by Andrii Semenov & KAU PR Team

Press Release

Workshop “Quantum Research and Education in Europe and in Ukraine”

July 27-28, 2022

Nowadays can be described as an exciting time of technological innovations. Many of them have a strong influence on our everyday lives as well as on scientific, social, business, educational, and other types of activities. One of the most important is modern quantum technology. Traditionally, it can be subdivided into four directions: quantum computation, simulation, communication, and sensing/metrology. The further development of these technologies require a large number of highly skilled experts that is a  challenge for educational systems in many countries.

In Ukraine, research and education in the field of modern quantum technologies are traditionally represented by a number of research groups and educational programs. At the same time, in order to meet the challenges and opportunities related to the Second Quantum Revolution, Ukraine needs a strong effort to further develop in these fields of study and research.  To support this strategy, very recently, on July 27-28, 2022, the Kyiv Academical University organised Workshop “Quantum Research and Education in Europe and in Ukraine”. During two exciting days thirteen  speakers from Ukraine and ningteen  speakers from twelve other European countries have presented their research and educational initiatives in the field of modern quantum science and technologies.

There are two educational programs in Ukrainian universities related to modern quantum technologies. The Bachelor and Master Programs “Quantum computing and quantum programming” have been presented by Prof. Khrystyna Gnatenko from Ivan Franko National University of Lviv. These programs offer students a number of lecture courses related to the various aspects of quantum computing and communication. Other Bachelor and Master Programs “Quantum Computers, Computing, and Information” have been presented by  Prof. Igor Dmitruk from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Prof. Alexander Kordyuk from Kyiv Academic University has presented Master Programs in fundamental and applied physics, involving courses on quantum information, quantum computation, quantum optics, and quantum materials. Dr. Araceli Venegas-Gomes (United Kingdom) has presented the startup company QURECA Ltd., providing a number of educational resources in the field of modern quantum technologies. The educational initiative QTEdu has been presented by Dr. Simon Goorney from Aarhus University (Denmark). The corresponding quantum education community includes 408 members from 45 countries across Europe. The goal of QTEdu is building the community workforce. Dr. Simon Goorney has also discussed QTEdu initiatives towards supporting the Ukrainian quantum community, which is important due to the war with Russia. Dr. Abuzer Yakaryilmaz from the University of Latvia has introduced the  QWorld initiative. This association helps local quantum communities in different countries to organize their activities via initiatives called QCousins. A possibility of organizing QUkraine has also been discussed in the talk.  

Many speakers paid special attention to European and local quantum programs, which could be opened for a collaboration with Ukrainian scientists. Quantum Flagship is the most prominent program supporting quantum research and education in the European Union. Prof. Tommaso Calarco, representing the Quantum Flagship Community Network, has presented an overview of this program, explaining also its achievements, and outlining possibilities for Ukrainian scientists to participate in the corresponding research projects.  Prof. Mario Zima (Institute of Physics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences) has introduced quantum research initiatives in Slovakia. A number of collaborations with Ukrainian research groups have been discussed in this talk and prospective opportunities for new joint research have been introduced.  It is worth noting that almost all speakers in their talks have presented activities of their institutions and discussed opportunities of collaborations with Ukrainian colleagues.

Modern quantum technologies are impossible without deep research in many fundamental fields, covering physics, mathematics, computer science, and so on. Prof. Marcus Huber (Technische Universität Wien, Austria) has presented results of his group in the field of quantum thermodynamics. This promising field of research deals with basic and applied aspects of quantum physics, including those ones deeply connected with the measurement problem. Dr. Danylo Yakymenko (Institute of Mathematics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine) has provided an overview of research  activities of his institute and discussed the  basic mathematical structures needed for building new quantum algorithms.

Two talks have been devoted to algorithms for quantum computers. Prof. Volodymyr Tkachuk (Ivan Franko National University of Lviv,Ukraine) has presented an algorithm to solve an important class of mathematical problems—finding eigenvalues of operators. It is important to note that this work also includes an implementation of this finding on an IBM quantum computer. Paweł Gora from the University of Warsaw (Poland) has presented a quantum algorithm for solving another mathematical task known as the Vehicle Routing Problem, also having various practical applications. Fast progress in the field of quantum computers may result in loss of security for existing classical cryptography. There are two possible solutions to this problem. The first one consists in using quantum properties of radiation in order to create protocols with security guaranteed by laws of quantum physics. Another solution is the development of such cryptographic protocols, which will be secure against quantum attacks. The latter possibility, as well as ideas of combining quantum and classical cryptography, has been discussed in the talk by Prof. Andreas Trügler from the University of Technology Graz (Austria). Results of quantum computation are typically fragile to different noise and imperfections of quantum devices. In particular, it is related to the readout noise of qubits — the operation, which transforms quantum information into classical one. A theoretical consideration of this problem has been presented by Filip Maciejewski from the Center for Theoretical Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Light is a convenient physical system to perform fundamental quantum experiments. For this reason, it is actively used in various implementations of modern quantum technologies.  Prof. Radim Filip has introduced the group led by him in Palacky University in Olomouc (Czech Republic). The project on studying non-Gaussian states of light and matter involves many physical systems, including quantum light, trapped ions, superconducting circuits, and so on. Our knowledge about such states still has many gaps. At the same time, its potential applications cover many fields like quantum cryptography, quantum computation, and so on. Generation of Nongaussian states on demand is a challenging task considered by the group in Palacky University in Olomouc. An alternative approach to generation of such states has been presented by Prof. Marco Bellini from Istituto Nazionale di Ottica - CNR (Italy). It uses non-deterministic techniques of single-photon addition and subtraction. Applying them to Gaussian states, one could obtain non-Gaussian states, demonstrating nonclassicality and entanglement even for strong interaction with an environment. Dr. habil. Andrii Semenov has introduced theoretical research in the field of quantum optics at the Bogolyubov Institute for Theoretical Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The corresponding activity includes theoretical descriptions for nonclassical and nonlocal correlations, realistic photodetection, and distribution of quantum light in the turbulent atmosphere. The latter topic has an important application to quantum communications through free-space channels. These channels can be used for implementations of an intriguing perspective of satellite-mediated global quantum communication. The corresponding experiments have been overviewed by Prof. Paolo Villoresi from the University of Padova (Italy). Free-space quantum communication has also been considered in the talk  by Dr. Francesco Basso Basset from Sapienza University of Rome (Italy). A distinguishable feature of this research is that nonclassical light is generated by quantum-dot sources — nanoscale structures in semiconductors. Practical issues of this important class of sources have also been considered in detail by  Prof. Armando Rastelli from Johannes Kepler University Linz (Austria). 

