The realm of quantum computing has been rife with activity in recent months. We received news of Google achieving 'quantum supremacy' back in September. This was followed by IBM challenging Google's claims a month later. But around that time, Google went public with its findings. Meanwhile, Microsoft has also been involved in quantum computing as well.
A month ago, the Redmond giant proved that shallow quantum circuits perform exponentially better than shallow classical unbounded circuits. This week, a well-reputed scientist at Microsoft, Dr.Matthias Troyer, received the coveted Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics for his contributions to quantum Monte Carlo algorithms.
Monte Carlo algorithms can predict how quantum particles interact with larger systems like atoms and molecules. Dr.Troyer is one of the leading international researchers in the field and his work pertains to the research and development of superconductors and quantum computers. Upon receiving the award, which is also the most valuable German prize in the field, he remarked on his work with Microsoft and signaled towards the need for quantum computers for further development:
"One reason I came to Microsoft and why I want to build a quantum computer is that when inventing these Monte Carlo methods, we made big breakthroughs, but we also encountered a fundamental problem of Monte Carlo simulations of quantum systems, the so-called ‘sign problem.’ The workaround becomes exponentially difficult; a quantum computer will help us move past these barriers."
His hopes might be aided by the recently announced Azure Quantum, whereby researchers will be able to run Monte Carlo simulations on both quantum and classical computers.
Dr.Troyer's prize not only offers him a grant but also entails a set of talks and meets where he will be interacting with the people involved in academia and the research community at large. He said, "I look forward to talking to the people in Hamburg – and around the world – about applying quantum systems and quantum computing to make an impact on material science problems.”