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UMD to Lead $1M NSF Project to Build a Quantum Network

By Maryland Today Staff

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $1 million to a University of Maryland-led team of researchers to develop a quantum network to interconnect quantum computers, an important step toward development of a quantum internet.

Quantum technology, a field of science and engineering that takes advantage of the principles of quantum physics, is expected to be a major technological driver in the 21st century, with significant societal impact in various sectors. A quantum network would facilitate applications that are impossible on today’s internet, and revolutionize computing, banking, medicine and data analytics.

The team is led by electrical and computer engineering Professor Edo Waks, also the Quantum Technology Center (QTC) associate director and fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute; QTC fellow and physics Assistant Professor Norbert Linke; and Mid-Atlantic Crossroads Executive Director Tripti Sinha. The team also includes co-principal investigators from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Arizona.

It is one of 29 teams selected for the Convergence Accelerator program, a new NSF initiative to accelerate research for wide-scale societal challenges.

“We plan to merge state-of-the-art quantum technology with prevailing internet technology to interconnect quantum computers coherently over a quantum internet that coexists with and leverages the vast existing infrastructure that is our current Internet,” said Waks, principal investigator on the project, who also holds appointments in the Joint Quantum Institute and the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics.

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Strategic Communications for the University of Maryland community weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.