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In PASQuanS (Programmable Atomic Large-Scale Quantum Simulation), the next generation platform for quantum simulation with cold atoms will be developed. It is funded by the European Commission in the Horizon 2020 FET-Quantum Flagship.

The collaboration of several research institutes and industrial companies from six European countries starts a common effort on the advancement of quantum simulator technologies. The goal is to build the largest programmable quantum simulator, with more than 500 atoms and enhanced control.

Among the quantum technologies that are being developed, quantum simulation aims at addressing questions in fundamental science, materials development, quantum chemistry and real-world problems of high importance in industry. PASQUANS will develop next generation quantum simulation platforms for such applications.

The project builds on the impressive achievements of the most advanced quantum simulation platforms to date, based on atoms and ions. The neutral-atom simulators handle more than 50 cold atoms in optical lattices or arrays of optical tweezers, interacting via either collisional or Rydberg-state-mediated interactions. The ion-trap platform reaches unsurpassed control with up to 20 ions.

By scaling up these platforms towards more than 1000 atoms or ions, by improving control methods and making these simulators fully programmable, the goal of PASQuanS is to push these already well-advanced platforms far beyond both the state-of-the-art and the reach of classical computation. Full programmability will make it possible to address quantum annealing or optimization problems much sooner than digital quantum computation. One important aspect will be to demonstrate a quantum advantage for non-trivial problems, paving the way towards practical and industrial applications. PASQuanS will result in modular building blocks for a future generation of quantum simulators.

The PASQuanS project consortium unites five experimental groups with complementary methods to achieve the technological goals, connected with six theoretical teams focusing on certification, control techniques and applications of the programmable platforms, and five industrial partners in charge of the key developments of enabling technologies and possible commercial spin-offs of the project. Possible end-users of these simulators, major industrial actors, are tightly associated with the consortium to help identifying and implementing key applications where quantum simulation provides a competitive advantage.

Dissemination is an important part of the work for PASQuanS.