Postgraduate research opportunities

Scalable Qubit Arrays for Quantum Computation and Optimisation

This PhD project aims to develop a neutral atoms quantum computer based on scalable arrays of over 100 individually trapped atoms coupled via highly excited Rydberg states

Number of places



Stipend, Home fee


19 August 2019



Masters/BSc (Hons) 2:1 or equivalent degree in physics or related discipline



Scholarships (fees and stipend) available on a competitive basis for UK/EU students, please contact supervisor for details.

Project Details

Quantum computation offers a revolutionary approach to information processing, providing a route to efficiently solve classically hard problems encountered across a diverse range of sectors, including financial services (e.g. portfolio optimisation), energy (e.g. network design and energy distribution), logistics (e.g. route planning), and IT (e.g. search, machine learning). Using hardware operating under the laws of quantum mechanics also creates a platform for studying physical systems, such as complex materials and molecules, with early demonstrations showing applications in materials science and quantum chemistry that could eventually be scaled up to accelerate drug design or optimised materials for aerospace and manufacturing.

Whilst large-scale applications will require thousands of qubits, in the near-term small (100 qubit) quantum processors will reach a regime in which the quantum hardware is able to solve problems not accessible even on the largest available conventional supercomputers. However, scaling of quantum systems remains a major experimental challenge, with high-fidelity performance demonstrated for small, state-of-the-art ion and superconductor systems but with significant technical barriers to extending this performance beyond around 10-20 qubits.

This project will develop a new platform for quantum computing based on scalable arrays of neutral atoms that is able to overcome the challenges to scaling of competing technologies. We will develop new hardware to cool and trap arrays of over 100 qubits that will be used to perform both analogue and digital quantum simulation by exploiting the strong long-range interactions of highly excited Rydberg atoms. Together with the quantum software team lead by Prof. Andrew Daley, we will design new analogue and digital algorithms tailored for the neutral-atom platform to target industrially-relevant computation and optimisation problems.

The PhD will be carried out in the Experimental Quantum Optics and Photonics Group in the Physics Department at the University of Strathclyde, working alongside members of the Computational and Non-linear Quantum Optics group to provide theoretical support.

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