Quantum computers show promise to solve real-world problems that are intractable for today's computers to solve alone; however, realizing this benefit will require significant research and development. The IBM Q Network was formed to accelerate these efforts by providing organisations with access to IBM's commercial quantum hardware via the cloud; quantum software tools, libraries, and applications; the expertise of IBM scientists, engineers, and consultants; and a global quantum computing community.
Within the IBM Q Network, Brookhaven is a member of the IBM Q Hub established at Oak Ridge. This hub was announced in 2017 and added three other DOE national labs in January 2019: Argonne, Lawrence Berkeley, and Fermilab. Brookhaven joined in March 2019.
"Data-driven discovery is foundational to Brookhaven Lab's mission, and the Computational Science Initiative (CSI) underpins its computer science and applied mathematics research", stated CSI Director Kerstin Kleese van Dam. "By joining the IBM Q Hub at Oak Ridge, CSI is further enabled to chart a path toward potential quantum advantages for state-of-the-art machine learning, high-energy and nuclear physics, and materials science applications."
Initially, Brookhaven scientists will use IBM Q quantum systems to study superconductors and other materials with strong electronic correlations. Some of the other projects they plan to tackle in the future on IBM Q quantum systems include examining the quantum nature of solar cells and photosynthesis, developing new approaches to calculate the strong force holding protons together, and applying quantum computing to artificial intelligence and machine learning.