International quantum technology conference kicks off at CERN

International Conference on Quantum Technologies for High Energy Physics (QT4HEP22)
The first edition of the QT4HEP conference took place at CERN from 1 to 4 November. The event hosted representatives from research, academia and industry coming together to discuss the nascent quantum technology and look for activities within HEP and beyond that. The techology can most benefit from this new frontier of science. (Image: CERN)

The four-day International Conference on Quantum Technologies for High-Energy Physics is held in CERN’s Main Auditorium.

Today, Tuesday 1 November, marked the launch of the first International Conference on Quantum Technologies for High-Energy Physics. This four-day event, held at CERN, has 224 in-person attendees, with many more following online.

The conference serves as a forum to discuss both the potential of and the challenges surrounding nascent quantum technologies, with the goal of better understanding what overall impact this new frontier of science will likely have on particle physics. The event has brought together members of the quantum technologies community from research and industry to discuss recent developments in the field and to identify activities within particle physics – and beyond – that can most benefit from the application of quantum technologies.

The event was opened by Joachim Mnich, CERN Director for Research and Computing. “CERN is widely recognised, including by our member states, as an important platform for promoting applications of quantum technologies – for both particle physics and beyond,” says Mnich. “The journey has just begun and the road is still long, but it is sure that deep collaboration between physicists and computing experts will be key to capitalising on the full potential of quantum technologies.” He continues: “Given the nature of its research and the technologies it develops, CERN – with its tradition of diverse collaboration – is ideally placed to support this.”

The conference is organised by the CERN Quantum Technology Initiative (CERN QTI), a comprehensive R&D and knowledge-sharing initiative to investigate applications of quantum technologies for particle physics and beyond. It follows a successful workshop on quantum computing in 2018 that marked the beginning of a range of new investigations into quantum technologies at CERN. The conference is also supported through CERN openlab and was sponsored by Google, IBM and Intel.

“Building on CERN’s collaborative culture and proven track record of developing breakthrough technologies, CERN QTI provides a platform for innovation,” says Alberto Di Meglio, head of CERN QTI and CERN openlab. “This ambitious conference is a vital tool in helping us to build bridges between research communities, share knowledge, and collate input that will shape the future of the CERN QTI.”

CERN QTI covers four main research areas: quantum theory and simulation; quantum sensing, metrology and materials; quantum computing and algorithms; and quantum communication and networks. Today’s sessions at the conference focused on the first two of these areas, with talks from representatives of Fermilab, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, INFN, the UK National Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology, Nikhef, and other leading research institutes.

Tomorrow’s sessions will focus on the remaining two areas. Thursday’s sessions – organised in collaboration with CERN’s Knowledge Transfer group – will primarily be dedicated to industrial co-development, as well as presentations related to education and societal impact. Friday will be dedicated to hands-on workshops with three different quantum computing providers. Friday’s sessions will not be webcast, but most sessions on the other days will be.

Visit the conference website for details on how to join us for the remaining days of the conference: More news from the conference will be posted on in the coming days.

-- Andrew Purcell