Quantum Information Science

A quantum computer close up

Quantum Information Science at Berkeley

Berkeley scientists pursue a broad array of topics, including fundamental questions about the quantum world, instrumentation for quantum computations and control, and novel applications of quantum science. Recent technological breakthroughs have enabled unprecedented control over quantum systems, such as single atoms, molecules, and well-engineered materials. By harnessing those insights and opportunities, we strive to lay the foundation for the next generation of quantum technologies, including the development of quantum computing, precision metrology, and more generally, a deeper understanding of the universe.

What is QIST?

Quantum Information Science and Technology (QIST) is an emerging field at the nexus of Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, and Computer Science. Quantum information combines ideas from physics and computer science to provide us with a new perspective on information and the universe itself. Probably the most exciting aspect is that QIST opens the path to solve computational and communication problems previously thought not to be tractable. On the other hand , QIST currently also transforms physics, and more generally the natural sciences, by providing a deeper understanding of quantum mechanics as well as enabling new tools such as quantum simulators and sensors. At Berkeley, we address questions on the quantum-ness of nature, such as the universe itself and its constituents, study quantum many-body physics and entanglement, develop advanced sensors to measure time and detect Dark Matter, and research how to construct quantum computers and communication devices. 

QIST at Berkeley falls into 5 categories:

Quantum Computing

detail of cryostat coil

Fault-tolerant quantum computers promise to solve hard computational problems such as factoring of large integers or quantum chemistry calculations. 

Quantum Many-Body Physics

Particles over a curved grid

Using well-controlled quantum systems, we can study the properties of quantum many-body systems which are otherwise very hard to synthesize. The results of these quantum simulators can be used to benchmark quantum-many body theories. 

Quantum Sensing and Metrology

a quantum sensor

Leveraging the control of quantum systems, sensors with unprecedented accuracy and functionality can be built. Prominent examples include individual atoms for time-keeping and tests of fundamental symmetries, as well as defects in solid state materials for sensing with high spatial resolution. 

Quantum Information Theory

Info dots across a globe

More generally, quantum information provides tools to better understand quantum phenomena. Thus ideas from quantum information help among other things in understanding black holes as well as measurement and emergent phenomena.

Quantum Communication

Connected dots around globe

Linking distant quantum systems allows for secure communication may also be used to improve telescopes or simply to connect quantum computers to improve their capacity.