Quantum technology

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Quantum technology is an emerging field of physics and engineering, which relies on the principles of quantum physics.[1] It is about creating practical applications -- such as quantum computing, quantum sensors, quantum cryptography, quantum simulation, quantum metrology and quantum imaging -- based on properties of quantum mechanics, especially quantum entanglement, quantum superposition and quantum tunnelling.

According to John von Neumann, quantum technology is different from the deterministic classical mechanics, which holds that the state is determined by values of two variables.[2] He stated that quantum technology is determined by probabilities and this explanation has been used to justify the technology's superiority.[2]

Colloidal quantum dots irradiated with a UV light. Different sized quantum dots emit different colour light due to quantum confinement.

Applications[edit]

Sensing[edit]

Quantum superposition states can be very sensitive to a number of external effects, such as electric, magnetic and gravitational fields; rotation, acceleration and time, and therefore can be used to make very accurate sensors. There are many experimental demonstrations of quantum sensing devices, such as the experiments carried out by the Nobel laureate William D. Phillips on using cold atom interferometer systems to measure gravity and the atomic clock which is used by many national standards agencies around the world to define the second.

Recent efforts are being made to engineer quantum sensing devices, so that they are cheaper, easier to use, more portable, lighter and consume less power. It is believed that if these efforts are successful, it will lead to multiple commercial markets, such as for the monitoring of oil and gas deposits, or in construction.

Secure communications[edit]

Quantum secure communication are methods which are expected to be 'quantum safe' in the advent of a quantum computing systems that could break current cryptography systems. One significant component of a quantum secure communication systems is expected to be Quantum key distribution, or 'QKD': a method of transmitting information using entangled light in a way that makes any interception of the transmission obvious to the user. Another technology in this field is the quantum random number generator used to protect data. This produces truly random number without following the procedure of the computing algorithms that merely imitate randomness.[3]

Computing[edit]

Quantum computers are the ultimate quantum network, combining 'quantum bits' or 'qubit' which are devices that can store and process quantum data (as opposed to binary data) with links that can transfer quantum information between qubits. In doing this, quantum computers are predicted to calculate certain algorithms significantly faster than even the largest classical computer available today.

Quantum computers are expected to have a number of significant uses in computing fields such as optimization and machine learning. They are famous for their expected ability to carry out 'Shor's Algorithm', which can be used to factorise large numbers which are mathematically important to secure data transmission.

The first and second quantum revolutions[edit]

There are many devices available today which are fundamentally reliant on the effects of quantum mechanics. These include: laser systems, transistors and semi-conductor devices and other devices, such as MRI imagers. These devices are often referred to belonging to the 'first quantum revolution'; the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) grouped these devices as 'quantum 1.0',[4] that is devices which rely on the effects of quantum mechanics. Quantum technologies are often described as the 'second quantum revolution' or 'quantum 2.0'. These are generally regarded as a class of device that actively create, manipulate and read out quantum states of matter, often using the quantum effects of superposition and entanglement.

History[edit]

The field of quantum technology was first outlined in a 1997 book by Gerard J. Milburn,[5] which was then followed by a 2003 article by Jonathan P. Dowling and Gerard J. Milburn,[6][7] as well as a 2003 article by David Deutsch.[8] The field of quantum technology has benefited immensely from the influx of new ideas from the field of quantum information processing, particularly quantum computing. Disparate areas of quantum physics, such as quantum optics, atom optics, quantum electronics, and quantum nanomechanical devices, have been unified under the search for a quantum computer and given a common language, that of quantum information theory.

The Quantum Manifesto was signed by 3,400 scientists and officially released at the 2016 Quantum Europe Conference, calling for a quantum technology initiative to coordinate between academia and industry, to move quantum technologies from the laboratory to industry, and to educate quantum technology professionals in a combination of science, engineering, and business.[9][10][11][12][13]

The European Commission responded to that manifesto with the Quantum Technology Flagship [14][15], a €1 Billion, 10-year-long megaproject, similar in size to earlier European Future and Emerging Technologies Flagship projects such as the Graphene Flagship and Human Brain Project. [11][16] China is building the world's largest quantum research facility with a planned investment of 76 Billion Yuan (approx. € 10 Billion).[17] [18] The USA [19][20], Canada [21], Australia [22], Japan [23] and the UK [24] are also preparing national initiatives.

National programmes[edit]

From 2010 onwards, multiple governments have established programmes to explore quantum technologies [25], such as the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme [26], which created four quantum 'hubs', the Centre for Quantum Technologies in Singapore, and QuTech a Dutch centre to develop a topological quantum computer.[27] On 22 December 2018, Donald Trump signed into law the US National Quantum Initiative Act, with a billion dollar a year budget, which is widely viewed as a response to gains in QuTech by the Chinese — particularly the recent launch of the Chinese Quantum Satellite.

