Why-is-Quantum-technology-i

From hot silicon-dot qubits to ion traps. Scientists are working on innovative ways to build more complex and powerful quantum computers. That could potentially deepen our understanding of complex molecules. Crack encryption algorithms, make capital markets more efficient, accelerate the development of better batteries. And even realize the promise of strong artificial intelligence (AI).

Have we achieved quantum computing supremacy? Google thinks so. On October 23, Sundar Pinchai, chief executive officer (CEO) of Google. An American multinational technology company with headquarters in Mountain View. California, published a blog post trumpeting the triumph of the company’s researchers in building a quantum computer. That “performed a test computation in just 200 seconds. That would have taken the best known algorithms in the most powerful supercomputers thousands of years to accomplish.”

In a separate post on the Google AI Blog, John Martinis. Chief scientist of Quantum Hardware, and Sergio Boixo, chief scientist of Quantum Computing Theory. Google AI Quantum, said their goal is to build a fault-tolerant quantum computer as quickly as possible. They envision only such a quantum device as being capable of spurring advances. In materials design also that could lead to new lightweight batteries for cars and planes. More effective medicines, and better catalysts for producing fertilizer more efficiently with fewer carbon emissions.

Details of Google’s computational feat prompted immediate pushback from other heavyweights. In the quantum computing field such as IBM, an international technology. Company headquartered in Armonk, New York, which suggested that an ideal simulation of the same computational task. On a classical system could be accomplished in just a couple of days and with much greater fidelity. IBM also critiqued Google’s use of the word “supremacy” and reiterated its vision of quantum computers. And classical computers working together in a complementary way.

National Quantum Initiative Act

In any case, quantum information science (QIS) finds itself in the spotlight once again. As David Awschalom, physicist and quantum engineer at the University of Chicago, in Illinois, puts it. “Quantum information science uses the properties of nature at the smallest scales. To create a meaningful technology.” The U.S. government has recognized the value of QIS with a National Quantum Initiative Act. Which aims to accelerate quantum research and development for both economic and national security purposes.

Quantum may seem esoteric to many casual observers, but Jacob Taylor, assistant director for quantum information science (QIS) at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy,notes that quantum-based technology has been in use for decades. “The atomic clocks that underpin global positioning systems (GPSs) are based on quantum theory,” says Taylor. “In medicine, we use quantum technology to power magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines, probing the aggregate properties of nuclei spins inside the body to find, for example, where blood is giving up oxygen.”

Research

Researchers in academia and industry are now pushing ahead with efforts to develop more advanced technologies based on QIS. These efforts can be grouped into three main areas–computing, communications, and sensing.

Of these, Awschalom believes some of the immediate QIS applications will occur in the fields of sensing and communication. “The very fragility of quantum states is what makes them the basis of powerful sensing technologies,” says Awschalom. “Within a decade, it’s possible that advances in quantum sensing will allow us to push MRI resolution down to the level of single molecules and place sensors inside living cells to watch cellular mechanisms at work.”

The power of fragility                            

The same quantum state fragility that makes for a good sensor creates challenges when trying to build a quantum computer.

Duke University

“The unique capabilities of quantum computers stem from two special features available in the quantum bits, or ‘qubits,’ that are the basic units of quantum information,” says Jungsang Kim, an electrical and computer engineer at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, and co-founder of IonQ, a quantum computing startup based in College Park, Maryland. “One feature is the superposition principle, where the quantum bit can exist in both the 0 and the 1 state at the same time, with controllable weight and relative phase between them, until the qubit is measured. The other feature is entanglement, where correlation among several qubits is present even if the state of each qubit is not fully determined to be in 0 or 1.”

Quantum technology typically involves exotic materials and conditions in order to protect the superpositions stored in the quantum particles, explains Chris Monroe, a physicist at the University of Maryland who is also co-founder and chief scientist at IonQ.

Vaccum Chamber

“One of the fundamental quantum rules is that superposition only exists when you don’t look at it,” emphasizes Monroe. “This means that quantum works best in simple systems such as isolated atoms that are not part of solids or surfaces and levitated in a vacuum chamber, or exotic solid-state devices that are refrigerated to nearly absolute zero temperature.”

If those conditions are met, Monroe says that such devices can form quantum computers that have the potential to solve problems that regular, classical computers will never be able to resolve.

