Silicon Quantum Computing

John Martinis awarded Bell Prize

May 7. 2021

John Martinis awarded Bell Prize

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Congratulations to Professor John Martinis as he is awarded seventh biennial Bell Prize

Professor Martinis has been awarded the most prestigious prize in fundamental quantum mechanics and their applications

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – May 7, 2021–Professor John Martinis has been awarded the John Stewart Bell Prize for Research on Fundamental Issues in Quantum Mechanics and their Applications (“the Bell Prize”) by the University of Toronto.

The Bell Prize recognises Professor Martinis’ significant engineering achievements and innovations in the design and control of superconducting qubits, and for his leadership in devising integrated superconducting processors. These results have led to the first plausible claim of quantum supremacy, where the use of quantum states to process information has outperformed classical states, thereby ushering in a new era of computing.

The John Stewart Bell Prize was established in 2009, and is awarded every odd-numbered year, for significant contributions first published in the preceding 6 years.

Professor Martinis consults as a system engineer to Silicon Quantum Computing (SQC). This award demonstrates the significant contribution Professor Martinis has made to quantum computing reinforcing his decision to join Professor Michelle Simmons AO and her team at SQC following his departure from Google. After evaluating global opportunities, Professor Martinis was attracted to the unique approach of SQC in building a quantum computer in silicon at the atomic scale, a technical capability pioneered by Professor Simmons in Australia.

“I believe history will show that the first unequivocal demonstration of quantum supremacy formed a turning point in the development of practical quantum computation. The sheer engineering challenge of getting this to work along with the total focus and dedication of John and his team deserves recognition. The field is indebted to him and his efforts,” says Professor Simmons.

The Bell prize was awarded to Professor Martinis based on the experimental tour de force of demonstrating quantum supremacy in 2019 as a result of his long-term commitment and outstanding technical achievements to building multi-qubit superconducting circuits. Professor Martinis established a large team of physicists and engineers to tackle the challenges of making a multi-qubit programmable processor at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he has been a professor since having completed his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley in 1985. In 2014 he moved to Google where he demonstrated leadership and commitment to building a scalable quantum processor using superconducting qubits.


About Professor John Martinis

John Martinis pioneered research on superconducting quantum-bits as a graduate student at U.C. Berkeley. He has worked at CEA France, NIST Boulder, and UC Santa Barbara. In 2014 he was awarded the London Prize for low-temperature physics research on superconducting qubits. In 2019 Martinis and his team at Google published one of the most seminal papers in quantum computing entitled “Quantum supremacy using a programmable superconducting processor” in which his team demonstrated that quantum computers can outperform classical computers for a well-defined task. He is currently acting as a consultant, working with Michelle Simmons and her team at Silicon Quantum Computing.


About Michelle Simmons AO

Professor Michelle Simmons is Director of the Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, at the University of New South Wales. She is also the founder of Silicon Quantum Computing Pty Ltd, Australia’s first quantum computing company and has developed unique technologies world-wide to build electronic devices in silicon at the atomic scale. She is internationally renowned for creating the field of atomic electronics and her team is leading the global race to develop a quantum computer in silicon. In 2017 she was recognised by the American Computer Museum as a pioneer in quantum computing, awarded the Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology and was named the 2017 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Asia-Pacific Laureate in the Physical Sciences. In 2018 Professor Simmons was admitted as a Fellow to the Royal Society of London and named Australian of the Year.


About Silicon Quantum Computing Pty Ltd
Silicon Quantum Computing Pty Limited is an Australian private company at the forefront of efforts to build a commercial-scale silicon-based quantum computer and bring quantum computing to market.

SQC was formed in May 2017 by a consortium of the Commonwealth of Australia, the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Telstra Corporation Limited, the Commonwealth Bank and the State of New South Wales and funded with A$87.8 million.

SQC, at its labs at UNSW, has leveraged the intellectual property (IP) developed at the Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology and its own developed IP, to build a quantum processor in silicon by assembling a world class team of quantum scientists, engineers, and technicians, and acquiring specialist equipment and laboratory space. In addition to its core processor technology development program, SQC is executing a strategy to ensure it can manufacture prototype devices for commercial applications and is developing partnerships for quantum computing opportunities.

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Espresso Communications on behalf of Silicon Quantum Computing
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