interested in humanity and evolution. “A scientific sideline.”</div> <div><strong>Listening and reading:</strong> “Mostly non-fiction, but I’ve read most of the books written by Henning Mankell and Jan Guillou. I don’t listen to as much music as I used to, I appreciate silence more. In Zürich I could play loud music and study at the same time. I can’t do that any more. I need silence around me when I have to try and understand something. My old favourites are Genesis, Supertramp and Elton John. My taste in music has stagnated over the years.” </div> <div><strong>Favourite place for inspiration:</strong> “My mother-in-law was born on Käringön island and we have a small holiday home there. We spend most summers on the island. I find inspiration from going out into the hills.”</div> <div><strong>Most proud about:</strong> “Apart from my children? In the scientific field, I’m most proud of having been elected to the Nobel committee. You are appointed to it because you are considered to really understand physics. It was recognition. It’s not just an appointment but it’s also highly stimulating work.”</div> <div><strong>Motivation:</strong> “An inquisitive desire to understand the natural world. On the one hand to understand why something happens in the natural world and on the other to be able to turn it round and use it in some way.”</div> <div><strong>First memory of engineering:</strong> “The moon landing.”</div> <div><strong>First memory of physics:</strong> “When I learnt what superconductivity was. For once my Dad couldn’t answer the question, but I had to find it out for myself. It was then I realised that I thought it was a really interesting and exciting subject.”</div> <div><strong>Best thing about being a researcher:</strong> “Being able to work on something that is so interesting and that you are passionate about, together with incredibly talented doctoral students and colleagues. To be entrusted with the task of developing knowledge during working hours.”</div> <div><strong>Challenges of the job: </strong>“Managing to do everything you would like to do.”</div> <div><strong>Dream for the future:</strong> “A great many of my dreams have been fulfilled. Of course, I had a dream of becoming a professor. I have also been able to achieve many of the discoveries I dreamt about. I dreamt of having grandchildren.”</div> <div><strong>Hidden talent:</strong> “I think I’m quite handy. I do quite a lot of practical work at home: carpentry, laying floors, electrical work.”</div>Wed, 25 Nov 2020 09:00:00 +0100