Mid-plane view of a tokamak being co-developed by MIT and Commonwealth Fusion Systems. Credit: Commonwealth Fusion Systems

Researchers from Riverlane and the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center are collaborating to develop efficient quantum algorithms for simulating plasma dynamics. This project is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) program, which aims to expand our understanding of matter at high temperatures and densities and to develop a fusion energy source. The program will last for three years until 2026 and Riverlane’s award amount will be approximately $400,000. Their award was one of six awards that the DOE made last October totaling $11.4 million for research on using Quantum Information Science for Fusion Energy Sciences.

Fusion energy is one of the 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century, and FES is the largest federal government supporter of research addressing this challenge. Quantum computers could be instrumental in this effort, as many plasma systems are governed by differential equations like the Vlasov equation. The project will focus on developing efficient quantum algorithms and data loading subroutines to tackle such equations.

The work in developing quantum algorithms for differential equations could also be applied in other areas with similar equations, such as fluid dynamics, which are used in the design of cars, airplanes, spacecraft, and in oceanographic applications.

Riverlane is developing the Quantum Error Correction Stack to control unstable qubits and correct system errors more than ten billion times per second. The company collaborates with world-leading laboratories, quantum hardware companies, and governments to develop both quantum algorithms and quantum error correction techniques to help the qubits work as efficiently as possible. A press release provided by Riverlane announcing their collaboration with MIT on this program can be accessed here.

January 31, 2024