Quantum mechanics is a theory that was developed to explain the properties of atoms and light. It is one of the most thoroughly tested and successful theories in the history of science. It is also one of the most controversial ones. For over 80 years, quantum mechanics has stirred up deep debate amongst physicists, in particular about the notion that an object can be in a coherent superposition of two states simultaneously. Moreover, since the mass of an object does not directly enter into the quantum formalism, the theory should be applicable to all objects in the universe, thus raising deep philosophical questions about how then one obtains classical behavior if the world is actually quantum.

QNL investigates a range of single-quantum devices such as:

- High-Q cavities
- Fock states, Cat states, Squeezed states
- Single microwave photonics
- Superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors (SNSPDs)
- Interface with mechanics and optics
- “Quantum-Noise” limited amplifiers
- Superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs)
- Superconducting Low-inductance Undulatory Galvanometers (SLUGs)
- Parametric amplifiers

QNL also studies various many-body quantum states of microwave light and engineered matter with long-lived coherence. Using large multi-qubit systems QNL hopes to explore the following areas:

- Quantum simulation
- Quantum chemistry, topological matter, gauge fields etc.
- Quantum thermodynamics
- Energy transfer, thermalization, entanglement entropy
- Quantum control and complexity
- Cross-fertilization with condensed matter physics, cosmology and high-energy physics