UK Quantum Technology Hub: NQIT - Networked Quantum Information Technologies

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Oxford Physics

Abstract

This Hub accelerates progress towards a new "quantum era" by engineering small, high precision quantum systems, and linking them into a network to create the world's first truly scalable quantum computing engine. This new computing platform will harness quantum effects to achieve tasks that are currently impossible.
The Hub is an Oxford-led alliance of nine universities with complementary expertise in quantum technologies including Bath, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Leeds, Strathclyde, Southampton, Sussex and Warwick. We have assembled a network of more than 25 companies (Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon BBN, Google, AMEX), government labs (NPL, DSTL, NIST) and SMEs (PureLiFi, Rohde & Schwarz, Aspen) who are investing resources and manpower.
Our ambitious flagship goal is the Q20:20 engine - a network of twenty optically-linked ion-trap processors each containing twenty quantum bits (qubits). This 400 qubit machine will be vastly more powerful than anything that has been achieved to date, but recent progress on three fronts makes it a feasible goal. First, Oxford researchers recently discovered a way to build a quantum computer from precisely-controlled qubits linked with low precision by photons (particles of light). Second, Oxford's ion-trap researchers recently achieved a new world record for precision qubit control with 99.9999% accuracy. Third, we recently showed how to control photonic interference inside small silica chips. We now have an exciting opportunity to combine these advances to create a light-matter hybrid network computer that gets the 'best of both worlds' and overcomes long-standing impracticalities like the ever increasing complexity of matter-only systems, or the immense resource requirements of purely photonic approaches.
Engineers and scientists with the hub will work with other hubs and partners from across the globe to achieve this. At present proof-of-principle experiments exist in the lab, and the 'grand challenge' is to develop compact manufacturable devices and components to build the Q20:20 engine (and to make it easy to build more).
We have already identified more than 20 spin-offs from this work, ranging from hacker-proof communication systems and ultra-sensitive medical and military sensors to higher resolution imaging systems.
Quantum ICT will bring great economic benefits and offer technical solutions to as yet unsolveable problems. Just as today's computers allow jet designers to test the aerodynamics of planes before they are built, a quantum computer will model the properties of materials before they've been made, or design a vital drug without the trial and error process. This is called digital quantum simulation. In fact many problems that are difficult using conventional computing can be enhanced with a 'quantum co-processor'. This is a hugely desirable capability, important across multiple areas of science and technology, so much so that even the prospect of limited quantum capabilities (e.g. D-Wave's device) has raised great excitement. The Q20:20 will be an early form of a verifiable quantum computer, the uncompromised universal machine that can ultimately perform any algorithm and scale to any size; the markets and impacts will be correspondingly far greater.
In addition to computing there will be uses in secure communications, so that a 'trusted' internet becomes feasible, in sensing - so that we can measure to new levels of precision, and in new components - for instance new detectors that allow us to collect single photons.
The hub will ultimately become a focus for an emerging quantum ICT industry, with trained scientists and engineers available to address the problems in industry and the wider world where quantum techniques will be bringing benefits. It will help form new companies, new markets, and grow the UK's knowledge economy.

Planned Impact

NQIT will deliver a quantum network for computing, communications and sensing with unprecedented capability. NQIT will therefore impact on:

(a) Society, by providing a template for new information technologies that will enhance our quality of life. This will occur by provision of powerful new computers and secure data handling capability. These machines will deliver approaches to big data that will revolutionise society by enabling new mechanisms for discovery based on quantum machine learning. This will impact, for example, public health because of the possibility to manage disease and for drug discovery; the environment because of the dramatically enhanced ability to calculate long-term properties of the atmosphere and energy because of the dramatically reduced energy consumption of quantum computers for large-scale processing. The secure networks that NQIT will enable will allow trust in the internet to be maintained, and personal data and information to be held securely. The benefits of big data will only be ensured if such trust is maintained.

(b) The Economy, by demonstrating new kinds of information processing including massive parallelism and inviolable security of data that will transform major sectors, such as telecoms, finance, defence and government. Information economy has a GVA of £58bn annually in the UK. Power grids and other critical infrastructure will also benefit from the security of quantum networks.

(c) Knowledge: both academic and commercial, as new regimes of physics, chemistry, materials science and biology and biomedicine are opened for discovery because of the new computing capability. This, in turn, will open up new commercial opportunity to exploit the research outputs.

