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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R044759/1
Title: Combining Viewpoints in Quantum Theory (Ext.)
Principal Investigator: Heunen, Dr C
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Informatics
Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 01 January 2019 Ends: 31 December 2021 Value (£): 529,579
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Fundamentals of Computing
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
04 Jul 2018 EPSRC ICT Prioritisation Panel July 2018 Announced
04 Sep 2018 ICT and DE Fellowship Interviews 5 and 6 September 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This is an extension of the Fellowship: Combining Viewpoints in Quantum Theory.

Quantum hardware essentially consists of small quantum-mechanical systems that we can control, used to make nature solve certain problems much more efficiently than any classical hardware could, or even communicate in ways that were plain impossible with classical hardware. Large-scale deployment of quantum technology will clearly transform our society.

One of the main difficulties with this revolution is the steep learning curve to high-level programming of quantum software. The most fundamental dilemma runs straight to the heart of the counterintuitiveness of quantum mechanics: you can only extract data from a quantum system from one classical viewpoint at a time. To learn more about the system, you need to combine measurements from multiple classical viewpoints. But at the same time, quantum computers are so much more powerful than classical ones precisely because of quantum programmers are able to work in, and switch between, different classical viewpoints.

The Fellowship has established a formal framework in which quantum systems and classical viewpoints live on an equal footing in a single category, and studied the dynamical relationships between them. Building on this success, the extension will turn these fundamental results into more practical benefits. First, we will optimise quantum computations by minimising the number of switches of classical viewpoint, in a way that makes the quantum computation as cheap as possible, while at the same time making it as intuitive as possible to program in the first place. This will be implemented in three industry standard quantum programming platforms. Second, we will extend the framework to take spatial aspects into account, to let us specify distributed quantum communication protocols in a realistic way, and allow new ones. This will advance our theoretical understanding of nature. At the same time, it will have practical benefits by making the design of quantum protocols and algorithms more accessible to non-specialist programmers.

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