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TRIUMF hosts interdisciplinary quantum retreat for Canadian researchers

05 December 2019

On November 28, a diverse group of quantum researchers gathered at TRIUMF to discuss the applications of quantum techniques within a variety of fields in physics - atomic, molecular, and optics (AMO). With the principal goal of enhancing quantum literacy and proficiency, the group explored topics like quantum computing and machine learning, quantum sensing, and quantum techniques for fundamental science. This retreat, which drew researchers from TRIUMF, the National Research Council Canada, the University of British Columbia, the University of Manitoba, Simon Fraser University, the University of Toronto, the University of Victoria, and the University of Waterloo, is an example of the collaborations critical to harnessing the power of quantum technologies.  

 (image: Quantum retreat participants gather for a group photo)

In Canada and at TRIUMF there are ample examples of cutting-edge developments in these sectors. These include photosensors and quantum technologies in the AMO sectors, and the operation of major user facilities, as is done at TRIUMF. Take, for example, the design for one of the leading candidates for a large-scale functional quantum computer - the ‘trapped ion quantum computer’, wherein a high-precision trap for charged atoms confines and suspends individual ions as a way to store information. As Canada’s particle accelerator, TRIUMF has many years of experience designing, building, and iterating on ion traps, essentially miniature accelerator systems, for nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and other areas of fundamental science experiments.

There were also discussions about atomic clocks and single-photon detectors, as well as considerations for technical platforms for precision experiments in AMO.

These are just a few examples of the critical areas of overlap between the leading-edge technology developments and capabilities at TRIUMF and the needs of Canada’s growing network of quantum innovators.

Emerging from this retreat, TRIUMF looks forward to advancing collaborations and assisting our partners in making important progress on this exciting technology.