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Construction to Begin on Amazon-Caltech Center for Quantum Computing

Published on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 | 1:47 pm

Work is expected to begin this month on the planned Amazon Web Services Center for Quantum Computing, which will bring researchers from Caltech and other institutions together with Amazon innovators to advance the burgeoning field of quantum computing, according to Caltech.

The two-story, 21,000-square-foot building is being built at Holliston Avenue and Del Mar Boulevard and expected to be ready for science in the spring of 2021, Caltech said in a written statement.

“Once open, the building will bring together leading researchers and engineers from Amazon, Caltech, and other academic institutions to accelerate advances in quantum computing technology,” the statement said. “The center aims to develop more powerful quantum computing hardware and software, and to identify new applications for quantum technologies.”

“Caltech has a history of breakthroughs in experimental and theoretical quantum science and technology and has become a leading incubator in the emerging field of quantum engineering, including quantum computing,” according to the statement.

The partnership was first announced in late 2019.

The new quantum computing center will be led by Oskar Painter, John G Braun Professor of Applied Physics and Physics at Caltech, and Fernando Brandão, Bren Professor of Theoretical Physics at Caltech.

“Quantum computing has the potential to solve computational problems that are beyond the reach of classical computers by harnessing the laws of quantum mechanics to build more powerful tools for processing information. It has the potential to lead to new scientific discoveries that could transform energy storage, chemical engineering, drug discovery, financial portfolio optimization, machine learning, and much more,” Painter said.

“The AWS Center for Quantum Computing will bring together researchers and engineers from Amazon with leading academic institutions in quantum computing to develop more powerful quantum computing hardware and identify novel quantum applications with the goal of boosting innovation in science and industry,” Painter said. “We look forward to it opening.”

Grading work is expected to start this month, followed by foundation work, pending city approval, according to Caltech. “After the foundation is complete, construction of the building’s steel frame will begin,” the statement said.

Officials said they would work to minimize disruptions caused by the work and adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols during construction.

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