Princeton announces initiative to propel innovations in quantum science, tech

Princeton University announced Thursday it has launched an initiative to foster innovations in quantum science and technology, an area of physics that explains the behavior of matter and energy at the scale of atoms and electrons.

The Princeton Quantum Initiative will bring together over 30 science and engineering faculty members to help support fundamental quantum science research and training.

Princeton said it has named Andrew Houck, professor of electrical engineering and a pioneer of quantum computing technologies, the PQI’s inaugural director.

“This initiative enables the work of our extraordinary quantum faculty and their teams to grow research capabilities and attract talented minds at all levels to Princeton, so that they can discover new materials, design new algorithms, and explore the depths of the underlying science in an exciting environment of discovery and innovation,” Pablo Debenedetti, dean for research, the class of 1950 professor in engineering and applied science and professor of chemical and biological engineering, said.

The university said it will financially provide support for three years to two graduate student fellowships and another three-year term for two postdoctoral fellowships. The fellows will be able to choose their own projects and faculty members.

“Princeton has world leaders at all layers of this technology, including foundational science, materials synthesis and characterization, quantum device platforms, computer architecture, algorithm design and computational complexity,” Houck said. “We have an incredible collection of experts in their respective disciplines, and the Princeton Quantum Initiative gives us an entity which brings everyone together to accelerate the pace of discovery.”

The PQI will also develop courses for students with no prior quantum physics background.

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