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Pitt-led researchers to build foundation for quantum supercomputers with $7.5 million federal grant
Date:8/3/2010

PITTSBURGHA research team based at the University of Pittsburgh has received a five-year, $7.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to tackle some of the most significant challenges preventing the development of quantum computers, powerful devices that could solve problems too complex for all of the world's computers working together over the age of the Universe to crack. The project was one of 32 nationwide selected from 152 proposals to receive a grant from the Multi-University Research Initiative (MURI) program; a total of $227 million was distributed to institutions that include Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Jeremy Levy, a professor of physics and astronomy in Pitt's School of Arts and Sciences, will lead a team of researchers from Cornell University, Stanford University, the University of California at Santa Barbara, the University of Michigan, and the University of Wisconsin in combining the properties of semiconductorssuch as those used to make computer processors, and superconductorswhich allow for the perfect flow of electricity, into a single material suitable for the development of quantum computers. The team will use these superconducting semiconductors to develop new types of quantum memory, perform quantum simulation, and create new methods for transferring quantum information from one medium to another.

These functions are essential to realizing quantum computerswhich are yet to exist in any practical formbut require a precise control of the laws of quantum physics that has so far been difficult to achieve, Levy explained.

One of the most significant challenges with any approach to quantum computation is the inevitable loss of information. Group member Chetan Nayak, a physics professor at UC-Santa Barbara, has theorized that very thin sheets of certain types of superconductors have topolog
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Contact: Morgan Kelly
mekelly@pitt.edu
412-624-4356
University of Pittsburgh
Source:Eurekalert  

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Pitt-led researchers to build foundation for quantum supercomputers with $7.5 million federal grant
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