Overview

QUANTUM COMPUTING, TECHNOLOGIES AND APPLICATIONS

One century after the formulation of Quantum Mechanics, we are entering an era when the technological control on Quantum Laws opens new avenues, possibily leading to unpredictable developments in fundamental and applied science. Quantum Computing (QC), with its many facets, is one of the main aspect of this revolution, as it promises to gain an exponential advantage over classical methods for a series of upmost computational applications.

Understanding the actual feasibility of such promises requires combined efforts from an extended scientific community, at a crossroad where competences from various fields meet and interact; such efforts are ongoing worldwide. The main purpose of this project is to seed the formation of such a crossroad within the University of Pisa, aiming also at fostering future interactions with other partners at a national and international level.

Our activity will focus on few research lines:

A) Investigation of computational problems for which the quantum advantage can be significant. That involves both problems which are quantum by themselves, following the original intuition by Richard Feynman, and problems which are anyway susceptible to a successful quantum approach, thus covering a range going from fundamental interactions to artificial intelligence, passing through condensed matter and computational biology. At present we can just take prototypes of such problems considered as proof-of-concept realizations, passing them through a chain of competences including digitalization, algorithmic implementation, numerical and quantum gates optimization, final practical realization on presently available machines.

B) Investigation and development of Quantum Technologies. We plan to focus both on the study of specific devices of possible use in Quantum Computation (like CMOS devices) and on a number of problems revolving around the transfer of coherent information between matter and e.m. radiation and its stability in time (including plasmonic devices, design of materials for quantum memories, design of quantum batteries, study of interference effects between different quantum gates).

C) Investigation and design of new paradigms for the Quantum Era. We plan to focus on the study of new security protocols robust to QC attacks (post-quantum cryptography), and on the development of new programming schemes and high-level quantum languages.