(d) People, through the new understanding, technical expertise and skills developed by the researchers and partners during the project, including training in core quantum technology skills for a new, emerging sector of the economy, and in engagement with the media, he public and policy makers.

The outcomes of the Hub will be of value to UK and global commerce, the general public and government. This will happen in the following ways:

(i) Commerce: The exponential increase in data traffic, and the required information processing present increasing challenges to information companies such as Google, Microsoft and Apple. Security is also an increasing concern. A new technology sector will grow in the UK as a consequence of quantum applications that address these problems, and leadership in quantum science and engineering. This will also lead to new applications in other areas. For example, secure sensor networks may impact personal health monitoring, leading to improved patient care and outcomes.

(ii) The Public: Everyone, whether they live in highly industrialized countries, or in the developing world, is dependent on access to information, which changes behaviour. For instance, more precise and long-ranging weather and climate prediction will change urban planning, transport and public safety policies.

(iii) Government: The security of society is the responsibility of governments and their agents. This responsibility ranges from the security of patient data in the NHS to secure communications for national defence and secure monitoring for the smart grid. Regulation must be informed by the capabilities of current and future technology, so that legislation can be effective. NQIT will explore what is feasible, allowing policy makers and those defining security standards to plan for the future.
Past changes in technology have had radical effects. Consider, for instance, how cellular telephony has transformed society in the last 20 years. Similar changes will happen as quantum technologies become embedded. NQIT will both develop the technologies, and by responsible innovation, will inform policy and create a framework where developments can be deployed for the benefit of society.

People

ORCID iD

Ian Alexander Walmsley (Principal Investigator)
Gavin William Morley (Co-Investigator)
Martin Booth (Co-Investigator)
Marina Denise Anne Jirotka (Co-Investigator)
David Lucas (Co-Investigator)
Peter James Mosley (Co-Investigator)
Samson Abramsky (Co-Investigator)
Mete Atature (Co-Investigator)
Justin Coon (Co-Investigator)
Peter George Smith (Co-Investigator)
Christopher John Stevens (Co-Investigator)
Jacob Andrew Dunningham (Co-Investigator)
Andrew Steane (Co-Investigator)
Alexey Kavokin (Co-Investigator)
Pavlos Lagoudakis (Co-Investigator)
Peter James Leek (Co-Investigator)
Almut Beige (Co-Investigator)
Michael John Strain (Co-Investigator)  http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9752-3144
Joshua Nunn (Co-Investigator)  http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0517-0829
Mark Edward Newton (Co-Investigator)
Brian J Smith (Co-Investigator)
Jonathan Barrett (Co-Investigator)
Matthias Karl Keller (Co-Investigator)
Jason Michael Smith (Co-Investigator)
Ian Michael Watson (Co-Investigator)
Martin David Dawson (Co-Investigator)
Dieter Hans Jaksch (Co-Investigator)
Animesh Datta (Co-Investigator)  http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4021-4655
Simon Charles Benjamin (Co-Investigator)
Erdan Gu (Co-Investigator)
Winfried Karl Hensinger (Co-Investigator)
Dominic Christopher O'Brien (Co-Investigator)
Axel Kuhn (Co-Investigator)  http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5101-8732
Jong Min Kim (Co-Investigator)
Stephanie Simmons (Co-Investigator)
Steve Collins (Co-Investigator)
Peter Horak (Co-Investigator)  http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8710-8764
Elham Kashefi (Co-Investigator)
William J Wadsworth (Co-Investigator)
Corin Gawith (Researcher Co-Investigator)  http://orcid.org/0000-0002-3502-3558
William Steven Kolthammer (Researcher Co-Investigator)

Publications


10 25 50
Stokes A (2015) The Casimir effect for fields with arbitrary spin in Annals of Physics
Zhang L (2015) Precision metrology using weak measurements. in Physical review letters
Giscard P (2015) An exact formulation of the time-ordered exponential using path-sums in Journal of Mathematical Physics
 
Description We have drawn on the wide range of expertise across hub partners (and collaborators) to implement hardware in the areas of Ion Traps, Photonics and alternative nodes. This is targeted at Core Quantum Applications in the areas of Communications, Networked Sensing, Quantum Simulation, and Quantum Computing. The skills of these teams are also being used to develop key spin-off technologies, as part of our critical path to the Q20:20. We have used partnership resource to build a substantial number of new collaborations across industry and academia. These will deliver components and capabilities to realise the Q20:20 vision, new spinout technologies, and allow us to investigate real-world applications for quantum computing.