Light as a physical system has many important characteristics. Some of them are closely related to the spatial structure of radiation. Such a structured light enables us to go beyond the standard binary approach in quantum information. Prof. Mehul Malik from Heriot-Watt University (Scotland) has reported about experimental implementations of these ideas for creating high-quality entanglement, transporting such states in commercial fibers, and building circuits for quantum devices. Prof. Robert Fickler from Tampere University (Finland) has also presented experimental research of his group with structured photons. In particular, the usage of this technique for quantum computational devices and for superresolution imaging has been reported. The latter is an example of using electromagnetic radiation for problems of quantum metrology. A similar task is quantum illumination, which can be used for building so-called quantum radar. This research has been overviewed by Prof. Konstantin Lukin from O.Ya. Usikov Institute for Radiophysics and Electronics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

Quantum simulations of a complicated physical system by another one, better controllable, is a promising direction of the modern quantum technologies. Systems of single atoms and ions are good candidates for creating such quantum simulators. Prof. Tommaso Calarco from Forschungszentrum Jülich (Germany) has presented the essence of quantum control technique with examples of its implementations on special physical systems. In particular, this is related to Rydberg atoms. These atoms are excited to very high energy levels, such that their electron clouds become microscopic, which differs them from nanometer scales of ordinary atoms. Detailed consideration of this experimental technique has been presented by Prof. Igor Dotsenko from Collège de France. Ordinary atoms and ions are also successfully used for quantum simulations. Prof. Andrii Sotnikov from Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology of National Academy of Sciences ofUkraine has discussed quantum simulations with ultracold atomic gasses. Dr. Christian Marciniak from the Universität Innsbruck (Austria) has presented quantum computation, simulation, and metrology with atoms and ions placed in specially designed electromagnetic traps. Atomic systems are applied to tasks of quantum metrology in the Institute of Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Prof. Anatoliy Negiyko has presented the corresponding activity, covering length metrology, metrology of time, and gravimetry. Prof. Leonid Yatsenko from the same Institute has presented experimental and theoretical works in the department led by him. The corresponding topics include storage and retrieval of quantum information in the population of atomic states, optical dense medium for quantum memory and light sources, and intra-fiber bi-photon sources. 

Superconductivity is a phenomenon, which is also actively employed in modern quantum technologies. For example, it is used for building superconducting qubits — the main structural elements of universal quantum computers.  Prof. Sergey Shevchenko from Verkin Institute for Low Temperature Physics and Engineering of the National Academy of Science of Ukraine has discussed physical backgrounds of such systems. Employing superconducting qubits in electronic devices has been presented by Prof. Volodymyr Shnyrkov from Kyiv Academic University (Ukraine). Prof. Vitaly Shumeiko from Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden) has overviewed research on quantum computing and simulation with superconducting circuits at the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology at Chalmers. Superconductivity is also employed for registration of single quanta of electromagnetic radiation. Corresponding devices have been overviewed by Prof. Mikhail Belogolovskii from Kyiv Academic University (Ukraine).

To conclude, Workshop “Quantum Research and Education in Europe and in Ukraine” organized by Kyiv Academic University has completely reached its goals. Firstly, the researchers and educators from Ukraine have introduced to each other and to European colleagues their programs and results. They have formed the complete picture of the corresponding activity in the country. Secondly, the Ukrainian researchers got an impression about modern quantum research in European countries. Ukrainian educators have learned about European educational resources available for Ukrainian students. Finally, the Workshop pushes personal contacts between Ukrainian and European researchers that necessarily leads to new joint projects. Importantly, this event confirmed the thesis that the future is quantum, and showed both the gigantic systemic progress made by European researchers in the development of quantum technologies and the lack of a similar systemic approach in Ukraine. This backlog cannot be compensated by the efforts of several research groups in the absence of the necessary funding. Therefore, the quantum future of Ukraine, as Prof. Alexander Kordyuk noted in his closing remarks, depends mainly on young people, current students, whose training should be the most important task for Ukrainian scientists.

For motivated students: educational programs on quantum technologies, which were presented in the reports of the participants, are listed on the workshop page