DOE awards ORNL researchers more than $11 million to advance quantum technologies

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory will lead or participate in collaborative research projects aimed at harnessing the power of quantum mechanics to advance a range of technologies including computing, fiber optics and network communication.

The application of quantum mechanics to computing and the processing of information holds enormous potential for scientific discovery and innovation. ORNL’s established programs in these domains make it an ideal partner in the quest to advance quantum technologies for applications in science and national security.

Researchers Pavel Lougovski and Travis Humble received more than $8 million to oversee ORNL’s research efforts as a part of the “Fundamental Algorithmic Research for Quantum Computing,” or FAR QC, project led by Sandia National Laboratories and the “Advancing Integrated Development Environments for Quantum Computing through Fundamental Research,” or AIDE QC, project led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, respectively. The two projects are intended to overlap to ensure synergy across DOE’s vibrant quantum computing research portfolio, which spans the quantum computing spectrum from algorithms to applications to software infrastructure.    

“The AIDE QC project will deliver an integrated, holistic programming environment that enables scientists to leverage quantum computers for scientific discovery,” said Humble. “Our work will emphasize programming models and software ecosystems that take advantage of noisy intermediate-scale quantum computers alongside our existing, world-class high-performance computing infrastructure.”

$13.7 million will be provided for five four-year projects aimed at developing wide-area quantum networks, with the goal of greatly boosting the range of quantum-based communications using existing fiber optic connections. Such a goal requires new science and technology, such as the type of quantum repeaters being developed at ORNL.…