Secure funding for a large-scale “Quantum Interfaces” program, with its hub at CNSI
Quantum technologies promise to usher in major advances in fields ranging from information processing to medical imaging, and both governments and industry have recently intensified funding in the field. With the increased focus on quantum technologies has come a push for truly practical realizations. The quantum interfaces between elements (e.g. photons, atoms, solid-state spins, superconducting qubits) are the focus of the proposed research program. A central challenge of quantum technology is that the functionality enabled by interfaces is unavoidably accompanied by surface-mediated decoherence. Decoherence, in which a quantum element transitions into a classical state through uncontrolled interactions with the environment, is the fundamental obstacle to the realization of useful quantum technologies. A program of research focused directly on quantum interfaces has potential to enhance fundamental understanding of decoherence processes and surface physics while also unlocking new applications and abilities for hybrid quantum devices.
Challenge Grant funding will be used to build up strength in key areas that will be crucial in making a large collaborative grant proposal competitive. A “New Directions in Quantum Interfaces” workshop will enable building connections and collaborations with the leaders in related fields. PIs will also leverage domestic and international travel funds to develop links with key theory collaborators and program managers, funding to help produce a strong record of preliminary collaborative results to support a final proposal, and teaching relief to provide time for the development of competitive collaborative proposals to federal agencies. Targeted funding sources include a MURI, a large-scale DARPA grant, an MRPI program grant, and possibly an anticipated federal initiative in quantum technologies.