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Summer School 2021 on Quantum Computing

The sum­mer school takes place once a year on a topic cho­sen by the stu­dents them­selves that goes be­yond the nor­mal lec­tures, this year on quan­tum com­puting. In addi­tion to lec­tures and as­sign­ments, there are also many op­por­tuni­ties for net­work­ing be­tween the dif­ferent years.

Quantum computing - The full spectrum

In late sum­mer, the sum­mer school was one of the high­lights of the Elite Grad­uate Pro­gram "Physics Advanced with integrated graduate program". Be­cause of the Coro­na pan­dem­ic, this year it was not held in Tramin in South Tyrol as usual, but in Re­gens­burg. The topic the stu­dents had agreed on was quan­tum com­puting. The main part of the week con­sisted of lec­tures by three ex­perts on this topic who had been invit­ed and visit­ed us dur­ing the week in Re­gens­burg. The first speaker was Prof. Dr. Ru­dolf Gross from the TU Mu­nich. He intro­duced the theo­reti­cal con­cepts and gave an over­view of the basic ideas. The sec­ond invit­ed speaker was Prof. Dr. Frank Wil­helm-Mauch from the Uni­versi­ty of Saar­brücken and the FZ Jülich. In his lec­tures, he intro­duced us to quan­tum algo­rithms and quan­tum gates and later showed where vari­ous errors can arise in quan­tum com­puters and what strat­egies are avail­able to cor­rect them. As the third speaker, Prof. Dr. Fer­di­nand Kuemmeth from the Niels Bohr Insti­tute in Co­pen­hagen spent the week with us. He main­ly went into the ex­peri­men­tal per­spec­tive of quan­tum com­put­ers.

Challenging tasks for the participants

In order to be able to apply in prac­tice what we have learned in the lec­tures, the ex­perts set vari­ous tasks on Tues­day and Wednesday after­noon. These ranged from theo­reti­cal basics to the step-by-step ex­peri­men­tal con­struc­tion of a quan­tum com­puter (on pa­per) to pro­gramming code, which was even exe­cuted on a real quan­tum com­puter at IBM in the end. The groups here were made up of stu­dents from dif­ferent years, so that each per­son could con­trib­ute their own knowledge and net­work­ing be­tween the years was en­couraged. Thanks to the good weather, most of the tasks could be solved out­doors on the beau­tiful uni­versi­ty cam­pus at Re­gens­burg. The re­sults of the group work were then pre­sent­ed to the other groups in a plena­ry ses­sion on the last day.

A bit of Italian flair

But the social aspect was not ne­glect­ed ei­ther. To add a little Ital­ian flair, we had lunch at the Uni­versi­ty of Re­gens­burg's pizze­ria. This was a good op­por­tunity to talk to the lec­turers and dis­cuss fur­ther ques­tions about their lec­tures and re­search top­ics. The eve­nings were most­ly free, so the par­tici­pants of the study week ex­plored sum­mery Re­gens­burg by night and spent many hours on the banks of the Dan­ube.

Regensburg from a new perspective

On Thursday, there were two city tours of sev­eral hours with excit­ing topics to choose from. These took us deep into Re­gens­burg's histo­ry and we learned how to­day's city­scape came about. The Re­gens­burg stu­dents were also able to learn a lot of new things about their uni­versi­ty city. Af­ter­wards, a hike was on the agen­da, and the late sum­mer gave us fan­tastic weather for it. We went north over the fa­mous Stei­nerne Brücke to the Win­zerer Höhen and then west along the Dan­ube, where we were re­ward­ed with a beau­tiful view of Re­gens­burg's old town, which, by the way, has been a UNESCO World Herit­age Site since 2006 to­gether with Stadtamhof (the part north of the Stei­nerne Brücke). The even­ing was rounded off with a visit to a beer gar­den di­rectly on the Dan­ube, where we were able to sam­ple a wide varie­ty of Ba­varian deli­ca­cies.

Text: Mar­tin Majewski, Max Jo­seph Fahn, Elite Grad­uate Pro­gram "Physics Ad­vanced with inte­grated grad­uate pro­gram"