Institute for Quantum Computing
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada|
|Affiliation||University of Waterloo|
The Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) is an affiliate scientific research institute of the University of Waterloo in located in Waterloo, Ontario with a multidisciplinary approach to the field of quantum information processing. IQC was founded in 2002 primarily through a donation made by Mike Lazaridis and his wife Ophelia whose substantial donations have continued over the years. The institute is now located in the Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre and the Research Advancement Centre at the University of Waterloo.
It is led by founder and physicist, Raymond Laflamme with researchers based in 6 departments across 3 faculties at the University of Waterloo. In addition to theoretical and experimental research on quantum computing, IQC also hosts academic conferences and workshops, short courses for undergraduate and high school students, and scientific outreach events including open houses and tours for the public.
- 1 Mission
- 2 History
- 3 Research
- 4 Scientific outreach
- 5 Facilities
- 6 People
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The IQC seeks to harness quantum mechanics to develop transformational technologies that will benefit society and become a new engine of economic development in the 21st century. It aims to develop and advance quantum information science and technology at the highest international level through the collaboration of computer scientists, engineers, mathematicians and physical scientists.
The institute's three strategic objectives have been stated as:
- To establish Waterloo as a world-class centre for research in quantum technologies and their applications.
- To become a magnet for highly qualified personnel in the field of quantum information.
- To establish IQC as the authoritative source of insight, analysis and commentary on quantum information.
The Institute for Quantum Computing was officially created in 2002, sparked by Research In Motion co-founder Mike Lazaridis and then-president of the University of Waterloo, David Johnston, for research into quantum information. Since inception, Lazaridis has provided more than $100 million in private funding for IQC. The institute is a collaboration between academia, the private sector, and the federal and provincial governments. Raymond Laflamme is the founding executive director.
At its establishment, the institute was composed of only a handful of researchers from the Departments of Computer Science and Physics. Ten years later, there are more than 200 researchers across six departments within the Faculties of Science, Mathematics, and Engineering at the University of Waterloo.
In 2008, IQC moved into the Research Advancement Centre 1 (RAC I) in the University of Waterloo's Research & Technology Park. In 2010, research operations expanded into the adjacent building, Research Advancement Centre 2 (RAC II).
In 2012, IQC expanded into the Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre. The 285,000-square-foot facility is shared with the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, and is built to stringent standards (controls for vibration, humidity, temperature, and electromagnetic radiation) for quantum and nanotechnology experiments. The building was designed by Toronto-based firm Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB).
Research at IQC focuses on three main applications of quantum information science and technology using the physical sciences, mathematics and engineering from both theoretical and experimental perspectives. The three applications are quantum computing, which encompasses the manipulation and storage of quantum information; quantum communication, which is related to the transmission of quantum information; and quantum sensing, which is used to detect signals or stimuli that are present in the nanoscopic world.
Areas of research currently studied at IQC include:
- Nanoelectronics-based quantum information processing
- Quantum algorithms
- Quantum complexity
- Quantum cryptography
- Quantum error correction and fault tolerance
- Quantum information theory
- Optical quantum information processing
- Spin-based quantum information processing
In collaboration with the University of Waterloo, IQC offers research positions and advanced courses in the foundations, applications, and implementation of quantum information processing for graduate students. In addition, IQC also offers an interdisciplinary graduate program in Quantum Information which leads to MMath, MSc, MASc, and PhD degrees.
IQC researchers have frequently made novel theoretical discoveries or performed novel experiments within their respective fields.
- First step in generating entangled photon triplets in a solid state system.
- First violation of Bell’s inequality in a photonic nanostructure with enhanced light extraction efficiency.
- New causal structures only found in the quantum world.
- First violation of the Leggett-Garg inequality on a three-level quantum system.
- Demonstration of area law scaling of entanglement entropy in a real quantum fluid for the first time.
- New method for measuring the length of an optical cavity without any initial calibration.
- New etching and bonding technique to isolate superconducting circuits from environmental interference.
- Development of an inexpensive, simplistic and portable LED-based spectrophotometer.
- Creation of single photon generator able to shape photons on-demand to increase efficiency in quantum communications.
- First observation of genuine three-photon interference. Later named a Top Ten Breakthrough of 2017 by Physics World.
- First transmission of a quantum key securely from a source on the ground to a receiver on an aircraft
- Development of new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits.
- Experiment achieves the strongest coupling between light and matter ever recorded.
- The first time that the IBM Quantum Experience was used as a classroom educational tool was June 7 at IQC.
- First available software to evaluate the security of any protocol for Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) developed. 
- Novel, universal method to manipulate quantum systems while minimizing their exposure to noise developed.
- First experiment to break time-reversal symmetry in quantum walks.
