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Much of our current technology, from semiconductor electronics to lasers, has emerged from what is sometimes referred to as the “first quantum revolution”, i.e., the understanding of the properties of matter based on the laws of quantum mechanics. More recently, elusive concepts of quantum mechanics such as superposition and entanglement ‑ which have long been regarded as puzzling curiosities of quantum mechanics with no practical purposes ‑ have become the keystones of several technological applications fostering the notion of a "second quantum revolution".
These applications go from quantum sensing, to quantum simulations to quantum communications, and, last but not least, to quantum computing. The latter represents a paradigm shift in computing more fundamental than the evolution from the abacus to today’s supercomputers and promises unprecedented capabilities for certain computational tasks. Altogether, these different applications form the field of quantum technology.
We are now witnessing an exciting phase where quantum technology is moving from the mere academic research environment to be a primary topic of interest for industry and society. Much of this development has been driven by major investments by private companies (e.g. Google, Microsoft, IBM, INTEL,…) and by national and international funding agencies (see e.g. the European FET Flagship Program on Quantum Technologies). The consequence is that there is an increasing demand for a specialized quantum-savvy workforce.
Within the framework of the new Cluster of Excellence Matter and Light for Quantum Computing (ML4Q), RWTH Aachen University will be awarding full two-year scholarships to two outstanding students every year. For the details, see below in the section Scholarship.
A novel Master study track
To respond to this need, the Physics Department of the RWTH Aachen University is offering a novel Master study-track on Quantum Technology, starting from the winter semester 2019/20. This study track has been developed in collaboration with the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology and will include theoretical and experimental courses alike, and a new, dedicated lab course where to put theory into practice. Students will be also offered cutting-edge research projects and an industrial tie-up for internships. A brief introduction to the topic including about city of Aachen and RWTH followed by a concise teaching plan and research topics is given in the presentation - Quantum Technology.
The study track is also one of the strategic measures of the Cluster of Excellence ML4Q in the field of teaching, and it greatly profit from the close collaborations with experts from Jülich Research Center, Cologne and Bonn Universities.
The two-year (four semester) master study track Quantum Technology is jointly organized by the Department of Physics and Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology. The curriculum offered by the Masters program physics is given below, with courses in bold being mandatory. The first year consists of lectures, seminars and lab courses. The second year is dedicated to an individual research project.
|Department of Physics|
|Year 1: Winter semester (Total 30 ECTS)||Year1: Summer semester (Total 30 ECTS)|
Condensed matter physics I or Quantum theory of condensed matter I or Theoretical solid state physics - 10 ECTS
|Quantum Information - 10 ECTS|
|Hardware platform for quantum technology - 5 ECTS||Lab course quantum technology - 5 ECTS (Anmeldung ab März über RWTHonline)|
|Elective courses - 15 ECTS||Elective courses - 15 ECTS|
|Year 2: Winter semester (Total 30 ECTS)||Year 2: Summer semester (Total 30 ECTS)|
|Master's seminar and practical - 30 ECTS||Master’s thesis and colloquium - 30 ECTS|
A list of elective courses offered by the Department of Physics (see "Elective courses" → "Specialization courses" → "Nanoelectronics" or "Experimental Condensed Matter Physics" or "Condensed Matter Theory") and Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology (see "Major fields" → "Micro- and Nanoelectronics (MINA)" → "Elective MINA" or see "Electives (General)") should help the students choose the courses in the first year which will be relevant to their field of research interest for the second year.
We are collaborating with two of our IDEA league partners, namely Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and Delft University of Technology, or TU Delft, in the Netherlands, as a part of the Distance Learning and Distance Assessment initiative of the MyScore project to also offer online courses.
More information on the (theoretical and experimental) research groups at the RWTH Aachen and the Research Center in Jülich can be found at research page .
Note that the language of study is English.
DigiQ (Digitally Enhanced Quantum Technology Master) is an EU funded quantum education project, which aims to reshape the educational landscape of quantum physics.
RWTH Aachen is one of the main contributors to the project, which opens up interesting study, exchange & internship opportunities in quantum technology for our students. Through DigiQ, students can study innovative quantum courses, participate in internships and exchange programs, and join one of four DigiQ networks with fellow students and researchers from all across Europe.
DigiQ is a flexible program designed to be accessible to all students. Students may study just one course, join a network, or take a single internship. For those who wish to dive deeper into quantum technology, the DigiQ Master Certification is available for studying 30 ECTS of DigiQ-Courses and completing a year of attendance to a DigiQ-Network. The full DigiQ Master certification may be considered as an addition to any Master, while it is equally valuable to participate in any number of courses or internships without completing the full 30 ECTS.
The application deadline for the RWTH Quantum Technology Scholarship for the academic year 2024-26 is the 15th of February, 2024.
