A Quantum Leap

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A Quantum Leap
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Professors Stephen Wilson and Ania Bleszynski Jayich will co-direct the campus's new Quantum Foundry (Photo: Matt Perko)

By James Badham, UC Santa Barbara

We hear a lot these days about the coming quantum revolution. Efforts to understand, develop, and characterize quantum materials — defined broadly as those displaying characteristics that can be explained only by quantum mechanics and not by classical physics — are intensifying.

Researchers around the world are racing to understand these materials and harness their unique qualities to develop revolutionary quantum technologies for quantum computing, communications, sensing, simulation and other quantum technologies not yet imaginable.

This week, UC Santa Barbara stepped to the front of that worldwide research race by being named the site of the nation’s first Quantum Foundry.

Funded by an initial six-year, $25-million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the project, known officially as the UC Santa Barbara NSF Quantum Foundry, will involve 20 faculty members from the campus’s materials, physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering and computer science departments, plus myriad collaborating partners.  The new center will be anchored within the California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI) in Elings Hall.

The grant provides substantial funding to build equipment and develop tools necessary to the effort. It also supports a multi-front research mission comprising collaborative interdisciplinary projects within a network of university, industry, and national-laboratory partners to create, process, and characterize materials for quantum information science. The Foundry will also develop outreach and educational programs aimed at familiarizing students at all levels with quantum science, creating a new paradigm for training students in the rapidly evolving field of quantum information science and engaging with industrial partners to accelerate development of the coming quantum workforce.

“We are extremely proud that the National Science Foundation has chosen UC Santa Barbara as home to the nation’s first NSF-funded Quantum Foundry,” said Chancellor Henry T. Yang. “The award is a testament to the strength of our University’s interdisciplinary science, particularly in materials, physics and chemistry, which lie at the core of quantum endeavors. It also recognizes our proven track record of working closely with industry to bring technologies to practical application, our state-of-the-art facilities and our educational and outreach programs that are mutually complementary with our research.

“Under the direction of physics professor Ania Bleszynski Jayich and materials professor Stephen Wilson the foundry will provide a collaborative environment for researchers to continue exploring quantum phenomena, designing quantum materials and building instruments and computers based on the basic principles of quantum mechanics,” Yang added.

Said Joseph Incandela, the campus’s vice chancellor for research, “UC Santa Barbara is a natural choice for the NSF quantum materials Foundry. We have outstanding faculty, researchers, and facilities, and a great tradition of multidisciplinary collaboration. Together with our excellent students and close industry partnerships, they have created a dynamic environment where research gets translated into important technologies.”

“Being selected to build and host the nation’s first Quantum Foundry is tremendously exciting and extremely important,” said Rod Alferness, dean of the College of Engineering. “It recognizes the vision and the decades of work that have made UC Santa Barbara a truly world-leading institution worthy of assuming a leadership role in a mission as important as advancing quantum science and the transformative technologies it promises to enable.”

“Advances in quantum science require a highly integrated interdisciplinary approach, because there are many hard challenges that need to be solved on many fronts,” said Bleszynski Jayich. “One of the big ideas behind the Foundry is to take these early theoretical ideas that are just beginning to be experimentally viable and use quantum mechanics to produce technologies that can outperform classical technologies.”

Doing so, however, will require new materials.

“Quantum technologies are fundamentally materials-limited, and there needs to be some sort of leap or evolution of the types of materials we can harness,” noted Wilson. “The Foundry is where we will try to identify and create those materials.”

View the complete news release at: https://www.news.ucsb.edu/2019/019626/quantum-leap

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EastBeach Sep 25, 2019 09:16 AM
A Quantum Leap


Channelfog Sep 25, 2019 02:54 AM
A Quantum Leap

There will be no encryption that quantum computing cannot break, as I understand it. It will make banking among other things quite interesting......

macpuzl Sep 25, 2019 03:50 AM
A Quantum Leap

But with quantum encryption, you can tell whether a message has been eavesdropped.

SBZZ Sep 23, 2019 12:54 PM
A Quantum Leap

Impressive UCSB! Funny 09:28 AM - I get your sarcasm. Poor 08:48 AM - fear of the unknown - a quick internet search will provide you with answers to most if not all of your questions.

a-1591260363 Sep 23, 2019 08:53 AM
A Quantum Leap

This is very big deal - congratulations to UCSB!

a-1591260363 Sep 23, 2019 08:48 AM
A Quantum Leap

What are quantum mechanics in relation to traditional physics? What are Quantum phenomena? What does it create? What does it solve? What purpose does it have? What are some of the challenges? What are some of the risks? Are people of the community put in any danger with experiments taking place? Is there anything that's being done where the staff doesn't know what they're doing? Or, is there anything that can get out of control?

shorebird Sep 25, 2019 08:50 AM
A Quantum Leap

8:48 UCSB has classes on these questions. Get enrolled.

Alexblue Sep 23, 2019 07:11 PM
A Quantum Leap

Are you seriously asking these questions? If so, start with a basic google search on "Quantum Mechanics". Get that bit figured out first.

a-1591260363 Sep 23, 2019 04:54 PM
A Quantum Leap

The people in this town - which fancies itself an "intellectual" haven - actually compromise what I would call a bastion of insanity. So much fear mongering here about total non-issues. It really boggles the mind. Went to the gem show @ Earl Warren and there was a booth all about "climate engineering" and how "they" are using microwaves to dumb down the populace, etc. Then you have the "World Business Academy" (most self-aggrandizing name ever) applauding itself for shutting down the last nuclear power plant in California. Again, more hippie NIMBY scaremongering. Can't wait till the loonies are priced out forever. If there is one upside to our ever increasing unaffordability it's that loony retirees and kooks with too much time on their hands will no longer be able to afford to live here and keep scaring this town. Some of us believe in science and have real work to do. Carry on.

a-1591260363 Sep 23, 2019 09:28 AM
A Quantum Leap

In other words: How can I complain about this?

Factotum Sep 23, 2019 08:39 AM
A Quantum Leap

Theoretical physics by its very nature is abstract, yet math to proves its existence.

Rinconer Sep 25, 2019 08:09 AM
A Quantum Leap

According to Richard Feynman, you have that backwards. Math creates theories that are proved or disproved by Physics in the lab.

El Barbareno Sep 23, 2019 08:32 AM
A Quantum Leap

Could we get this translated?

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