We are making excellent progress with our main goals, with key functions demonstrated, a strong team and a well-developed engineering plan.

Computing-Q20:20 demonstrator. We have focused on (i) demonstrating key functions that are required for the Q20:20 (ii) defining the functional architecture of the demonstrator, and defining and refining the engineering architecture. Excellent progress has been made in all these areas: including, for example, the world's first demonstration of a mixed-species quantum logic gate.
Demonstrating key functions. The key functions required for the architecture are (i) Operation of mixed species ion traps and gate operations between them and (ii) photonically enabled entanglement (networking) between ions in different traps. Ca/Sr have now been trapped in a single ion trap, and Ca/Sr gate operation has been demonstrated. Microwave driven gates offer the potential for simpler computing systems in the longer term, and leading results have been obtained for both far-field and near-field microwave gate operations, achieving the world state-of-the-art by more than an order of magnitude.
Joint work across partners and work packages has led to the choice of a polarisation based scheme to entangle (network) ions across traps. Lab experiments and engineering design are now underway. The longer term goal of integrating cavity systems to optimise the atom/photon interface is progressing with initial ion-cavity coupling results achieved.
Functional and Engineering architecture definition. We have developed a reduced complexity trap design with good scaling properties. This is a significant breakthrough, as it will allow us to reduce the engineering complexity required in an individual node, but will show similar performance (for the same total number of ions) as the Q20:20 configuration originally envisaged. This design has been partitioned into four engineering subsystems (Optical power supply, Control and electronics, Entangler and Quantum Module) and draft requirements, specifications and timelines for each of the delivery of these have been developed. Implementation of all these subsystems is underway, using partners across the project, and new collaborations.
Small-scale co-processors. We are making good progress with both superconducting and NV centre based qubits, and it is envisaged that these will be used for smaller scale co-processors. We have commissioned a superconducting laboratory, and developed a new (patented) coaxial qubit superconducting architecture. A process route that allows NV centres to be placed in cavities has been developed.
Enabling technologies and subsystems for simulation for sensing and communications.
Optical cavities are a key enabling technology, as they can potentially improve the ion-photon-fibre coupling efficiency by orders of magnitude, and we have achieved an initial ion-cavity coupling demonstration. Waveguide-based photonics, single-photon sources, and detectors enable small scale co-processors and quantum simulators. Together, our partners have developed single photon sources, waveguide technologies (planar and laser written), and commissioned detector facilities. Communications will require the ability to transmit single photons over distances not possible for the short wavelengths used by the Q20:20. We are developing wavelength converters to achieve this as well as optical memories for repeater-based systems.
Quantum simulation has strong potential as a practical application at an early stage. We have investigated dynamical mean-field theory simulation, which may be applied to superconductivity and chemistry. Recent work has shown that such simulations can be adapted to small-scale computers, such as single ion-trap modules. This shows the excellent potential of early applications for the Q20:20 architecture.
Core Quantum Applications. Our work on applications initially had two threads: to research frameworks for applications of a quantum device, and to investigate how these could map onto the NQIT hardware. We are developing techniques to verify future hardware for quantum computation and communication, as a prerequisite to technologies such as secure future internet, both for quality control and as a security feature for future users. We have made good progress in this direction, including a rigorous proof of time-frequency Quantum Key Distribution systems, and new schemes for verification of state preparation and computation. Investigations are now underway into how these may be adapted to the hardware which is likely to be available. Excellent progress has also been made in the theoretical development of networked quantum sensors and a detailed study of a practical demonstration using magnetometers is now underway.
Exploitation Route Our technology goals for the NQIT programme are (i) to develop new concepts and devices for quantum information processing, (ii) to engineer these sufficiently to prove their operation and (iii) to build demonstrations of sufficient scale to create a compelling case for their exploitation. This is undertaken with our academic and industrial partners, so that we create a skilled ecosystem which allows these goals to be realised. Associated with these technology goals are training, advocacy, and responsible innovation targets, all designed to reinforce the ecosystem and develop the best environment nationally and globally for quantum technologies.
Over the first two years of the programme we have built a multidisciplinary team, and established common technical goals and understanding. Our new laboratories in the Beecroft building will be complete in 2017, allowing us to house key members of this team and the Q20:20 demonstrator in a state-of-the art facility. We will make these facilities available to academic, governmental and commercial organisations by secondments and exchanges. Meanwhile work progresses in recently renovated laboratory space.
We have also made good progress on spinout technologies. We will continue to pursue these, and use partnership projects to both spin out technologies, and commission components for the Q20:20 and later generations of demonstration.
Hardware. In the first two years we made excellent progress in simplifying the architecture of the Q20:20, microwave gate operations, and defining the engineering subsystems required. We will build on this progress and focus on developing these in order to build the Q20:20 hardware. We have designed the ion trap node, with fully engineered electrical and optical control and readout systems. The photonic entanglement subsystem will allow these to be networked for information processing, and the individual nodes will also be applied to sensing, simulations and
communications applications. In addition to the core demonstrator hardware, alternative nodes and cavity development will continue, with the aim of creating prototype nodes using these technologies, depending on their progression.
Applications. As set out above, our internal evaluation process identified new opportunities for user engagement through emulators of quantum systems. Our extensive user engagement and consultancy activity, involving companies such as BP and BAE, has identified the need for an emulator to allow users to try small-scale quantum applications, on small (laptop-scale) platforms. Activities by IBM and Microsoft have shown the success that such systems can have. At the same time, an emulator to model the Q20:20 hardware specifically would allow applications of the small-scale networked quantum system to be trialled, with the aim of transitioning to real hardware once possible. We will therefore create two distinct emulators: (i) a Q20:20 emulator using NQIT supercomputing resources, to strengthen the links between the application and hardware teams and allow rapid transitioning to real hardware once it becomes available; and (ii) a freely available emulator for generic quantum computation, to allow a base of users to develop new domain problems and techniques for quantum computing.
Training. NQIT will continue to build the excellent links it has with a wide range of CDTs, (13, including those quantum physics, photonics, and diamond). We will develop plans to work together with the new skills hubs, providing expertise where required, and hosting secondments and students where relevant. We will continue to hold training days every 6 months, with open invitations to all those interested, and further develop the skills of researchers and students.
Standards. We will continue to work to understand the standards landscape. Verification is a key part of this, and we will use the results of our research in this area to influence any future standards.
Responsible Research and Innovation. Our framework for RRI will be refined through case studies and wider stakeholder engagement, and our RRI team will continue to play a leading role and support the National Programme in this area.
User engagement and spinout technologies. Our highly successful engagement activities will continue. As the experience of our PDRA cohort grows, we will encourage secondment and exchange activities, facilitated by our new laboratories. Plans for four spinout companies are well-advanced, and we are developing a plan for a quantum engineering spinout company, as the means to transfer and exploit the growing engineering know-how across the Hub. The launch date for this is dependent on technical progress and the funding landscape. We will continue to review potential spinout technologies, with user engagement being a key requirement, and pursue those with real potential. Partnership projects will be used to both achieve this, and to commission components for the Q20:20 and later generations of demonstration.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Chemicals,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Energy,Environment,Financial Services, and Management Consultancy,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology,Security and Diplomacy,Transport
URL http://www.nqit.ox.ac.uk/content/resources
 
