My Journey from Classical to Quantum: Womanium Global Quantum Program {Part 2}

Bhaumik Tyagi
7 min readSep 2, 2023
Img Source: Womanium

The Bohr-Einstein debates are a series of arguments and conversations between two eminent scientists, Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein, about the nature of quantum mechanics and the underlying truths of reality. These discussions, which mostly took place in the 1920s and 1930s, centred on how to interpret quantum mechanics, a theory that explains how matter and energy behave at the tiniest scales. It’s crucial to remember that the Bohr-Einstein disagreements were not finally settled during either physicist’s lifetimes, and their nature continues to be a topic of continuous debate and study among physicists and philosophers of science.

How does this debate have significant relevance to the field of quantum computing besides the main approaches that Y.Manin and R.Feynman had? Let’s dive into some covered topics:

  1. Entanglement and Quantum Computing: When two or more particles get entangled, they become so closely correlated that, regardless of how far apart they are from one another, the condition of one particle instantly affects the state of the other. Entanglement is used by quantum computers to accomplish computations that are not possible with conventional computers. Qubits, or quantum bits, can be entangled, which enables the development of potent quantum algorithms that take advantage of this characteristic to more effectively address particular issues.
  2. Quantum Algorithms and Non-locality: Bell’s inequalities were broken, demonstrating the non-locality of quantum systems and how measurements on entangled particles can produce correlations that defy conventional explanations. This non-locality is used by quantum computers to carry out intricate calculations. The speed-up potential of quantum computing is demonstrated by algorithms like Shor’s algorithm for factoring huge numbers and Grover’s algorithm for exploring unsorted databases. These algorithms take advantage of entanglement and superposition.
  3. Measurement and Quantum Information: The discussion of measuring in quantum mechanics was a topic of contention between Bohr and Einstein. Measurements are essential in quantum computing for obtaining usable information from a quantum system. Quantum algorithms frequently feature intricate interference patterns that call for careful measuring techniques in order to produce useful findings.
  4. Quantum Cryptography: Quantum cryptography is closely connected to arguments about the nature of reality and the effects of entanglement. Secure communication is made possible by entanglement-based protocols like quantum key distribution (QKD), which take advantage of the special characteristics of quantum systems. The security of information flow is greatly facilitated by the non-local correlations that entangled particles display.

The hardware lecture for the third week was given by Zurich Instruments’ Arash Fereidouni and Bruno Küng, titled “Interfacing a Qubit, the Easy Way!”. Review of qubit modalities, control measures, and characterization were the main topics of the lecture. There are various ways to interface the various kinds of qubits used in industry, including superconducting, spin, neutral atoms, and others. The usage of lasers, microwaves, and radio frequencies for control and measurement was addressed with several exercises using Jupyter Notebooks. Interface mechanisms for each qubit modality were also explored in detail. Additionally, LabOneQ allows you to conduct your own experiments to hasten the development of quantum computing.

Users may focus on intuitive, effective experiment design while automatically accounting for their instrumentation details and maximising relevant computing time thanks to its Python-based, high-level programming interface.

Afterward, we embarked on a virtual lab tour of Zurich Instruments and Berkeley Lab Advanced Quantum Testbed. Representing Lawrence Berkeley National Lab were Anastasiia Butko, Zahra Pedramrazi and Kasra Nowrouzi. They provided us with insightful bullet points about superconducting qubits and offered amazing career advice.

The next day, Danielle Holmes from the University of New South Wales delivered a remarkable hardware lecture titled “Si-based Quantum Computing”.

Image Credit: Danielle Holmes

A Hardware Panel deployment was now necessary. The discussion between Kristen Pudenz from Atom Computing, Nick Bronn (yes, Nick knows!) and Olivia Lanes, PhD from IBM, Mana Norouzpour from D-Wave, and Bharath Kannan from Atlantic Quantum was excellent. They dive into the complexities of hardware design, implementation, and optimisation, acting as a focal point for numerous hardware-related topics. They spent time investigating new developments, trends, and difficulties in hardware creation across several fields. This panel genuinely promoted thoughtful discussions, knowledge exchange, and teamwork that help to mould the future of quantum hardware innovation.

After the panel, Catalina Albornoz Anzola from Xanadu Quantum Technologies took the lead in a Quantum Machine Learning Software Bootcamp.

Img Credits: Catalina Albornoz

She was able to demonstrate to us how to build quantum circuits with parametrized parameters (which represented our difficulty to solve) and how to input them in an optimisation algorithm to find the best values for the parameters by using Xanadu’s SDK amazing Pennylane. A straightforward, concise, and easy-to-understand manner to explain QML to the audience. Great speech!