In the private sector, there have been multiple investments into quantum technologies made by large companies. Examples include Google's partnership with the John Martinis group at UCSB,[28] multiple partnerships with the Canadian quantum computing company D-wave systems, and investment by many UK companies within the UK quantum technologies programme.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chen, Rajasekar; Velusamy, R. (2014). Bridge Engineering Handbook, Five Volume Set, Second Edition. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. p. 263. ISBN 9781482263459.
  2. ^ a b Aerts, Diederik; Khrennikov, Andreĭ; Melucci, Massimo; Toni, Bourama (2019). Quantum-like Models for Information Retrieval and Decision-making. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature. p. 65. ISBN 9783030259129.
  3. ^ Love, Dylan (July 31, 2017). "'Quantum' technology is the future, and it's already here — here's what that means for you". Business Insider. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Schrödinger's Machines, G.J.Milburn, W H Freeman & Co. (1997) Archived August 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Quantum Technology: The Second Quantum Revolution ,"J.P.Dowling and G.J.Milburn, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 361, 3655 (2003)
  7. ^ "Quantum Technology: The Second Quantum Revolution," J.P.Dowling and G.J.Milburn, arXiv:quant-ph/0206091v1
  8. ^ "Physics, Philosophy, and Quantum Technology," D.Deutsch in the Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Quantum Communication, Measurement and Computing, Shapiro, J.H. and Hirota, O., Eds. (Rinton Press, Princeton, NJ. 2003)
  9. ^ "Quantum Manifesto for Quantum Technologies"
  10. ^ "Quantum Manifesto"
  11. ^ a b Alexander Hellemans. Europe Bets €1 Billion on Quantum Tech: A 10-year-long megaproject will go beyond quantum computing and cryptography to advance other emerging technologies". July 2016. IEEE Spectrum.
  12. ^ Michael Allen. "'Quantum manifesto' for Europe calls for €1bn in funding" Archived 2017-03-31 at the Wayback Machine. 2016. Physics World.
  13. ^ "Quantum Manifesto: Europe Leads in Quantum Technology" Archived March 31, 2017, at the Wayback Machine. 2016.
  14. ^ Riedel, Max F.; Binosi, Daniele; Thew, Rob; Calarco, Tommaso (2017). "The European quantum technologies flagship programme". Quantum Science and Technology. 2 (3): 030501. doi:10.1088/2058-9565/aa6aca.
  15. ^ Riedel, Max; Kovacs, Matyas; Zoller, Peter; Mlynek, Jürgen; Calarco, Tommaso (2019). "Europe's Quantum Flagship initiative". Quantum Science and Technology. 4 (2): 020501. doi:10.1088/2058-9565/ab042d.
  16. ^ Elizabeth Gibney. "Europe plans giant billion-euro quantum technologies project: Third European Union flagship will be similar in size and ambition to graphene and human brain initiatives." April 2016. Nature.
  17. ^ "China building world's biggest quantum research facility". Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  18. ^ Zhang, Qiang; Xu, Feihu; Li, Li; Liu, Nai-Le; Pan, Jian-Wei (2019). "Quantum information research in China". Quantum Science and Technology. 4 (4): 040503. doi:10.1088/2058-9565/ab4bea.
  19. ^ "National Quantum Initiative— Action Plan" (PDF). Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  20. ^ Raymer, Michael G.; Monroe, Christopher (2019). "The US National Quantum Initiative". Quantum Science and Technology. 4 (2): 020504. doi:10.1088/2058-9565/ab0441.
  21. ^ Sussman, Ben; Corkum, Paul; Blais, Alexandre; Cory, David; Damascelli, Andrea (2019). "Quantum Canada". Quantum Science and Technology. 4 (2): 020503. doi:10.1088/2058-9565/ab029d.
  22. ^ Roberson, T. M.; White, A. G. (2019). "Charting the Australian quantum landscape". Quantum Science and Technology. 4 (2): 020505. doi:10.1088/2058-9565/ab02b4.
  23. ^ Yamamoto, Yoshihisa; Sasaki, Masahide; Takesue, Hiroki (2019). "Quantum information science and technology in Japan". Quantum Science and Technology. 4 (2): 020502. doi:10.1088/2058-9565/ab0077.
  24. ^ Knight, Peter; Walmsley, Ian (2019). "UK national quantum technology programme". Quantum Science and Technology. 4 (4): 040502. doi:10.1088/2058-9565/ab4346.
  25. ^ Focus on Quantum Science and Technology Initiatives Around the World, Edited by Rob Thew, Thomas Jennewein and Masahide Sasaki, Quantum Science and Technology (2019)
  26. ^ Knight, Peter; Walmsley, Ian (2019). "UK national quantum technology programme". Quantum Science and Technology. 4 (4): 040502. doi:10.1088/2058-9565/ab4346.
  27. ^ 'A little bit, better' The Economist, 18th June 2015
  28. ^ The man who will build Google's elusive quantum computer; Wired, 09.05.14

External links[edit]