Description Case study 1: For sensing applications, we collaborated with Bruker Corporation, to explore the quantum properties of diamond for medical sensing using diamond based magnetometers. Diamond has demonstrated sensitivities and operating frequencies that opens up applications in imaging hearts for medical diagnostics, and sensitivity improvements which will make brain imaging possible. Another application of these devices will be conducting geomagnetic surveys for finding underground resources such as oil and minerals. Superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) are currently used for these applications, but the need for liquid helium makes these magnetometers expensive and inconvenient to use. Atomic Vapour Cell Magnetometers offer similar performance to the SQUID sensors without the need for cryogens, and are being tested for applications such as brain imaging. However, high sensitivity is only possible when magnetic shielding is used to remove the ambient magnetic field noise. Diamond-based magnetometers may provide a less expensive solution in situations where this magnetic field shielding is not practical, such as for a mobile magnetometer which is brought to a patient's bedside. Bruker Corporation is a manufacturer of scientific instruments, with revenue of US$1.62 billion (2015) and around 6000 employees. They saw the project as an opportunity to start to develop sensors with applications in medicine, including brain imaging, as well as geomagnetic surveys. Bruker has the company infrastructure and resources to carry out the subsequent product development and a customer network for commercial exploitation. The project delivered a magnetic field tensor gradiometer prototype, and a commercial competitiveness report. This will allow Bruker to evaluate the commercial potential of this approach, and decide on the next steps in its commercialisation. Case study 2: Quantum Simulation - User Project with BAE Systems Quantum simulators permit the study of quantum systems that are difficult to study in the laboratory and impossible to model with a supercomputer. Applications such as drug discovery and developing novel materials require understanding of a system of many particles at a molecular level. To simulate such system using conventional supercomputers would require exponential time, but the use of quantum computers will reduce this to a problem that can be solved in more realistic timescales. BAE Systems is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company, with revenue of GBP 17.9 billion (2015) and 84,600 employees worldwide. BAE Systems has extensive experience in solving complex nonlinear differential problems using High Performance Computing (HPC). These are used in the design of wing structures, and increased speed would allow more designs to be tested, leading ultimately to further improvements in design and development. Quantum simulation and the use of quantum co-processors is an area of particular focus for NQIT. Algorithms used in scientific research computing, specifically for dynamical mean field theory (DMFT), are a promising initial area of investigation. The main idea was to split an algorithm into a linear part that can efficiently be solved by a quantum processor while performing non-linear and self-consistency feedback loops using conventional HPC. Our team formed a collaboration with BAE Systems to pursue this idea of 'quantum co-processing' for solving complex problems. We tested the stability, reliability and expected gains in performance compared to standard algorithms. Initially we tested this approach against problems where the solutions are known. Our work was then extended to more sophisticated and challenging nonlinear differential equations, with the long term goal of modelling fluid flows and other problems relevant to BAE Systems. The ultimate impact of this new methodology will be to make some currently impossible simulations available to run in realistic timeframes, allowing BAE Systems to continue to deliver industry-leading innovative products.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Economic
 
