Looking to the future with quantum computing’s leading lights

19 Jun 2018 Simon Davies

Leading quantum computing experts from around the world have explored what the future holds for the field in a new special collection in the journal Quantum Science and Technology (QST).

The collection of five complimentary perspective articles, called ‘What would you do with 1,000 qubits?’, publishes today.

QST Associate Editor and Guest Editor for this collection Andrea Morello, of the University of New South Wales, Australia, said: “For the last two decades, scientists and engineers have explored, and often invented, new avenues in what we now call the second quantum revolution – the capacity to create novel and tailored functionalities using natural or artificial quantum systems. The construction of a functional, scalable, useful quantum computer remains one of the most sought-after goals in this exciting field.

“We have now reached the point where dozens of qubits can be operated with gate fidelities approaching or surpassing some thresholds for quantum error correction. Therefore, the time seemed ripe to ask some of the world’s experts ‘What would you do with 1000 qubits?’

“This is the scale of quantum computers we can expect to see in the next decade, and the functions and applications of quantum processors of this size will be pivotal in ensuring a continued impetus for research and investment in the field.”

In the collection:

  • Pavithran Iyer and David Poulin from Universit´e de Sherbrooke, Canada chart the pathway to full-scale fault-tolerant quantum computation
  • A team from IBM examine how near-term quantum devices could help to overcome challenges in quantum chemistry, material science or classical optimization
  • A team from NASA, USRA, University College London, Universidad de Cartagena, and SGT explores the effect quantum computing could have on machine learning
  • Helmut Katzgraber from Texas A&M University, Texas evaluates whether smaller devices with better quality qubits, higher connectivity, and more tunability might be better suited to answer if quantum annealing will ever truly outperform specialized silicon technology
  • Joshua Job and Daniel Lidar, from the University of Southern California, discuss benchmarking quantum performance, and taking 1,000 qubits for a test drive.

The collection will be free to read for the first 30 days of publication.