David Bacon



  • Associate Fellow
  • Quantum Information Science


  • Google
Quantum AI Team


  • United States


PhD (Theoretical Physics), University of California, Berkeley
BSc (Physics & Literature), California Institute of Technology


Dave Bacon is a software engineer who aims to understand whether there are practical algorithms for today’s quantum computers that will have a large impact on society. 

In contrast to error-corrected quantum computers, Bacon’s research focuses on the noisy intermediate scale quantum regime, where quantum computers have on the order of one hundred qubits and can perform circuits of depth on the order of one hundred. Potential applications for these machines include simulating quantum chemistry, which impacts a diverse set of industries from drug to automotive companies. 

Bacon leads the team of software engineers at Google that write software to run and program Google’s quantum computers. At Google, Bacon helped build Google’s domain registrar, and prior to that he spent a decade doing quantum computing research at Berkeley, Caltech, and the University of Washington.

Relevant Publications

DiVincenzo, D.P., Bacon, D., Kempe, J., Burkard, G., & Whaley, K.B. (2000). Universal quantum computation with the exchange interaction. Nature International Journal of Science, 408(6810), 339-42. 
Bacon, D. (2006). Operator quantum error-correcting subsystems for self-correcting quantum memories. Physical Review A, 73(1), 012340. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.73.012340

Toner, B.F., & Bacon, D. (2003). Communication cost of simulating bell correlations. Physical Review Letters, 91(18), 187904.

Bacon, D., Childs, A.M., & van Dam, W. (2005). From optimal measurement to efficient quantum algorithms for the hidden subgroup problem over semidirect product groups.  46th Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS'05), 469-478.

Bacon, D., Flammia, S.T., Harrow, A.W., & Shi, J. (2017). Sparse quantum codes from quantum circuits. IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, 63(4), 2464-2479.