IISER Thiruvananthapuram contributes to India’s National Quantum Mission
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Thiruvananthapuram (IISER TVM) is spearheading research in several areas that form an integral part of the recently announced National Quantum Mission. Quantum Computing and Quantum Technologies represents a new frontier which promises to deliver several game-changing developments to society at large. The Institute has a strong presence in all the major themes of the National Quantum Mission, namely Quantum Computing; Quantum Communication; Quantum Sensing, and Quantum Materials. This puts the Institute in a position to contribute to all facets of the mission and to help realize the deliverables of the mission in a timely manner.
Sharing his thoughts on the National Quantum Mission, Prof. J.N. Moorthy, Director, IISER TVM, said, “The emergent quantum technology (QT) is set to define new paradigms in every sphere, namely, drug discovery, transportation, telecommunications, autonomous and remote controlled-functions, biomedical applications, etc. It’s laudable that Government of India has launched the quantum mission with a massive outlay to nurture the development and foster innovation in QT in the country. IISER TVM is rapidly emerging as one of the sought-after institutions for science education and research in the country. I am personally elated that IISER TVM is integrally part of this national mission and has already been engaged in several activities. With a cluster of highly competent faculty and brilliant students, I sincerely wish that IISER TVM heralds highly impactful contributions to the national quantum mission.”
IISER TVM is a part of the Quantum Enabled Science and Technology (QuEST) program of the Department of Science and Technology, a precursor to the National Quantum Mission, worth Rs. 6003 crore. The Institute has contributed significantly in building the roadmap of this mission. As a part of QuEST, IISER TVM hosted a consultation meeting for prominent scientists and experts working in the fields of quantum computing, quantum communication and other quantum technologies, and the officials from the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India, on the vertical, ‘Quantum Computing and Quantum Simulations’, one of the various thrust areas. Prof. Anil Shaji, School of Physics, IISER TVM, contributed as a member of the committee that drafted the Detailed Project Report for the National Quantum Mission.
Speaking about IISER TVM’s work in the field of Quantum Computing and Quantum Technologies, Prof. Shaji said, “The National quantum mission, executed with a clear vision under a capable leadership structure has the potential to significantly enhance the stature of India in the global community as a scientific and technological powerhouse. The universe is inherently quantum in nature and unlocking the ability to control the physical universe at the most fundamental level is what quantum technologies is all about. In a sense, the possibilities it unlocks are limited only by the imagination.”
The Institute is working on multiple research projects that closely aligns with the National Quantum Mission. Some of these include:
Ø Quantum computation with Silicon quantum dot qubits. In this project, the researchers are building a small-scale quantum information processing device with a few quantum bits made using semiconducting.
Ø On research related to Quantum Materials the Institute is working on topics including:
– Realising one of the first experiments in the world that connects a quantity that signifies inherently quantum correlations to a measurement that can be made in the lab in a straightforward manner
– Low-dimensional spin systems with frustrated lattice structures in order to look for exotic quantum phases such as quantum spin-liquids
– Understanding the properties of such materials with various advanced means of studying their structure, form and other aspects.
Ø On the front of theoretical aspects of Quantum Technologies, the Institute is working on:
– Theoretical aspects of quantum communication as well as on the foundations of quantum mechanics
– Quantum algorithms, error correction and mitigation in quantum information processing devices. Open quantum systems and quantum control, simulation of chemical and solid-state systems on quantum computers, and theoretical aspects of quantum materials among others
Apart from this, IISER TVM is the host institute for two ongoing projects under the QuEST initiative of DST worth over Rs. 11 crores. These projects are on implementation of a small-scale quantum computing device using semiconducting quantum dot-based quantum bits.
Along with this, the Institute is also the host institution for one of the key human resources development projects that is part of QuEST that involves conducting outreach, summer projects, summer schools etc. Development of human resources is a key objective of the National Quantum Mission which also seeks to produce a “quantum aware” workforce for the jobs of tomorrow. IISER TVM is already contributing to this key aspect of the mission through the human resources development initiative.
IISER TVM also recently hosted a workshop on quantum materials aimed both at disseminating the key ideas behind what makes a material truly ‘quantum’ in nature and also for bringing together experts in the field for a freewheeling discussion spread over two days on where this new field is headed and where the interesting problems to work on are.
Quantum computing will allow one to explore the structure and properties of large molecules computationally. National Quantum Mission announcement envisages hubs for various verticals of the mission. IISER TVM will seek to participate actively as part of various such components of the mission.