Quantum Information Systems

Computers built on the principles of quantum physics promise a revolution of the same order as the invention of the microprocessor or the splitting of the atom. The vast increase in compute power that quantum computing could provide, if harnessed, could revolutionize fields as disparate as medicine, space exploration, artificial intelligence and high-energy physics. It could solve problems in a matter of minutes that may take centuries to solve using traditional computers.

Fermilab has many of the key competencies needed to do quantum computing R&D including our expertise with algorithms, simulation, workflows and networking.

Current activities:

  • We are partnering with the California Institute of Technology and AT&T to develop a prototype quantum information network at Fermilab. The project, a quantum internet demonstration of sorts, is called INQNET (INtelligent Quantum NEtworks and Technologies).
  • We wrote a proposal with Oak Ridge National lab that will attempt to translate partial differential equation (PDE) solvers, useful in many different kinds of scientific computing problems, to a quantum mechanical system. This should provide dramatic increases in speed.
  • We are jointly submitting an Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) research proposal with Google to develop a co-design center. The co-design concept has been employed extensively and successfully by the embedded computing community and has been used for the evolution of extreme-scale computing architectures. Applying this concept toward the development of quantum computing systems could help develop more effective systems and applications and expand the user community.
  • We are collaborating with Caltech and the University of Southern California in which we are testing the power of a D-Wave quantum computer for building particle physics classifiers– algorithms that can quickly identify certain kinds of physics processes.