15 July 2005 Green light to Quantum Information in Europe

A quantum bit

Four ICFO groups will pilot several workpackages in two Integrated Projects Quantum Information processing has the potential to greatly contribute to shaping the future of information and communication technologies in the near future. This is why two large consortia that integrate the leading research groups on Quantum Information (QI) in Europe are about to start a research venture which will last for about five years. The Integrated Projects (IP) are networks subsidized within the VI European Research Framework. Four groups of ICFO’s Quantum Optics area take part in these IP projects, together with the most advanced European research groups in both theoretical and experimental Quantum Information.

Prof. Juan P. Torres’ group and Dr. Antonio Acin’s group will carry out research in the program called “Qubit Applications”, acronym QAP. In this project there are 17 groups from 11 countries: Australia, Belgium, France, Germany (2), Italy, Israel, Poland (2), Slovakia, Spain (2), Sweden and UK (3).

The goal of the QAP project is to utilize the results of basic research to implement the hardware and software required for the demonstration of new and existing quantum applications. This project demands expertise from numerous areas ranging form computer science, mathematics, and electrical engineering, to photonics, atomic and solid state physics.
The group led by Dr. Juan P. Torres will focus on the exploration and experimental implementation of new algorithms that make use of the form (spatial shape) of photons and their bandwidth (frequency content), two quantum resources that are receiving increasing attention in the last few years. The group led by Dr. Antonio Acin will define and study general structures common to any quantum multi-user protocol.

The other European program is called SCALA, meaning “Scalable quantum computing with light and atoms”. In this project there are 21 groups from 9 countries: Austria, Denmark, France (2), Germany (6), Italy (3), Israel, Poland (2), Spain and UK (4). Prof. Jürgen Eschner’s group and Prof. Maciej Lewenstein’s group are included in that program.

The goal of SCALA is the realization of a scalable quantum computer, by using individually controlled atoms, ions and photons for encoding, storing, processing and transmitting quantum information.
The work of Prof. Eschner\'s group will concentrate on operating a setup with two ion traps, which will allow for creating entanglement between distant atoms and, more generally, for realising various types of atom-photon interfaces. Prof. Lewenstein\'s group will investigate various aspects of entanglement in multi-particle systems, conditions for the transmission of quantum states, the application of quantum optical concepts to counteract decoherence, and quantum information processing in complex systems such as neural networks and disordered systems.