- The colour and bandwidth of ultrafast single photons converted for the first time using a room-temperature quantum memory in diamond.
- Successful integration of an on-demand light source in a silicon-based chip, the first fully integrated quantum optics approach that is compatible with current technology in the semiconductor industry.
- "Surrealistic" quantum trajectories demonstrated in a lab.
- First source of on-demand time-bin entangled photon pairs using quantum dot developed.
- First theoretical demonstration that it is possible to detect a single nuclear spin at room temperature.
- First demonstration that orbital angular momentum (OAM), a wave property of neutrons, can be controlled.
- Strong loophole-free test of local realism.
- Invention of Magnetic Resonance Force Microscopy (MRFM).
- Contextuality theoretically confirmed as necessary resource for achieving the advantages of quantum computation.
- First demonstrated distribution of three entangled photons at three different locations (Alice, Bob and Charlie) several hundreds of metres apart.
- Demonstration that an untrusted server can implement a universal set of quantum gates on encrypted qubits without learning any information about inputs, while the client, who knows the decryption key, can easily decrypt the results of the computation.
- IQC researchers propose quantum walk-based computing model.
- New form of three-particle entanglement based on the position and momentum properties of photons.
- Blind quantum computing implemented in cloud computing experiment in collaboration with IQC theoretical researchers.
- New type of ultra-sensitive detector for oscillating magnetic fields demonstrated.
- Quantum teleportation over a record-breaking distance of 143 kilometres through free space.
- Quantum entanglement demonstrated between particles that exist at different points in time.
- The trajectories of photons that travelled through the double slit experiment to form an interference pattern experimentally depicted for the first time.
- Coherent control of two nuclear spins using the anisotropic hyperfine interaction.
- First direct generation of photon triplets.
- Feasibility of universal computation using quantum walks demonstrated.
- Equivalence of two collections of computational problems called QIP and PSPACE proved.
- New, better method of interferometry with chirped laser pulses inspired by quantum entanglement.
- Research suggests that quantum tunneling, one of several phenomena associated exclusively with the quantum level, may also occur with larger and dynamic systems.
- First experiment to observe a geometric operation on a solid state quantum bit.
- Long-standing world record for universal control of largest number of quantum bits (12) set by an IQC-led team of researchers.
- Heat-bath algorithmic cooling in a solid-state nuclear spin system implemented.
IQC's scientific outreach activities include annual workshops, short courses, public lectures, tours, open houses and science centre and museum exhibits. IQC shares many of these special events, including lectures and special interviews, with the online public through its YouTube channel, Instagram feed, and Twitter feed.
Science centre and museum exhibits
QUANTUM: The Exhibition
QUANTUM: The Exhibition is the first-ever travelling show on quantum information science and technology. Throughout 2017, visitors to science centres and museums across the country can explore how researchers are merging quantum mechanics and information technology to create the technologies that will revolutionize and redefine the 21st century—and how many Canadian researchers are leading the way. This exhibition was selected as part of the Signature Initiative of the Government of Canada's sesquicentennial celebration, INNOVATION150, which celebrates 150 years of Canadian innovation.
The Exhibition began its cross-Canada tour with an invitation-only premiere on October 13, 2016 at THEMUSEUM in downtown Kitchener, Ontario, and will continue on to at least five other cities on its journey including Vancouver, Saskatoon, Calgary, Halifax and Ottawa.
The United Nations (UN) General Assembly named 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015). In order to celebrate and educate the public on the physics of light, a group of graduate students from the University of Waterloo Student Chapter of the Optical Society (OSA) created LIGHT Illuminated, an exhibition featured at THEMUSEUM in downtown Kitchener, Ontario, from October 2015 to March 2016. PhD students from the Institute for Quantum Computing along with a Master’s student from the University of Waterloo Department of Physics and Astronomy created and curated the exhibition. Over 40,000 visitors passed through THEMUSEUM during the exhibit’s display.
Conferences and workshops
IQC has played host to many notable conferences and workshops including:
- Women in Physics Canada
- Relativistic Quantum Information North (RQI-N) Conference, June 2016
- NanoMRI Conference, July 2015
- 6th International Conference on Post-Quantum Cryptography
- Post-Quantum Cryptography Summer School
- Canadian-American-Mexican (CAM) Graduate Student Physics Conference, August 2013
- Annual Conference of Quantum Cryptography (QCRYPT)
- Quantum Innovators
- Cross-Border Workshop on Laser Science
- Quantum Information Processing with Spins and Superconductors (QISS2010)
- the AQuA Student Congress on Quantum Information & Computation
- Canadian Summer School on Quantum Information
The Undergraduate School on Experimental Quantum Information Processing (USEQIP) is an annual two-week program held in May and June designed for undergraduate students completing the third year of their undergraduate education. The program aims to introduce 20 students to the field of quantum information processing through lectures on quantum information theory and experimental approaches to quantum devices, followed by hands-on exploration using the experimental facilities of IQC.
The Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students (QCSYS) is an annual one-week summer program for 40 high school students aged 15 and older. The program is run by IQC in conjunction with the University of Waterloo. The selected students attend specialized lectures on quantum physics and cryptography, visit local research institutes, meet renowned researchers in these fields, and take a tour of quantum computing and quantum cryptography experiments.
IQC currently has offices and laboratories in both Research Advancement Centre I and II, located in the University of Waterloo’s David Johnston Research & Technology Park.
On 9 June 2008, Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis, together with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, University of Waterloo President David Johnston, and other guests officially broke ground on the project which will consist of three areas: one to house IQC, one for the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, and a clean fabrication and metrology suite to be shared between the two institutes. It will house offices, laboratory space, and areas for collaboration among researchers. The QNC opened September 21, 2012.
As of 2017, IQC’s research team consists of 27 faculty members, 2 research assistant professors, over 30 postdoctoral fellows, and more than 120 students. The institute has expressed intentions to expand to include 33 faculty members, 50 post-doctoral fellows, and 125 students.
IQC faculty members have appointments in the departments of Physics & Astronomy, Combinatorics & Optimization, Applied Mathematics, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Chemistry, and the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. IQC faculty and postdoctoral fellows account for 10 of the 31 members of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research’s Quantum Information Processing Program. In addition, 3 faculty members have associate membership at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and 11 are affiliate members.
Currently, 2 IQC faculty members hold Canada Research Chairs in various aspects of quantum information and 1 faculty member holds a Canada Excellence Research Chair.
- Michal Bajcsy
- Jonathan Baugh
- Raffi Budakian
- Kyung Soo Choi
- Richard Cleve
- David Cory—Canada Excellence Research Chair in Quantum Information Processing
- Joseph Emerson
- Kazi Rajibul Islam
- Thomas Jennewein
- Na Young Kim
- Raymond Laflamme—Canada Research Chair in Quantum Information
- Debbie Leung—Canada Research Chair in Quantum Communications
- Adrian Lupascu
- Norbert Lütkenhaus
- Hamed Majedi
- Matteo Mariantoni
- Guo-Xing Miao
- Michele Mosca
- Ashwin Nayak
- Vern Paulsen
- Kevin Resch
- Michael Reimer
- Crystal Senko
- Adam Wei Tsen
- John Watrous
- Christopher Wilson
- Jon Yard
- Christine Muschik
The following major awards have been won by IQC researchers for significant contributions to their fields:
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship
- Adrian Lupascu, 2011
- Matteo Mariantoni, 2013
American Physical Society
- David Cory, Fellow, 2015
- Thomas Jennewein, APS Outreach Mini-Grant program, 2015
- Raymond Laflamme, Fellow, 2008
Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC)
- David Cory—CERC, Quantum Devices, 2010
Canada Research Chair (CRC)
- Raymond Laflamme—CRC, Quantum Information, 2009
- Debbie Leung—Tier II CRC, Quantum Communications, 2005
- Michele Mosca—Canada Research Chair, 2002
- Kevin Resch—CRC, Optical Quantum Technologies, 2014
Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee
- Ashwin Nayak, 2015 - Scholarship
- Michele Mosca, 2013 - Medal winner
- Raymond Laflamme, 2005 - Medal winner
Royal Society of Canada Fellowship
- Richard Cleve, 2011
- David Cory, 2015
- Raymond Laflamme, 2008
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship
- Jean-Philippe MacLean, 2015
- Tomas Jochym-O'Connor, 2014
- Kent Fisher, 2012
- Deny Hamel, 2010
- Gina Passante, 2009
- Sir Anthony Leggett—IQC Scientific Advisor and performs a guest lecture series annually
- Bill Unruh—Performed a public lecture June 2016
- Stephen Hawking—Visited June 2010, September 2012
- Freeman Dyson—Visited June 2011
- Seth Lloyd—Visited December 2010
- Quantum computer
- Quantum cryptography
- Quantum information science
- Raymond Laflamme—director and professor at IQC
- Anthony Leggett—winner of 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics and part-time faculty member at IQC
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- "Coherent Control of Two Nuclear Spins Using the Anisotropic Hyperfine Interaction". Retrieved 4 April 2017.
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- "Universal Computation by Quantum Walk". Retrieved 15 February 2017.
- "QIP = PSPACE". Retrieved 15 February 2017.
- "Cover-worthy Interference". Retrieved 15 February 2017.
- "Tunneling between a Tremble and a Swing". Retrieved 17 February 2017.
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