All questions answered by Prof. Andrew Daley from the University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom.
What do you want to achieve in this project?
Quantum Simulation aims at addressing questions in fundamental science, materials development, quantum chemistry and real-world problems of high importance in industry. PASQuanS will develop next generation Quantum Simulation platforms for such applications. It builds on the impressive achievements of the most advanced Quantum Simulation platforms to date, based on atoms and ions, for which systems of several hundreds of qubits have been realised. By scaling up these platforms towards more than 1000 atoms or ions and by making these simulators fully programmable, PASQuanS will push these platforms far beyond both the state-of-the-art and the reach of classical computation.
How will European citizens benefit from this project, both from the technology developments it accomplishes as well as the basic science breakthroughs it may achieve?
Quantum Simulation is one of the Quantum Technologies with the potential to enable ground-breaking new approaches to long-standing problems. Research towards these goals as done within PASQuanS will assure the required know-how and the availability of key enabling technologies in Europe. To optimally achieve these goals, five industrial partners are in charge of the key developments of enabling technologies and possible commercial spin-offs of the project. Possible end-users of these simulators, major industrial actors, are tightly associated with the consortium to help identifying and implementing key applications where quantum simulation provides a competitive advantage.
Why is the Quantum Flagship important and why did you choose to become part of it?
Developing quantum simulators is an outstanding challenge in science and technology, which brings together fundamental science and industry. Those two players were not firmly connected before and we expect new ideas and applications to emerge from a close dialogue, as it will be realised within PASQuanS. This is a unique opportunity provided by the Quantum Flagship and we are convinced that it will boost fundamental science alongside with the development of new technologies.
How do you see the advancement of quantum technologies in the near future and what would be your ultimate dream in the long run?
Quantum simulators do not require error correction to achieve their goals. Thus, they can probably address relevant problems, for example via coherent quantum annealing, much sooner than fully general digital quantum computers. A key step towards this goal is to generalise the existing quantum simulators by realising full programmability of the hardware platforms based on ultracold atoms and ions.
In the long-run, we hope that fully controlled coherent quantum simulators can be used as tools to bring new insight in fundamental science, material design and quantum chemistry. This may result in new products with properties for beyond what is available today.