Paul van Gerven
5 October 2020

Maastricht University (UM) will enter the IBM Q Network, a community of companies, universities and research institutes working with Big Blue to advance quantum computing. The collaboration focuses on developing quantum algorithms for the data analysis of the Einstein Telescope and an upgraded particle detector at the Cern Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Although both these advanced physics instruments aren’t scheduled to be completed for years to come, researchers expect conventional computational methods will not suffice to sift through all the data they collect.

Credit: IBM Research

The Einstein Telescope is a proposed next-generation gravitational wave detector, intended to overcome the limitations of the current instruments that succeeded in directly detecting the ripples in space-time a few years ago. The UM’s region is being considered as a location for the telescope. The upgraded particle detector in question is used for the so-called LHCb experiment, which is one of eight experiments being conducted at the LHC. The upgrade is part of a planned system-wide overhaul to the High-Luminosity LHC, designed to increase the chances of witnessing rare subatomic processes.

As a first step in this collaboration, IBM Research will sponsor two postdocs with a dual appointment at IBM Research in Zurich and at Maastricht University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering. Big Blue will support the projects with access to its quantum computing expertise and resources.