In our new season we feature members of the cluster who are working at the intersection to other stakeholders in the larger quantum community. In this episode, we talk to Tommaso Calarco, Director of the PGI Institute for Quantum Control at Forschungszentrum Jülich, professor for Theoretical Physics at the University of Cologne and member of ML4Q. We discuss how he started working on apparently useless science which soon turned out to be the future of quantum. We also talk about many synergies: between theory and experiment, science and government as well as academia and rising startups in the field.

Listen here to the full podcast episode with Tommaso or using your podcatcher.

00:00:00          Intro
00:01:20          Early work in the late 90s on apparently useless physics (foundations of quantum mechanics) and recognizing the technology potential in this science
00:06:24          Are you still interested in the foundations of quantum physics today?
00:09:04          Working on neutral atoms for superconducting platforms in Innsbruck with Peter Zoller
00:11:26          How similar is the current neutral ion quantum computer to the things that you thought about 20 years ago? Talking about hyped vs. underhyped experiments
00:14:55          Working with Mikhail Lukin at Harvard University
00:16:52          Current research on quantum control theory (along with a bit of hype control) – Talking about the interwining of theory and experiment, building teams and diversifying them to cover different competencies
00:27:24          Plethora of quantum computer prototypes at Forschungszentrum Jülich and how it is influencing the future research on quantum control
[correction: note that at 00:28:40 Tommaso refers to the midterm review of ML4Q not OpenSuperQ]
00:28:26          1 or 2?
00:33:24          Politics and the background of the quantum manifesto
00:36:38          Quantum hype
00:42:13          The flagship progam and European bureaucracy
00:45:27          Was Brexit a blow? How much did research in UK suffer?
00:47:34          Synergy between EU funding programs and other national funding structures
00:50:02          Different governance dynamics in quantum research between Europe and the US
00:55:32          Quantum startups and exit strategies
01:01:38          Education in IP, entrepreneurship and economics

While recording, Alex Jahn – who is not only a talented web designer and a great podcast editor but obviously a gifted illustrator – made this drawing of the one and a half hour talk between Chris and Tommaso:



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