Description Co-Director was on the advisory committee for the GO Science Blackett Review of Quantum Technologies
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/quantum-technologies-blackett-review
 
Description Director is on the high-level steering committee for the EC Quantum Technologies Flagship programme
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
URL https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/expert-group-quantum-technology-flagship-now-set
 
Description Quantum Technologies - Opportunities for European industry
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/news/quantum-technologies-opportunities-european-industry...
 
Description Workshop on Quantum Technologies and Industry for the EC
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
URL https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/news/report-workshop-quantum-technologies-and-industry
 
Description Established Career Fellowship (Kashefi)
Amount £1,237,804 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/N003829/1 
Organisation University of Cambridge 
Department Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council EPSRC
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2015 
End 09/2020
 
Description Exploring the Commercial Applications of Quantum Technologies (Bath)
Amount £500,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 102247 
Organisation Government of the UK 
Department Innovate UK
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 06/2015 
End 05/2016
 
Description Exploring the Commercial Applications of Quantum Technologies (Bay/Nokia)
Amount £124,000 (GBP)
Funding ID 131882 
Organisation Government of the UK 
Department Innovate UK
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 05/2015 
End 04/2016
 
Description FQXi Large Grant
Amount $76,296 (USD)
Organisation Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi) 
Sector Learned Society
Country United States of America
Start 07/2015 
 
Description Feasibility Study for QWISPS
Amount £110,436 (GBP)
Funding ID 131877 
Organisation Government of the UK 
Department Innovate UK
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 04/2015 
End 03/2016
 
Description Smith EPSRC Strategic Equipment Grant
Amount £1,374,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/N010868/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 01/2016 
End 06/2017
 
Description Cold Quanta Hensinger 
Organisation Cold Quanta
Country United States of America 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Winfried Heninsger at the University of Sussex is working with Cold Quanta on the design and fabrication of vacuum systems.
Collaborator Contribution Cold Quanta have expertise in this field.
Impact No tangible outcomes yet.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Element Six Morley 
Organisation De Beers Group
Department Element Six
Country Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Gavin Morley's group is characterizing the concentrations of colour centres in diamond.
Collaborator Contribution Element Six is providing the diamonds.
Impact No outputs yet
Start Year 2015
 
