Goleta Magazine 2020-2021 - 42

UC Santa Barbara

Quantum Leaps

UC Santa Barbara has become an
international hub for quantum research
I N C A M P U S L A B S and in small industrial parks
around Goleta, UC Santa Barbara scientists and engineers
are making some of the most groundbreaking technological
advances of the 21st century.
These pioneers are part of a revolution-a quantum revolution that centers on nature's smallest units and the world
where particles can exist in several states at once and correlate states instantly as though distance were no matter.
Quantum is a wave of the future, and UC Santa Barbara is
riding the crest.
Quantum Supremacy

Top to bottom: A lithium
quantum gas machine in
the Weld Lab provides
researchers the ability to
study quantum mechanics in
action. Credit: Tony Mastres,
UC Santa Barbara. A metal
cylinder covers and protects
the cryogenic system (see
opposite page) that houses
the superconducting qubits
developed by the Martinis
Group. Credit: Matt Perko,
UC Santa Barbara.

In late 2019, from their nondescript Google AI laboratory
on Cortona Avenue, a small team led by UC Santa Barbara
physicist John Martinis made history. Their Sycamore quantum computer performed-in a mere three minutes-a calculation that would take today's best computers thousands
to millions times longer.
Those three minutes signaled a shift in the quantum computing world: The group had achieved quantum supremacy.
" A computation that would take 10,000 years on a classical
supercomputer took 200 seconds on our quantum computer, " said Brooks Foxen, a graduate student researcher in
the Martinis Group. " It is likely that the classical simulation
time, currently estimated at 10,000 years, will be reduced

by improved classical hardware and algorithms, but since
we are currently 1.5 billion times faster, we feel comfortable
laying claim to this achievement. "
Quantum computing's reach extends far, with the potential
to advance our knowledge and ability on many fronts, from
artificial intelligence to medicine and pharmaceuticals, to
encryption, to climate change models and weather forecasts-any field that requires rapid computation of massive
amounts of data.
Quantum Sensing and Materials
In much the same way that silicon revolutionized computers,
other materials may exist that make quantum computers
more robust and efficient. The search is on to find-or
develop-them, and UC Santa Barbara is home to one of the
U.S. headquarters on the front lines.
Funded through a $25 million grant from the National
Science Foundation, the nation's first Quantum Foundry,
directed by physics professor Ania Jayich and materials
professor Stephen Wilson, aims to leverage the campus's
strengths in materials, physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering and computer science, as well as its tradition of multidisciplinary collaboration, to advance quantum sciencebased technologies.
" One of the big ideas behind the Foundry is to take these
early theoretical ideas that are just beginning to be experi-

BY SONIA FERNANDEZ
U C S A N TA B A R B A R A O F F I C E O F P U B L I C A F F A I R S & CO M M U N I C AT I O N S

42

GOLETA MAGAZINE

SBSCChamber.com


https://quantumfoundry.ucsb.edu/ http://www.SBSCChamber.com

Goleta Magazine 2020-2021

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