LOWELL — With the goal to advance the future of technology — from information processing to the understanding of gravity and cosmic evolution — a UMass Lowell professor was awarded $1.8 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Archana Kamal, an assistant professor in UMass Lowell’s Department of Physics and Applied Physics, will use the funding to expand her research into the emerging field of quantum information science, according to a university press release issued Friday.
The first of the two grants, worth $1.5 million, was awarded through the Department of Energy’s Basic Energy Sciences program. It will enable Kamal, who is leading the project, to develop quantum technologies that can form the foundation for the next generation of computing processing.
Kamal is partnering with researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology Boulder Laboratories, the release states.
The QIS research is expected to lead to new medical, national security and scientific applications and future quantum computers will eventually be able to solve large, highly complex problems beyond the capacity of today’s most powerful supercomputers, according to the release.
The second grant, worth approximately $360,000, was awarded through the Department of Energy’s High-Energy Physics program. It was given to Kamal and UMass Lowell Assistant Professor Nishant Agarwal, who leads the project, along with collaborators from Penn State and UMass Boston.
The aim of the program is to extend open quantum systems framework for tackling foundation-based questions about origins of the early universe, as well as apply quantum-information-theoretic tools for probing exotic gravitational phenomenon such as black holes, the release states.
Kamal leads the Quantum Engineering Science and Technology Group, or QUEST, at UMass Lowell, which focuses on building quantum processors that can be engineered like classical computers.
According to Friday’s release, Kamal’s work has enabled noise-resilient artificial atoms called quantum bits or “quibits” — the basic unit of quantum information — that can encode and preserve data long enough for processing, as well as new measurement protocols that can read out, transmit and amplify quantum information with efficiency.
“Our ultimate goal is to enable quantum technologies that can form the backbone of future quantum computers, which hold out the promise of offering unprecedented advantages over their classical counterparts,” Kamal stated in the release.
Kamal was listed as one of MIT Technology Review’s 2018 Innovators Under 35 in the “Visionaries” category, according to the release.
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