22 July 2020

Research centre receives 30 million kroner for quantum science research and training

Quantum science

The VILLUM Centre of Excellence for the Mathematics of Quantum Theory (QMATH) at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Mathematical Sciences has received DKK 30 million from the VILLUM FOUNDATION to train tomorrows quantum science experts. They will work in a field where physics, math and computer science meet and contribute to novel solutions that address the global societal challenges that we face, while generating economic growth.

Quantum science

Massive investment in quantum science is occurring worldwide. The prospects are enormous because quantum science has the potential to transform society in the years ahead. Quantum science revolutionizes our perception of information. And since everything around us is in fact information, quantum science has the potential to contribute towards entirely new — and currently impossible — solutions.

Tasks that might never be solved on conventional computers will be performed on quantum computers. This could include understanding complex molecules relevant for medicine and for materials with entirely new properties.

In Denmark, some of the world's leading quantum science researchers are in the midst of developing the know how required to understand the possibilities for quantum science and its commercial potential. For this reason, the centre just received DKK 30 million from the VILLUM FOUNDATION to continue its research.

“At the end of the day, everything is made up of the same particles: animals, humans and things — everything in the universe. What distinguishes us is the way in which we are assembled. Everything is composed of exactly the same quantum material, but information is stored differently,” says Professor Jan Philip Solovej, who heads QMATH alongside Professor Bergfinnur Durhuus and Professor Matthias Christandl.

The researchers are mapping how matter becomes an information resource. The quantum mechanical properties of materials can be used to store, process and send information in completely new ways.

According to Jan Philip Solovej, we are at the dawn of a quantum revolution that, within the next decade, will affect many aspects of our daily lives. Among other things, it may lead to the development of new materials, as well as more efficient and secure means of communication that are better suited to protect data.

The new knowledge generated by the research will be available for Danish companies, e.g., IT companies that develop sensors, watches and computers. This is why QMATH is training a new generation of experts to join the workforce and apply the new knowledge:

"The EU has recently invested EUR 1 billion in the area. There is no doubt that in the years ahead, people will be needed to create dialogue between math, computer science and physics researchers, as well as between researchers and companies, so as to benefit Danish industry," says Professor Solovej.

He is grateful for the EUR 30 million VILLUM FOUNDATION grant, one that has provided the centre with a five-year extension:

"We are incredibly happy about the VILLUM FOUNDATION grant and look forward to continuing our work towards the development of quantum solutions," says Professor Jan Philip Solovej.