15 January 2021 Nouvelles UdeS
Two finalists from Institut quantique

A discovery from the UdeS in Québec Science’s 2020 rankings

Julien Camirand Lemyre (right) and his research director, Michel Pioro-Ladrière (left), from the Institut quantique. (Photo taken before the distancing measures).

Photo : Michel Caron UdeS

The authors of the discovery are Michel Pioro-Ladrière, Professor at the Department of Physics and Deputy Director of the Université de Sherbrooke’s Institut quantique, and Julien Camirand Lemyre.

As early as 2017, Michel Pioro-Ladrière and Julien Camirand Lemyre joined forces with a team from the University of New South Wales in Australia to perform quantum computing at temperatures that had never been reached before. On a cryogenic scale, a hundredfold temperature increase is a giant step forward. Published in Nature, this discovery represents a further step towards the creation of a quantum computer and could facilitate the development of future generations of computers. This publication was selected as one of the 10 discoveries of the year 2020 by Québec Science magazine.

This computer has tremendous computational possibilities by processing information using qubits, a two-level quantum system, which is the storage unit for quantum information. It is estimated that millions of qubits would be needed for this computer to reach its full potential. To avoid errors, the computer must be cooled to temperatures close to absolute zero, and with such a large number of qubits, the cooling equipment will have difficulty maintaining such low temperatures. The micromagnet based architecture developed by these physicists from Université de Sherbrooke makes it conceivable to use quantum bits at higher temperatures.

When it was founded in 2016, Institut quantique chose to place students at the heart of its research strategy. The publication featured in the 28th edition of Québec Science’s 10 Discoveries of the Year is a brilliant illustration of that. It highlights the collaboration between a PhD graduate and his research director.

“This nomination to Québec Science’s ranking consolidates, once again, UdeS’ position as one of the largest research universities in Canada.” Jean-Pierre Perreault, Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies

A crucial meeting

Julien Camirand Lemyre, who travelled to Australia to take part in meetings and contribute to the progress of the project, remembers very well the starting point of the project: “It was in 2017 during a conference. Michel always organizes a big event that brings together all the research communities in the field to network: that’s how the project started with Professor Andrew Dzurak.”

For Professor Michel Pioro-Ladrière, the development of this research field requires collaboration and the sharing of expertise as well as multidisciplinary skills: “This is very much part of our way of doing things, and Institut quantique is a fine example of that. Our members come from different fields: engineering, experimental and theoretical physics, computer science, mathematics and chemistry. We also have members from École de Gestion and École de politique appliquée. All these people are mobilized by a common goal: to advance quantum science and technology.”

The diversity of each person’s abilities was a key element of this discovery: The visionary nature of the professor and the young graduate’s sense of teamwork.

A success, but not an end in itself

For Julien Camirand Lemyre, this recognition is far from the end of his journey. He sees this success as another step towards the modern application of quantum computing. With a PhD in physics graduate from the Faculty of Science he is taking an active part intends to take an active part in the development of quantum science and technology as an entrepreneur. Professor Pioro-Ladrière sees this nomination as an indicator that the research model he has developed with his students is yielding convincing results.

Contribute to the success of the research by voting!

The voting period is now open. This exercise is a great opportunity to learn about the scientific discoveries that have taken place over the past year. We encourage you to participate in the selection of THE discovery of the year 2020.


Stay connected