Hugin: The first Quantum Computer of Norway
The Quantum Hub at OsloMet coordinates the quantum computing initiatives including teaching and research.
What is quantum computing?
Quantum computing is radically different from classical computing, and this has both its benefits and drawbacks. It is theoretically possible to solve a given problem using either a classical or a quantum computer, but the time it takes can be dramatically different. There are certain problems and algorithms that are practically impossible to solve using classical computers, no matter how large or fast. Some of these problems can be solved faster using quantum computers (known as quantum supremacy).
One popular example is the factorization of large integer numbers (e.g., 15 can be factorized into the prime numbers 3*5). Critical encryption algorithms rely on the fact that finding these prime numbers on classical computers is a slow process, though a quantum computer with sufficiently many qubits could possibly decipher this encryption in hours.
Quantum computing is still in its infancy, but the development runs at an enormous pace. Few people would predict the importance of computers when seeing the the first machines such as ENIAC. These computers were large, expensive and difficult to use, but have in the last 80 years transformed society. Quantum computing, similarly, holds promise of transforming society by enabling us to solve problems that were previously impossible.
Norway’s first quantum computers
In 2021, OsloMet acquired the first two Norwegian quantum computers! They are named “Hugin” and “Munin” after the ravens of Odin from Norse mythology. The names can be translated to “thought” and “mind”, respectively. The arrival was marked with a scientific summit on Quantum Computing and a launch event with the unveiling of “Hugin”, the very first quantum computer. Funded by the OsloMet AI Lab and the Department of Computer Science, the computers will be used for both teaching and research purposes.
The quantum computers have two and three qubits, respectively, and will be actively used in the research on a practical application and limits of noisy intermediate-scale quantum computers. These are most likely the types of quantum computers that we will see develop enormously in the coming years.
Teaching, research and supervision
OsloMet offers a courses in quantum computing as part of the ACIT – Applied Computer and Information Technology program at the faculty of Technology, Art and Design.
We also supervise master projects on quantum computing as well as PhD projects.
NordSTAR – Nordic Center for Sustainable and Trustworthy AI Research is one of five Excellent Academic Environments at OsloMet, and includes research on quantum computing for artificial intelligence.
Open quantum systems far from equilibrium at the Max-Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems (MPIPKS) in Dresden, Germany organizes workshops on topics related to quantum computing. Sergiy Densiov is one of the organizers.
- ERCIM News, Special issue on Quantum computing, December 2021
- Avduket Norges første kvantedatamaskin, article in Khrono, November 20 2021.
- Først i Norge med kvantedatamaskiner, article in Finansavisen, November 2021.
- Lær deg kvanteutvikling! article in Kode24, November 2021.
- OsloMet avduket Norges første kvantedatamaskin, article in Computer World, November 22 2021.
- OsloMet avduker Norges første kvantedatamaskin, article in Digi. October 14 2021.
- OsloMet avduker Norges første kvantedatamaskin, press release, October 13 2021.
- Kvantefysikk med Sølve Selstø. Podcast with Sølve Selstø in “Talk with Anders”. May 9 2021.
- What is quantum computing. Podcast with Sølve Selstø and Sergiy Denisov in “Viten og snakkis”. February 12 2020.
- Kvantedatamaskina kjem, kvifor skal vi bry oss? Opinion piece by Sergiy Denisov and Sølve Selstø in Forskersonen. October 6 2019.
- Den skjønne kvantefysikken. Podcast with Sølve Selstø in “Viten og snakkis”. June 30 2017.
- Forskeren forteller: Mikrokosmos er skrullete og vakkert. Opinion piece by Sølve Selstø. September 3 2017.
Becoming a member and accessing the computers
One of the main aims of the Quantum Hub at OsloMet is to promote quantum computing and foster collaboration in the quantum computing environment in Norway. We are eager to collaborate with partners in academia, research and industry.