ERC Consolidator Grant

The European Research Council has awarded Jan Klärs an ERC Consolidator Grant. The funded project serves to research coupled photon Bose-Einstein condensates for the analog simulation of spin glasses and related systems.

Despite large advances in both algorithms and computer technology, even typical instances of computationally hard problems are too difficult to be solved on today’s computers. Unconventional computational devices that break with the usual paradigms of digital electronic computers can help to overcome these limitations. In this project, a network of coupled photon Bose-Einstein condensates will be developed and used as experimental platform to perform ultrafast simulations of classical spin systems. Specifically, the network will be capable of solving the ground-state problem in spin glasses (disordered magnets). The latter constitutes a well-known combinatorial problem that can be mapped mathematically to many other computationally hard problems in machine learning, logistics, computer chip design and DNA sequencing. In a proof-of-principle experiment, we aim to demonstrate that the proposed spin glass simulator performs this computationally hard optimisation problem significantly faster than any other computer today. 

The project is supported with EUR 2,000,000 and will run for five years.