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History

A replica of the first point-contact transistor in Bell labs, 1947.
A replica of the first point-contact transistor in Bell labs, 1947.

MSU has a rich history in quantum computing, which began some two decades ago with MSU’s Institute for Quantum Sciences, one of the very first institutes of its kind in the field. This Institute brought together a group of physicists, mathematicians, and chemists to explore the fundamental physical characteristics of quantum systems; that is, how matter and radiation interact at the atomic and subatomic level and how those properties could be harnessed, using sophisticated technology and mathematical algorithms to radically accelerate the processing speed of computers. Physicists Mark Dykman, who served as the director of Michigan State University’s Institute for Quantum Sciences, and Brage Golding, with whom the concept of the original Institute was developed, were working to explore methods to control and readout qubits in a variety of material systems. Working with colleagues at Michigan State Universities and other universities (notably with related programs at Princeton, Yale, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany and the Discovery Research Institute at RIKEN in Japan), they also studied how to make a qubit that meets the harsh requirements of condensed matter systems, in which atoms are densely packed and strongly interact with each other.

MSU-Q is building upon these early local efforts to accelerate the fields of quantum computing, science and engineering into the next quantum information age.