Description Kuhn Matthews Bristol 
Organisation University of Bristol
Department School of Physics
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Axel Kuhn is collaborating with Jonathan Matthews in Bristol on atom-photon interfaces.
Collaborator Contribution Jonathan contributed expertise in measurement with quantum states of light.
Impact A paper has been deposited on arXiV: "Photonic Quantum Logic with Narrowband Light from Single Atoms", but this has not been published yet.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Leek collaboration with Ginossar University of Surrey 
Organisation University of Surrey
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Dr Peter Leek is working with Dr Eran Ginossar at the University of Surrey on understanding new types of superconducting qubit readout and development of optimal control for high fidelity superconducting qubit operations.
Collaborator Contribution Dr Ginossar is an expert in theory/simulation of superconducting circuits.
Impact No outputs yet.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Nunn collaboration with Gu 
Organisation University of Strathclyde
Department Department of Physics
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Dr Joshua Nunn is working with Dr Erdan Gu in Strathclyde on a new collaboration to enhance the memory interaction in NV centres.
Collaborator Contribution Strathclyde are fabricating diamond cavities.
Impact No outputs yet.
Start Year 2015
 
Description British Embassy Seoul UK Alumni Seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Ian Walmsley gave a talk entitled "A New Generation of Computers: Towards Quantum 2.0 Technologies" to a group of UK alumni at the British Embassy in Seoul. This stimulated increased interest in quantum research in a group which wouldn't necessarily get to hear the research message often.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Can We Build A Quantum Computer? - Cheltenham Science Festival 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Quantum physicists Gavin Morley, Winfried Hensinger and Elham Kashefi discussed with an audience of around 200 members of the general public how the theory of quantum computing will ever become reality. This prompted discussion and interest in the research, and demonstrable interest on social media too (99 "Likes" on Facebook, for example).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/science/whats-on/2015/can-we-build-a-quantum-computer/
 
Description Cheltenham Science Festival 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Over three days, a group of NQIT researchers and graduate students demonstrated the fundamental physics behind our approach to quantum computing - ion traps and photonics - and explained some of its potential applications. We used a rotating saddle trap that keeps a ping pong ball stable while it spins to illustrate how we use a rotating electric field to trap single ions in an ion trap. This was then further demonstrated with a dust trap where electrostatically-charged grains of sand are trapped inside a static electric field.

We showed visitors how you can control light with a beautifully simple demonstration involving shining a laser pointer into a flow of water - the photons follow the curving path of the water in just the same way that they flow down an fibre optic cable providing internet to peoples' homes or photonic networking in our quantum computer.

We explained why quantum computers will be faster than regular computers using a fun and quick game of "snap" with a twist that the 'regular computer' has to sort through the deck of cards one card at a time whereas the 'quantum computer' can see all the cards face-up on the table because they are in a "quantum superposition of all possible solutions".

Lastly, we invited visitors to find the pirate treasure (and win a chocolate coin) by finding the shortest route to search all the locations on the treasure map. This is a demonstration of the Travelling Salesman problem - it's not that difficult to solve for a handful of points on a map, but the complexity increases exponentially as you add more points to the map. This is the sort of problem that quantum computers are likely to be able to solve considerably more quickly than classical computers. Hundreds of visitors to the festival - young and old - visited our stand.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.nqit.ox.ac.uk/news/nqit-cheltenham-science-festival
 
Description Cheltenham Science Festival Variety Night: An Evening of Unnecessary Detail 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Gavin Morley did 8 minutes of stand-up comedy on "Quantum Weirdness" to an audience of over 600 members of the general topic. This enagaged the interest of the audience in a complex area of research in an accessible way, and also prompted interest on social media.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/science/whats-on/2015/science-festival-variety-night-an-evening-o...
 
Description How will Quantum Technologies change how you do business? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact In July 2016, NQIT's KE fund award was used to host an event for local businesses entitled "How will Quantum Technologies change how you do business?". Around 50 people from a range of businesses along with members of the public came to the evening session at the Oxford Martin School, which is an interdisciplinary research centre. The attendees were given talks about business opportunities, an introduction to current research, and responsible research and innovation (RRI), from NQIT's Co-Director for User Engagement, one of our researchers in Cambridge, and an expert in RRI from UCL. These talks were followed by a question and answer session, which gave people the opportunity to engage in more depth with our panel, and finally a networking session. Attendees appreciated "seeing wider opportunities from current near-home engagement" and "improvement of my knowledge of quantum technology". We will use other feedback to optimise future events.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.nqit.ox.ac.uk/event/how-will-quantum-technologies-change-how-you-do-business
 
Description IoP trip to Oxford April 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact A group of retired physicists visited Oxford on a trip organised by the Insitute of Physics. Just under 20 people attended and were given a talk by Peter Leek on "Superconducting Quantum Circuits", and also a lab tour. This led to discussion with the group attending on the latest advances in quantum research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.facebook.com/PhysicsOxford/photos/a.625705274196580.1073741841.217580765009035/625705877...
 