He gives the example of chemical modeling of complex molecules. “Consider a molecule like caffeine that has over 100 electrons,” suggests Monroe. “How do those electrons figure out where to go and what their energy levels should be? Currently, we

Google

Have we achieved quantum computing supremacy? Google thinks so. On October 23, SundarPinchai, chief executive officer (CEO) of Google, an American multinational technology company with headquarters in Mountain View, California, published a blog post trumpeting the triumph of the company’s researchers in building a quantum computer that “performed a test computation in just 200 seconds that would have taken the best known algorithms in the most powerful supercomputers thousands of years to accomplish.”

In a separate post on the Google AI Blog, John Martinis, chief scientist of Quantum Hardware, and Sergio Boixo, chief scientist of Quantum Computing Theory, Google AI Quantum, said their goal is to build a fault-tolerant quantum computer as quickly as possible. They envision such a quantum device as being capable of spurring advances in materials design that could lead to new lightweight batteries for cars and planes, more effective medicines, and better catalysts for producing fertilizer more efficiently with fewer carbon emissions.

IBM

Details of Google’s computational feat prompted immediate pushback from other heavyweights in the quantum computing field such as IBM, an international technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, which suggested that an ideal simulation of the same computational task on a classical system could be accomplished in just a couple of days and with much greater fidelity. IBM also critiqued Google’s use of the word “supremacy” and reiterated its vision of quantum computers and classical computers working together in a complementary way.

In any case, quantum information science (QIS) finds itself in the spotlight once again. As David Awschalom, physicist and quantum engineer at the University of Chicago, in Illinois, puts it, “Quantum information science uses the properties of nature at the smallest scales to create a meaningful technology.” The U.S. government has recognized the value of QIS with a National Quantum Initiative Act, which aims to accelerate quantum research and development for both economic and national security purposes.

Atomic clocks

Quantum may seem esoteric to many casual observers, but Jacob Taylor, assistant director for quantum information science (QIS) at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy,notes that quantum-based technology has been in use for decades. “The atomic clocks that underpin global positioning systems (GPSs) are based on quantum theory,” says Taylor. “In medicine, we use quantum technology to power magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines, probing the aggregate properties of nuclei spins inside the body to find, for example, where blood is giving up oxygen.”

Researchers in academia and industry are now pushing ahead with efforts to develop more advanced technologies based on QIS. These efforts can be grouped into three main areas–computing, communications, and sensing.

QIS applications

Of these, Awschalom believes some of the immediate QIS applications will occur in the fields of sensing and communication. “The very fragility of quantum states is what makes them the basis of powerful sensing technologies,” says Awschalom. “Within a decade, it’s also possible that advances in quantum sensing will allow us to push MRI resolution down to the level of single molecules and place sensors inside living cells to watch cellular mechanisms at work.”

protection within the next 10 years.”

Meanwhile, advances in QIS could lead to the development of encryption methods that are truly impossible to hack—at least without alerting the recipient that a message had been intercepted.

“In the quantum world, the act of looking at something changes it. That’s an advantage from a security standpoint,” explains Awschalom. “We can send information down fiber-optic networks using entangled pairs of photons. If someone tries to intercept the message and view the contents, they won’t be able to ‘put it back’ in the same state. The message will arrive scrambled and the recipient will know that someone tried to eavesdrop on the communications in transit.”

Only time will tell

Jun Ye, a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado in Boulder. Is advancing the measurement of time by using also quantum mechanics. Using laser beams and evaporation, he loads and traps atoms one by one in a crystal lattice made of light. These new atomic clocks are about 100 times more accurate than traditional atomic clocks. Based on this new clock, in October. Ye and colleagues published a paper showing that they had developed a new time scale in the optical domain. With performance 10 times better. Than the also current generation of time scales used to define the world time.

Spaceships:

Ye says this improvement could have direct benefits for communications and navigation. With satellites sending information to each other and to Earth using laser beams instead of microwaves. “You could also send precise instructions and navigation coordinates to an interplanetary spaceship so that you can synchronize. Its automatic landing on Mars,” he says. “Every time we increase clock technology, it usually leads to multiple layers of technological advances elsewhere in society. In fact, the technology powering advances. In both clocks and quantum computers is emerging from the same quantum revolution happening today.”

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