A Peek Into Oxford's Superconducting Quantum Computing Lab


By Abhishek Agarwal

On the 19th of February 2020, Dr Peter Leek gave <Qu|In|Soc> members a tour of Oxford's superconducting quantum computing lab. Members saw the quantum computers at work and learnt the kind of problems that the computers are currently working on. 

Leading us underground through the winding stairs of the Beecroft building to the lab, Dr Leek showed us the group's large "dilution refrigerators" that cool circuits down close to absolute zero. He explained the basics of quantum computing and of the computers built specifically for the superconducting qubit platform. He then explained how the superconducting quantum computers built by his group differ from the ones built by corporations like IBM and Google. Although the quantum computers at Oxford have a lower qubit count than largest IBM and Google quantum computers, they offer large improvements in areas relevant to the quality of those qubits. 

Attendees were also fascinated to learn about Oxford Quantum Circuits, a spin-out company founded by Dr Peter Leek himself. Interesting conversations on topics ranging from the role of quantum computers in the near future to the applicability of different quantum computing platforms followed and the curiosity of the members was sight to behold!