HEISINGBERG is a novel and ambitious project, aiming to establish a game-changing scalable optical quantum simulator for real-life optimization problems contributing to the quantum technologies landscape of the EU.


HEISINGBERG aims to provide to the scientific community a novel and versatile quantum simulator based on the XY spin model. The experimental implementation and demonstration of the first spatial XY quantum simulator with fully programmable interactions and magnetic field incorporation will constitute a new complete paradigm paving the way for the development of a new generation of room temperature quantum simulators operating in ambient conditions. We expect that HEISINGBERG’s technological breakthroughs will stimulate further research into the scientific ideas that the project introduces and, also, attract increased interest from the scientific community for this recent (2019) simulator approach. Successful realisation of the objectives of the project can have pronounced effects in enabling new scientific approaches and paradigms in the field of optical quantum technologies. Besides the entire simulator platform that effectively establishes a new paradigm in the field of quantum simulation and quantum enhanced machines, individual aspects of the scientific effort will also contribute to the further development of quantum technological solutions and devices employing similar underlying physics, technologies, and materials.


From a technological point of view, HEISINGBERG proposes an alternative approach to existing quantum simulators exploiting the mature technology of spatial light modulation. The latter introduces a range of advantages that mitigate systemic bottlenecks associated with the scalability and applicability of these devices, with the most pronounced of these being: i) cost effective, ii) easily programmable, iii) environmentally friendly (low power consumption), iv) scalability, v) non-cryogenic operation. We expect that the advances brought forward from the implementation of the project will further inform the quantum technologies community on the use of spatial light modulation systems in order to control, prepare and manipulate quantum light states and can help to further develop hybrid technologies in the fields of quantum communication, quantum computing and quantum sensing. Moreover, the investigation into novel annealing algorithms for XY Hamiltonians can also contribute to the growth of quantum algorithms employed by state-of-the-art quantum annealing machines.


HEISINGBERG aims to be the first of its kind quantum optical XY simulator with potential scalability of tens of thousands of spins based on novel concepts introduced by partners from SAP. Successful realisation of the project would firmly establish Europe as the leading geographical space on this technology, and thus greatly assist in inspiring the public and especially young scientists and students, leading to further development of quantum technologies by the next generation of talented young researchers. Additionally, quantum simulators are a technology which promises to tackle and solve a wide range of social importance problems, from understanding vital chemical and biological processes, to enabling the prediction of molecular properties and design of new materials with enhanced and custom-tailored properties, to solving complex computational problems. For example, the deep understanding of complex biological and chemical processes will enable the design of new drugs for incurable diseases while chemistry problems such as calculating reaction rates and modelling catalysis are tantalising problems with societal importance, including efficient nitrogen fixation and making synthetic versions of light-harvesting photosynthetic complexes.