Alice and Bob, a quantum computer startup based in France, announced that Michel Devoret will be joining their team as a scientific advisor.
Devoret is the Frederick W. Beinecke Professor of Applied Physics, Yale University and is considered one of the inventors of the field of superconducting qubits and specifically cat-qubits, which is central to Alice and Bob’s approach. Devoret and his team pioneered the use of cat-qubits, publishing the first experimental demonstration in Science in 2015.
“It’s hard to overstate the importance of Michel joining our team, besides being an inspiration to our whole team, Michel was a key part of inventing the whole field,” said Théau Peronnin, CEO of Alice and Bob. “We are extremely proud to have Michel among us and take this as a vote of confidence that we are headed in the right direction.”
Devoret said he is excited to see quantum research move from the laboratory — where he spent decades perfecting the approach – to real world applications. He also believes that Alice and Bob’s technology represents the most promising approach for impactful quantum computing.
“As one of the originators of superconducting qubits, I have a great interest in seeing this technology be pushed to its maximum possibility,” said Devoret, who graduated from Ecole Nationale Superieure des Telecommunications in Paris and later received his doctorate from Paris University in 1982. “Anything I can do to help industries and labs go further – I will do. It is wonderful that there are industries that are interested in this domain of research. I think that when this happens, a discovery is truly validated.”
While many quantum computer companies are stressing more qubits – most of which will be used up performing as error correcting qubits – Alice and Bob are focusing on quality qubits through efficient encoding which may have less total qubits, but have more all-important logical qubits that perform calculations.
Now, the company is enlisting the help of one of the originators of superconducting quantum computing — and someone who is philosophically in tune with Alice and Bob’s quality-first approach.
Devoret was the recipient of the John Stewart Bell Prize, which he received jointly with Rob Schoelkopf in 2013.
Devoret’s research group achieved also the measurement of the traversal time of tunneling, the invention of the single electron pump, the first measurement of the effect of atomic valence on the conductance of a single atom and the first observation of the Ramsey fringes of a superconducting artificial atom (quantronium). Recently, his group realized the full quantum error correction of a qubit, using amplifiers that they developed to detect single microwave quanta.
You can learn more about Alice and Bob here.