Description Minister for Universities and Science visit to NQIT February 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The Universities and Science Minister, Jo Johnson, visited Oxford, where he was shown laboratory and workshop facilities, and met doctoral students, in the University's Networked Quantum Information Technologies (NQIT) Hub and Mobile Robotics Group.
The NQIT Directors spoke with Mr Johnson about the UK National Quantum Technology Programme and why quantum technology is such an exciting area for research and technology development. He then was given a tour of our NQIT lab in the Physics Department where Vera Schafer, a doctoral student, and Dr Ben Metcalf, a post-doctoral researcher, explained how their research into ion traps and photonics provide the core hardware for NQIT's Q20:20 quantum computer.
During his visit to Oxford, Mr Johnson announced new Government funding to support DPhil students in engineering and physical sciences, as well as significant funding geared towards boosting the UK's research into quantum technologies.
Mr Johnson said in the press: 'We are committed to securing the UK's position as a world leader in science and innovation. The Government is ensuring major new discoveries happen here, such as the creation of super-powerful quantum computers which scientists are working on in Oxford. This new funding builds on our protection for science spending by supporting research in our world-leading universities and helping to train the science leaders of tomorrow.'
This story featured particularly in the local press but also on the BIS landing page for a few days, and the visit was also retweeted by the Minister on Twitter. This meant that the profile of NQIT was raised outside of the Ministerial visit to a wide range of the general public, as well as the researchers having the opportunity to present the research directly to a politician, who also asked a number of questions about the research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://nqit.ox.ac.uk/news/universities-and-science-minister-jo-johnson-visits-nqit-hub
 
Description NQIT User Engagement Forum 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact We hold User Forums every 6 months to facilitate dialogue between researchers and industrial/commercial users. This provides an opportunity for users to find out our latest research and development. It also ensures that the researchers are fully aware of the users' requirements, specifications and technology expectations, and therefore, can align their research with the industrial and commercial demands. These events have led to a number of requests to work further with NQIT, either through potential User Projects or potentially funding separate projects (for example doctoral students).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
URL http://nqit.ox.ac.uk/user-engagement
 
Description Oxford Physics Alumni Day June 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Joshua Nunn's group contributed to a stall promoting the activities of NQIT to a group of Oxford Physics Alumni and their families, representing a wide range of professions and highlighting new research in quantum physics to an interested group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www2.physics.ox.ac.uk/events/2015/06/27/alumni-garden-party-2015-including-atomic-laser-phys...
 
Description Oxfordshire Science Festival 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In June 2016, NQIT's bid for a stall about quantum computing at the Oxfordshire science festival was successful, and we also received some funding to create new materials specifically aimed at engaging with the public. We designed banners, postcards and some games addressing the questions "Will a quantum computer change your life?", "What are we doing to make quantum computers a reality?", and "How do you build a quantum computer?". We used these materials at the festival to raise the visibility of quantum computing amongst the hundreds of members of the public who attended the free event. We also brought along some demonstrators of quantum technology, which a team of young researchers used to make quantum technologies accessible to the public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.oxfordshiresciencefestival.com/2016-festival-programme.html
 
Description Pint of Science talk - Peter Smith 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Peter Smith gave a talk to around 50 members of the public in Southampton on "Nonlinear light: from missile defence to quantum computers" which introduced interested members of the public to the subject in an accessible way, and prompted discussion and interest in the research activity.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://pintofscience.co.uk/event/light-the-future-of-the-internet/
 
Description QIPC Leeds 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact NQIT researchers in Leeds organised the QIPC 2015 conference, bringing together international researchers from all aspects of quantum information science. Other NQIT researchers were invited to speak at the conference: David Lucas and Jonathan Barrett. This sparked interest in NQIT research amongst potential collaborators.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.qipc2015.leeds.ac.uk/home/plenary-speakers.html
 
Description Quantum - from Schroedinger's Science to New Technology 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Sir Peter Knight FRS gave a talk to the public as entitled above, which was also filmed and is available to watch as a videocast at the website below. The audience included a mixture of the general public (a range of ages), students, industrialists, funders of quantum research in the UK and internationally, and academics. There were also demonstrations of the technology for attendees to try.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://nqit.ox.ac.uk/news/quantum-schroedinger%E2%80%99s-science-new-technology-public-lecture-prof-...
 