Within the framework of ML4Q, RWTH Aachen University will be awarding full two-year scholarships to two outstanding students every year. The coursework for members of the RWTH Quantum Technology Scholarship Program is identical to the regular MSc program. However, students with a scholarship are expected to participate in a part-time internship program in one of the associated groups:
- Müller Group
- Bluhm Group
- Kennes Group
- other Groups can offer part-time internships upon individual request
To apply, please send your application as SINGLE PDF (use the format Lastname_RWTHQTScholarship_2024.pdf) with the following documents to Dr. Akbar Jafari (firstname.lastname@example.org):
Note: apart from sending the documents below, you should also make a formal application to the Master of Science in Physics program at RWTH Aachen University. The RWTH Quantum Technology Scholarship application is independent of the Master of Science in Physics application.
- RWTH Quantum Technology Scholarship Application Form.
- Curriculum Vitae.
- A single page "Letter of Motivation" for joining the Master study track.
- Two letters of recommendation (can be send directly to Dr. Akbar Jafari (email@example.com) by the authors)
- Certified copy of the school leaving certificate (or an equivalent degree of qualification for access to universities). Examples include "High-School Passing Certificate", "High School Diploma".
- Certified copies of each university degree and/or a statement about degrees you plan to complete before joining the RWTH Aachen University.
- Certified copy of your transcript of record.
- Proof of English language proficiency. Please provide any one of the following: TOEFL (90 points, internet-based), IELTS (score 5.5), Cambridge Test - Certificate in Advanced English (CAE), First Certificate in English (FCE) with a grade of at least B, Certificate on English proficiency at the level B2 of the "Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)". RWTH Aachen students can submit results of Placement-Test of the language center of RWTH Aachen with a level of B2 (MK 7).
The deadline for the RWTH Quantum Technology Scholarship application is 15.02.2024. This will be followed by sending out the "interview invitation" to all the selected participants where you’ll be asked for suitable interview dates in March 2024. Please note that for the interview you should prepare a 15 minute presentation based on your Bachelor thesis or topic of interest in Quantum Technology. Finally, you’ll be notified of your successful application by the end of March 2024 or early April 2024.
If you have any questions, please send an email to Dr. Akbar Jafari (firstname.lastname@example.org).
What is quantum technology?
Quantum technology is a novel field of physics and engineering, which exploits quantum entanglement, quantum superposition and quantum tunneling for practical applications such as
- quantum communication (or cryptography),
- quantum computing,
- quantum sensors (or metrology), and
- quantum simulation.
For more information and to discover, understand and engage, visit the Quantum Technology flagship.
Which area of the quantum technology is the focus of study at RWTH Aachen University?
Among the four area of specialization, RWTH Aachen University focuses on Quantum Computing.
What is the prerequisite for this Master study track?
You should have completed your Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Physics. The Master study track in quantum technology relies strongly on the profound knowledge of quantum mechanics. It is expected that your understanding of the subject is equivalent to the course taught at the undergraduate study in the Department of Physics. For example, the Quantenmechanik - script taught in summer semester 2019 included topics like: Schrödinger (time-independent) equation, WKB approximation, Dirac notation, operators, observables and measurement, harmonic oscillator, symmetries, spin, hydrogen atom, approximation methods, and identical particles.
If you are not familiar with the above topics, you might have to consider the Master's college for the bridging courses, where missing pre-knowledge is imparted.
For the national engineering students, the Department of Physics have developed a course "Quantum mechanics for electrical engineers".
I have a Bachelor's degree in Electrical- or Computer Engineering. Am I eligible to apply for the Master specialization Quantum Technology?
You can apply to the MINA major at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology and choose Quantum Technology-related courses.
Do I have to choose Master specialization Quantum Technology during the application process for the M.Sc. in Physics program at the Department of Physics?
No, the Master specialization Quantum Technology can be chosen after your admission based on the courses undertaken by you and it is not required to be chosen during the application process.
Is the Master study track experimental or theory oriented?
In this study track, student can choose between experimental or theory as their area of interest and specialization.
How many credit points are mandatory for the core and elective courses?
For the Master study track, overall 30 ECTS each are mandatory for both core and elective courses.
What are the elective courses for this study track which will help in the research project?
A list of elective courses offered by the Department of Physics (see "Elective courses" → "Specialization courses" → "Nanoelectronics" or "Experimental Condensed Matter Physics" or "Condensed Matter Theory") and Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology (see "Major fields" → "Micro- and Nanoelectronics (MINA)" → "Elective MINA" or see "Electives (General)") should help choose the courses in the first year which will be relevant to their field of research interest for the second year.
What are the theoretical and experimental research groups at RWTH Aachen?
Information on the theoretical and experimental research groups at the RWTH Aachen and the Research Center in Jülich can be found at research page.
What are the (research or industry) job opportunities available after completing Master of Science in Physics with specialization quantum technology?
For types of job opportunities, see Quantum Technology flagship.
Are there any scholarships available for the Master study track? How can I apply?
In the framework of the new Cluster of Excellence Matter and Light for Quantum Computing (ML4Q), RWTH Aachen University will be awarding full two-year scholarships to two outstanding students starting from the year 2020.
For more detailed information on the RWTH Quantum Technology Scholarships, see above in the section Scholarship.
For more information, whom should I contact?
For more information on the Master study track, please contact Dr. Akbar Jafari (email@example.com).