Starting with a quantum system in its ground state, which represents the configuration with the lowest energy, is the core notion of quantum annealing. The optimisation problem is then finally encoded by a final Hamiltonian that has been “annealed” or gradually evolved. The optimal solution to the problem should correspond to the lowest energy configuration in the final Hamiltonian.

The quantum system explores various configurations or states as it progresses from the ground state of the initial Hamiltonian to the ground state of the final Hamiltonian. The idea is that by spending more time in configurations that lead to better solutions, the system will essentially engage in quantum parallelism “searching” for the best answer. As we will see later in the relevant bootcamp, quantum annealing is particularly well suited for handling combinatorial optimisation problems, where you are seeking for the optimal configuration from a vast collection of options. The travelling salesman problem, graph partitioning, and protein folding are a few examples of issues that quantum annealing may be able to help with.

Brian McDermott from the Naval Nuclear Laboratory (FMP) began the fourth week. “Quantum Technologies for Nuclear Engineering” was the title of the keynote speech he gave. He emphasised that the subject of nuclear engineering offers several greenfield potential for quantum technology. It might be able to significantly improve design and maintenance simulation capabilities. Additionally, the industry will build instruments that are more compact, robust, and accurate thanks to quantum sensing. Not to mention, all engineering organisations will need a workforce that is knowledgeable with quantum mechanics.

The moment had come for a software bootcamp, continuing. Leading the route was Quantinuum’s Kathrin Spendier. Her talk, “Improving quantum circuit performance with TKET on H-Series devices and other platforms,” highlighted the advantages and capabilities of Quantinuum’s SDK, which are truly fantastic in my opinion. You should give TKET’s optimisation methods a try; they appear to be more potent than Qiskit’s. TKET also covers ZX calculus.

Img Credits: Kathrin Spendier

The hardware lecture on “Trapped-Ion Quantum Computing” was given the following day by co-CEO of eleQtron GmbH and professor Christof Wunderlich from the Universität Siegen. From the origins of quantum mechanics to its most recent advancements, he covered it all. Trapped-Ions has a number of advantages, including:

  • perfect qubits ready and localized (10nm)
  • laser-cooled (micro and mili K)
  • strong isolation from the environment that leads to long coherence times
  • high single qubit gate fidelities (>99.9999%)

Quantum Error Correction Module

In August, the program featured modules on Quantum Error Correction (QEC), which were presented by Abdullah Khalid on Saturdays. Quantum algorithms cannot be executed because of the noisy hardware of quantum computers. Quantum error correction is used to find and fix faults in order to lessen the effect of noise. An introduction to quantum error correction was provided. The classical error correction was originally introduced. We then used it to investigate basic quantum error-correcting codes. Stabilizer quantum error-correcting codes, which are the most extensively researched and used codes and are also relatively straightforward, were then discussed. For the traditional approach, we further delved into Pauli Groups, Hilbert Spaces, and Hamming code. Excellent QWorld course to take.

The Womanium Global Quantum Computing Program is an incredible example of the strength of inclusivity, innovation, and collaboration in the field of quantum technologies. The program has highlighted the outstanding work done by women in quantum throughout its run, but it has also highlighted how crucial it is to promote diversity in this quickly developing subject.

Emmy Noether, one of history’s greatest mathematicians who proved a theorem that might be as significant as the Pythagorean theorem, was shunned at the University of Göttingen almost a century ago, especially by philosophers and philologists who disapproved of her becoming a Privatdozent because she was a woman. The authorities asserted that she could never have been a professor at Göttingen since doing so would have sapped the will of the soldiers, despite the defense of D. Hilbert and F. Klein. I believe that things have altered a little because this program is now led by individuals like Marlou Slot, Ph.D. Furthermore, we anticipate that Marlou will help us find a practical quantum computer.

The program’s legacy endures in the thoughts and aspirations of individuals who took part in and engaged with its mission, even though this chapter of the program is coming to an end. In order to ensure that the Womanium spirit remains and paves the path for more inclusive, equitable, and ground-breaking breakthroughs in the intriguing field of quantum computing, the quantum community’s ongoing cooperation and support will be crucial. Act like a quantum leader!

Thank you for reading. 🙌

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Bhaumik Tyagi

Jr. Research Scientist || Subject Matter Expert || Founder & CTO|| Student Advocate ||