ERC Advanced Grant for Quantum Physicist Jens Eisert (FU Berlin)

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Jens Eisert, physics professor at the Dahlem Center for Complex Quantum Systems of Freie Universität Berlin and MATH+ member, has been awarded the prestigious ERC Advanced Grant by the European Research Council (ERC) for his research project “DebuQC.” Congratulations! MATH+ Co-Chair Christof Schütte comments on Eisert’s award: “We are very proud that Jens, one of the 25 initial principal investigators (PI) of MATH+, has received this prestigious award for his cutting-edge research on quantum computing”. The ERC has recently announced the awarding of 218 Advanced Grants to outstanding research leaders across Europe.


The research project “DebuQC” is an interdisciplinary project in which scientists from the fields of physics, mathematics, and IT are involved. Eisert, professor of theoretical quantum physics, and his team want to answer essential research questions on quantum technology and explore the limits of this promising technology because the expectations are high for creating the “computers of the future”.


Jens Eisert is delighted that the first ERC Advanced Grant on the theory of quantum computing in Germany is going to Berlin: “There is also a very close connection to MATH+. And it is precisely the mathematical approach that I am pursuing. MATH+ is explicitly mentioned there, for a good reason – it has much to do with it.”


He further elaborates that the ERC-funded project DebuQC ties in naturally with the core aims of MATH+ to develop new approaches in application-oriented mathematics, often with large amounts of data coming into play. Quantum computers hold the promise of being able to solve computational questions which are intractable on classical computers. For this to be true, they must be large and fault tolerant to avoid being subject to any errors, unlike conventional computers.


Equipped with a machinery of applied mathematics, the project sets out to explore what one can rigorously say about the “boundary between the quantum and classical world”. Jens Eisert: “Classical simulation tools allow one to keep track of quantum dynamics efficiently. But we will also explore new computational applications that will become feasible solely through quantum computing in the context of simulation, machine learning, and optimization.”


The project will be funded for five years with more than 1.8 million euros.


Within MATH+, Eisert currently heads with colleagues the project “Deep Backflow for Accurate Solution of the Electronic Schrödinger Equation” of the MATH+ Application Area  “Nano and Quantum Technologies” (AA2-8). He was also involved in the already completed projects of the MATH+ Emerging Field “Extracting Dynamical Laws from Complex Data” on “Quantum Machine Learning “(EF1-7), “Quantum Advantages in Machine Learning” (EF1-11, in 2nd funding period), and on “Extracting Dynamical Laws by Deep Neural Networks: A Theoretical Perspective.” (EF1-4).


Jens Eisert studied physics and mathematics at Universität Freiburg and at the University of Connecticut USA, receiving a Fulbright scholarship. He obtained his PhD in theoretical physics from Universität Potsdam in 2001. Afterwards, he went to Imperial College London with a Humboldt Research Fellowship and to the California Institute of Technology, USA, as a visiting scholar. He returned to Germany to assume a position as a junior professor at Universität Potsdam, followed by a full professorship from 2008-2011. In between, he was appointed full W3 professor for theoretical physics (quantum theory) at Freie Universität Berlin in 2011 and has been affiliated with the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin since 2019 and the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute. Primarily based at the university’s Dahlem Center for Complex Quantum Systems, he has now been awarded his third ERC Grant. Jens Eisert is one of the world’s most cited researchers in the field of quantum computing and the study of complex quantum systems.


The ERC Advanced Grant is one of the most prestigious and competitive EU funding schemes for outstanding scientists to pursue ambitious, curiosity-driven projects that could lead to potentially groundbreaking research ideas. It is considered one of the highest awards for experienced and leading researchers with a proven track record of significant research achievements.


The ERC Announcement of the Advanced Grants Results

Read the Press Release of Freie Universität Berlin

More Information on Jens Eisert’s Research Group