Researchers at Weizmann Institute of Science Present Israel’s First Quantum Computer

Quantum computing is quite a complex field, and building quantum computers requires high-level technology, something most people may think Israel doesn’t have. But as Prof. Ozeri said, one of the first computers was built in Israel far back in the 1950s. Considering that Isreal is now a technological giant, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that Israel ventures into quantum computing. As a major breakthrough in technology, the researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have unveiled Israel’s first quantum computer.

Having completed his postdoctoral studies under Nobel Laureate David, Ozeri became Israel’s pioneer in quantum computing.

“Then, quantum computing was done in university labs,” “But in the past decade, commercial companies such as Google, Amazon and IBM joined the race to build a quantum computer, while the United States, China and the European Union initiated massively funded strategic programs to advance the field.”

Prof. Roee Ozeri

To explore this disruptive technology, Ozeri’s team has successfully built a quantum computer that relies on ion traps. This is one out of very few quantum computers available in the world. They’re currently building WeizQC, a larger quantum computer named after WEIZAC, which was inaugurated at Weizmann in 1995.

Quantum computers are a lot more complex than classical computers and with superior capacity. They solve complex computations and build advanced AI systems.

Prof. Roee Ozeri. Photo: Yael Ilan
Prof. Roee Ozeri. Photo: Yael Ilan

This superior capacity is rooted in superposition. The qubits (quantum bits) can exist in more than one place and in more than one phase simultaneously. The reason they can carry out complex computations.

One major challenge of quantum computers is their sensitivity to environmental noise, and Ozeri’s team has solved this. Ion traps computer systems allow qubits to switch positions. These qubit-based operations called logic gates are done with lasers. So, environmental noise can disrupt the system causing it to lose its quantum nature. 

To tackle this, Ozeri’s team introduced a camera-based array to replace light detectors. This way, the individual qubits can be captured simultaneously, and the qubits can be measured by disrupting the system.

Dr. Tom Manovitz and his research student, Yotam Shapita have successfully led and completed a project to build two quantum computers with their newest innovation.

Unlike the Weizmann computer – a five-qubit machine, roughly the level achieved by IBM’s version when the company first started offering quantum computing as a cloud service, WeizQC is proposed to work with 64 qubits and demonstrate the quantum advantage. 

Currently, only two such computers have been built, one at Google and the other at the University of Science and Technology of China.

Project participants: Research student Lior Gazit, Dr. Nitzan Akerman, and other students and scientists from Ozeri’s lab in Weizmann’s Physics of Complex Systems Department. Theoretical research: Prof. Ady Stern of Weizmann’s Condensed Matter Physics Department.

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