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PhD Studentship in Quantum Software for Modelling and Simulation

17 December 2018

PhD in Quantum Software for Modelling and Simulation

A quantum computer is a machine designed to use quantum mechanics to do things that cannot be done by any standard, “classical” computer based only on the laws of classical physics. Peter Shor’s discovery that there is a fast quantum algorithm for integer factorisation, while no efficient classical algorithm is known, sparked an explosion of interest in quantum computing. This has led in turn to an intense international effort to develop a large-scale, universal quantum computer.

Now is a pivotal moment in the history of quantum computing. Following rapid recent experimental progress, various groups (such as Google and IBM) are predicting that they will demonstrate a quantum computer that will substantially outperform its classical counterparts within years, or even months. One area that is likely to provide the earliest pay-off for quantum computers is that of modelling and simulating quantum systems. This offers the possibility of potential major impact for a wide variety of areas including discovery of new materials, chemicals and drugs, impacting sectors including energy, transport and healthcare. However, there are important theoretical challenges remaining, especially those associated with the development of new quantum algorithms; understanding the true potential of quantum computers; and developing methods for testing whether the quantum computer is indeed carrying out the computation it was designed to.

This PhD project is part of a major collaborative project between Bristol, UCL and Google that focusses on quantum software for simulation and modelling. Amongst the topics that could be pursued in this PhD project, depending on the student’s interest and expertise are: optimizing quantum simulation algorithms for imperfect quantum computers; testing and verifying the behaviour of a quantum machine; developing potential new applications for quantum computers that will be useful for future generations of machines; and quantifying the computational complexity of problems in quantum physics.

Further information

How to apply: 

Please make an online application for this project at selecting Mathematics on the Programme Choice page. When prompted in the Funding and Research Details sections of the form specify that you wish to be considered for Quantum Software for Modelling and Simulation studentship.

Advice on how to complete your application can be found on our postgraduate advice page

Candidate requirements:

To be considered for this funded PhD studentship, applicants must hold (or expect to receive) a First Class degree (or equivalent) in Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics or related subjects. Previous experience in the theory of quantum computing is welcome but not required.


This PhD Studentship includes tuition fees, research travel grant and a full tax-free stipend at the EPSRC DTA rate (£14,777 in 2018/19). 

Further details: 

Please contact Dr Ashley Montanaro, Professor Noah Linden


28 February 2019

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