There is currently a world-wide effort to develop technologies based on the principles of quantum mechanics that are expected to revolutionize computation, communication, and sensing. The U.S. Congress passed the National Quantum Initiative Act into law in December 2018 to accelerate the development of quantum information science and technology (QIST) applications. High-tech companies are competing in quantum technology development, and there is a pressing need to produce graduates who are well trained and educated in QIST.
The Rice Quantum Initiative (RQI) has been recently established to dramatically expand Rice’s investment in QIST, building on our recognized strengths in quantum research, especially in studies of quantum matter — both ultracold atoms and quantum materials — for quantum simulation. The goal is to enable Rice researchers to stay at the forefront of the quantum revolution while educating the next generation of leaders in quantum technology. We have brought together efforts that are spread across many departments to coordinate our programs, raise visibility, and compete in this interdisciplinary field.
The RQI links scientists and engineers working in atomic physics, condensed matter physics, optics/photonics, materials science, chemistry, mathematics, and computer science from eight different departments. In addition, RQI tightly connects leading education and outreach experts, international collaborators, national laboratories, and industry partners, as well as researchers at geographically proximate universities in the state of Texas. Initially focusing on the diverse Texas population, our inclusive outreach and training programs will widen and reinforce the STEM pipeline and prepare a workforce for quantum-enabled careers.