University of Michigan joins MSU, Purdue to launch quantum science, technology collaboration

Quantum particles graphic. (Pixabay)

ANN ARBOR – The University of Michigan has partnered with Michigan State University and Purdue University to form a new collaboration to study quantum science and technology.

The purpose of the new Midwest Quantum Collaboratory is to “find grand new challenges we can work on jointly, based on the increased breadth and diversity of scientists in the collaboration,” professor at Michigan Engineering and inaugural director of the collaboration, Mack Kira, said in a release.

“We scientists are now in a position to start combining these quantum building blocks to quantum applications that have never existed,” Kira said in a release. “It is absolutely clear that any such breakthrough will happen only through a broad, diverse and interdisciplinary research effort. MQC has been formed also to build scientific diversity and critical mass needed to address the next steps in quantum science and technology.”

Researchers at U-M say quantum effects are central to the phenomena we encounter in our everyday lives, including chemical reactions, electronics and light waves.

Each school will bring a different quantum science focus to the MQC. U-M will spearhead research using semiconductors to study light, hoping their findings could inform how to speed up semiconductor-based lighting, computing, radar and communications while also making them more energy efficient.

“Similar breakthrough potential resides in developing algorithms, chemical reactions, solar-power, magnetism, conductivity or atomic metrology to run on emergent quantum phenomena,” Kira said in a statement.

The institute will be virtual and will hold some in-person activities including workshops and seminars.

“We know collaboration is key to driving innovation, especially for quantum,” managing director of the Purdue Quantum Science and Engineering Institute, David Stewart, said in a statement. “The MQC will not only provide students with scientific training, but also develop their interpersonal skills so they will be ready to contribute to a currently shorthanded quantum workforce.”

Another purpose of the MQC is to launch a seminar series and possibly a journal club for students and postdocs to bolster the advancement of the quantum workforce while encouraging research collaboration across the three schools.

“MQC also provides companies with interest in quantum computing with great opportunities for collaboration with faculty and students across broad spectrums of quantum computing with the collaborative expertise spanning the three institutions,” director of the MSU Center for Quantum Computing, Science and Engineering, Angela Wilson, said in a statement.

“Additionally, bringing together three of our nation’s largest universities and three of the largest quantum computing efforts provides potential employers with a great source of interns and potential employees encompassing a broad range of quantum computing.”