The aim of the focus project is to develop and build a quantum computer, based on superconducting circuits, with much greater computing power than the best supercomputers of today. In order to maintain an extremely high level of expertise throughout this challenging project, the development work will mainly be in the hands of specialist researchers with permanent appointments. Doctoral students and postdocs involved in the excellence initiatives on quantum computers and quantum simulators will contribute by studying specific issues of relevance to the construction of a quantum computer.
The project is located at Chalmers where the right expertise and necessary infrastructure in the form of an advanced clean room and cryotechnology are available. The focus project’s principal investigators have worked on superconducting qubits for many years and have made many contributions to expand knowledge in the field. They were among the first in the world to create a superconducting qubit, and have explored a completely new area of physics through wide-ranging experiments on single qubits. One of the cornerstones of the successes is the unusually strong cooperation between experimentalists and theoreticians.
The first milestone for the quantum computer project is to build two interlinked blocks each containing ten qubits within four years. This will make it possible to demonstrate basic quantum simulations of small systems, such as a small molecule.
The final goal is to develop a 100-qubit quantum computer within ten years (the current world record is 16 qubits). Such a quantum computer should be capable of performing calculations which surpass those of a normal computer. For example, it will be possible to use the quantum computer to improve machine learning and to calculate the characteristics of larger molecules, thus assisting the more efficient design of medicines and materials.
Quantum physics conflicts with ordinary human intuition, and the quantum computer will certainly have many more applications than we can imagine today. Part of the project therefore also involves further research into the best uses of a quantum computer. The various areas of applications will be developed in cooperation with the research programme’s industrial partners.
The experimental parts are headed up by Professor Per Delsing and Associate Professor Jonas Bylander in the Quantum Technology Laboratory, Chalmers. The theoretical work is led by Professor Göran Johansson at the division of Applied Quantum Physics, Chalmers. Professor Göran Wendin, Applied Quantum Physics, Chalmers, is the senior adviser.