$2 million NSF grant spurs CCNY quantum technology research

Supported by a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation, physicists at The City College of New York are embarking on a four-year research project to develop chip-scale quantum emulators. The outcome could include the ability to solve diverse computationally intractable problems from protein folding and neural networks to the dynamics of financial markets.

Also known as quantum simulators, emulators are used to simulate computationally complex and experimentally inaccessible problems using a controllable quantum system. “Such a simulator is a task-specific device that mimics the physical behavior of a system of interest that is computationally hard to model or experimentally difficult to realize,” said Vinod Menon, chair of physics in City College’s Division of Science and the project’s team leader. The team includes CCNY physicists and engineers Sriram Ganeshan, Alexander Khanikaev and Carlos Meriles as co-principal investigators.

“In this project, the team will take a distinct approach based on half-light half-matter quasiparticles (a.k.a. exciton-polaritons) as a ‘programmable quantum matter’ platform to realize chip-scale quantum emulators,” added Menon. “Specifically, we will use organic molecular systems combined with light-trapping structures to simulate systems ranging from magnetism to electron transport in quasicrystals.”

Students in the Division of Science – both undergraduate and graduate – as well as postdoctoral associates will benefit from the project by receiving training in quantum technologies.

In addition, outreach efforts will focus on developing a curriculum to introduce concepts of quantum technologies to high school students.

The program will also forge strong international partnerships with research groups in Canada, France, United Kingdom, and Germany.

The program is jointly funded by the NSF’s Quantum Leap Big Idea Program and Office of International Science and Engineering.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its role at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.

Jay Mwamba
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