Description Quantum Technology Showcase November 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact This event was targeted at industry, senior government officials and European and international research and technology insitutes, to showcase the technology and work of the four Hubs within the UK National Quantum Technology Programme. The NQIT Director presented the quantum computing Hub at the event to the audience, and there were demonstrations of the functionality of ion traps amongst other related technologies from both early career and more established researchers. Feedback collated from the audience showed that the demonstrations of technology as well as the time spent networking with researchers were appreciated, and the reaction to the presentation was positive, that it was pitched at the right level and useful.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://nqit.ox.ac.uk/news/uk%E2%80%99s-quantum-hubs-show-future-technology
 
Description Quantum UK 2015 Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact NQIT hosted the first annual meeting of the UK Quantum Technology Hub Network in Oxford in September 2015. The conference was a forum to discuss scientific progress, innovations and technical challenges across all the sectors in the programme. It was also an opportunity to bring together industrial stakeholders and academic and government researchers, to exchange ideas, stimulate new projects and form new collaborations.
Nearly 200 people attended the conference, drawn from from academia, government and business.
The event ran over three days and began with an overview of quantum technology strategies from the UK government, the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) and Innovate UK, who are the key funders of the Network. Then each of the four Quantum Technology Hubs presented their current research, followed by presentations from key industrial partners, including Lockheed Martin and Toshiba.
The second and third days delved into more technical issues surrounding the development of quantum technologies, such as systems engineering and standards. There was an eclectic mix of technical talks covering photonics, trapped ions, cold atoms and solid-state devices, including fascinating talks from Nobel Laureate Bill Phillips and from international leaders in quantum materials, precision sensing and engineering, including Eva Andrei, Andrew Steane, Mark Kasevich and Dana Anderson.
The conference closed with a tour of the Oxford labs in the departments of Physics and Materials.
An industry exhibition and trade show was held throughout the conference, including representatives from 16 companies working in electronics, data, and optics.
The conference hosted many international visitors and presented updates from major quantum technology programmes around the world, including MUSIQC in the US, EQUS in Australia, QuTech in the Netherlands, and PCQC in France. There were also a number of programme managers from US military and government agencies, who were keen to engage with and support the UK activities.
Overall the event served the dual purpose of bringing together scientists and industrial partners from within the UK Quantum Technology Hub Network, and raising the international visibility of the UK programme.
Several NQIT investigators were also invited to speak at the conference: Ian Walmsley, Elham Kashefi, Animesh Datta, David Lucas, Marina Jirotka and Philip Inglesant.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.nqit.ox.ac.uk/event/quantum-uk-2015
 
Description Salisbury 6th Form Cleanroom Tours 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact James Gates and Matthew Posner organised a cleanroom tour to a group of Women Sixth Form students. The visit by the all-girls school was part of an initiative to encourage more young women to pursue studies in science and engineering.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.orc.soton.ac.uk/q-wow.html
 
Description Simon Benjamin talk about UK NQTP, especially NQIT, at an alumni event in Oxford 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Alumni attended a talk about quantum technology, which led to questions and discussions about the future of this research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Technology for tomorrow - the research shaping our future 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Simon Benjamin gave a talk entitled "The dawn of quantum technology" to a large group of the general public, which was also streamed live on You Tube. This has had 738 views online. The talk led to questions and discussion about quantum technology, and the further viewing of the talk shows that it reached a wider audience interested in quantum.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/event/2259
 
Description University of Southampton Science and Engineering Day 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Peter Smith and James Gates organised tours of their NQIT lab, and 180 members of the public attended and expressed an interest in the research being conducted there. The wider festival at the University of Southampton attracted thousands of visitors.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.southampton.ac.uk/assets/imported/transforms/content-block/UsefulDownloads_Download/0301...