Harvard launches new initiative in quantum science and engineering



  • New Harvard Quantum Initiative pairs quantum science exploration with solution-driven quantum engineering.
  • Co-directors John Doyle, Evelyn Hu, and Mikhail Lukin aim to build a cross-sector, cross-disciplinary community at the dawn of a new era in science and engineering.
  • Collaborations are being established across Harvard and the Boston innovation ecosystem, notably with MIT, Lincoln Labs, and regional industry leaders.
  • Future plans include hiring new faculty and developing a new curriculum spanning quantum science and engineering, with an eye to preparing future generations to push the frontiers of computing, communications, and sensing technology.
  • Like the National Quantum Initiative and the National Science and Technology Council's Strategic Overview, HQI aims to raise the bar across higher education, industry, and government research to progress quantum science and engineering and educate the future workforce.

Cambridge, MA, 14 November 2018 – The Harvard Quantum Initiative (HQI) launches publicly today, demonstrating the university's firm commitment to expanding research, development, and education in this pivotal area.

Quantum science and engineering underpin the next generation of innovative materials and devices for high-speed computing, networking, secure communication, and ultra-precise sensing. In concert with national efforts to accelerate progress in quantum technology, Harvard's initiative aims to bring a new scientific community together and build capacity for the future workforce.

"The Harvard Quantum Initiative will support excellence on the ever-shifting frontiers of science and engineering," said Larry Bacow, President of Harvard University. "The diversity of expertise among our faculty creates a nutrient-rich environment in which this emerging discipline can flourish, and I am excited to see the ways in which collaboration with other partners speeds progress."

The ability to manipulate matter on the quantum level has implications for everything from the production of oxygen in plants to understanding the fundamental nature of our universe. Quantum sensors, materials, and computing could transform society. But just as the impact of transistors was not grasped immediately, the full range of quantum applications and their impact remain open questions.


The Harvard Quantum Initiative is co-directed by John Doyle, Henry B. Silsbee Professor of Physics at the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS); Evelyn Hu, Tarr-Coyne Professor of Applied Physics and of Electrical Engineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; and Mikhail Lukin, George Vasmer Leverett Professor of Physics at the Harvard FAS.

A Q&A with the co-directors is available at: https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2018/09/quantum-initiative/

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Mary Todd Bergman
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