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Tyrolean physicist receives ERC Starting Grant

Quantum physicist Philipp Schindler © University of Innsbruck

The grant is endowed to the amount of approx. € 1.5 million. The European Research Council (ERC) supports pioneer research of outstanding scientists. The ERC Starting Grants provide highly endowed project budgets to successful young researchers. Now the researchers who will receive funding have been announced for this year. The grant given to Philipp Schindler of the Institute for Experimental Physics is the tenth ERC Starting Grant awarded to the University of Innsbruck.

Quantum technologies with atoms and molecules

Quantum computer researcher has made considerable progress in recent years. Systems with trapped ions have proven to be one of the promising architectures for constructing larger quantum computers. Philipp Schindler is now trying to raise this technology to a new level by deploying polyatomic molecules in addition to ions. Individual ions can be manipulated in laboratories today with a high level of precision. In contrast, it is still a major challenge to control and characterise quantum effects in more complex particles such as molecules. Schindler would like to develop methods and techniques to be able to control polyatomic molecules in ion traps.

This research will enable researchers to gain new insights into ultrafast intramolecular processes and quantum effects which would be of interest to quantum chemistry and biology. Moreover, the experimental physicist aims to couple the molecules to existing atomic quantum information processors and thus build a quantum computer. “One goal is to develop the building blocks for a hybrid atomic molecular quantum information processor with ultrafast gate operations”, Schindler says. “The technologies developed could serve as the basis for new quantum chemistry, the highly precise measurement of natural constants or new ultrafast quantum computers.”

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