Quantum technology

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quantum technology is an emerging field of physics and engineering, encompassing technologies that rely on the properties of quantum mechanics,[1] especially quantum entanglement, quantum superposition, and quantum tunneling. Quantum computing, sensors, cryptography, simulation, measurement, imaging, quantum energy generators and space navigation are all examples of emerging quantum technologies. The development of quantum technologies also heavily impacts established fields such as space exploration,[2] the sustainable energy & cleantech sector, nanomanufacturing, semiconductors and laser technology.

Furthermore, some scientists are researching possible interconnections between quantum biology and quantum technology, for example to better understand immunology[3] and improve healthcare. Apart from its main roots in physics, some types of quantum technology may even involve chemistry or microbiology.

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

Secure communications[edit]

Quantum secure communication is a method that is expected to be 'quantum safe' in the advent of quantum computing systems that could break current cryptography systems using methods such as Shor's algorithm. These methods include quantum key distribution (QKD), a method of transmitting information using entangled light in a way that makes any interception of the transmission obvious to the user. Another method is the quantum random number generator, which is capable of producing truly random numbers unlike non-quantum algorithms that merely imitate randomness.[4]


Quantum computers are expected to have a number of important uses in computing fields such as optimization and machine learning. They are perhaps best known for their expected ability to carry out Shor's algorithm, which can be used to factorize large numbers and is an important process in the securing of data transmissions.

Quantum simulators[edit]

Quantum simulators are types of quantum computers used to simulate a real world system and can be used to simulate chemical compounds or solve high energy physics problems.[5][6] Quantum simulators are simpler to build as opposed to general purpose quantum computers because complete control over every component is not necessary.[5] Current quantum simulators under development include ultracold atoms in optical lattices, trapped ions, arrays of superconducting qubits, and others.[5]


Quantum sensors are expected to have a number of applications in a wide variety of fields including positioning systems, communication technology, electric and magnetic field sensors, gravimetry[7] as well as geophysical areas of research such as civil engineering[8] and seismology.


The field of quantum technology was first outlined in a 1997 book by Gerard J. Milburn,[9] which was then followed by a 2003 article by Jonathan P. Dowling and Gerard J. Milburn,[10][11] as well as a 2003 article by David Deutsch.[12]

Many devices already available are fundamentally reliant on the effects of quantum mechanics. These include laser systems, transistors and semiconductor devices, as well as other devices such as MRI imagers. The UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) grouped these devices as 'quantum 1.0' to differentiate them from what it dubbed 'quantum 2.0', which it defined as a class of devices that actively create, manipulate, and read out quantum states of matter using the effects of superposition and entanglement.[13]

Research programmes[edit]

From 2010 onwards, multiple governments have established programmes to explore quantum technologies,[14] such as the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme,[15] which created four quantum 'hubs', the Centre for Quantum Technologies in Singapore, and QuTech, a Dutch center to develop a topological quantum computer.[16] In 2016, the European Union introduced the Quantum Technology Flagship,[17][18] a €1 Billion, 10-year-long megaproject, similar in size to earlier European Future and Emerging Technologies Flagship projects. [19][20] In December 2018, the United States passed the National Quantum Initiative Act, which provides a US$1 billion annual budget for quantum research.[21] China is building the world's largest quantum research facility with a planned investment of 76 billion Yuan (approx. €10 Billion).[22][23] Indian government has also invested 8000 crore Rupees (approx. US$1.02 Billion) over 5-years to boost quantum technologies under its National Quantum Mission.[24]

In the private sector, large companies have made multiple investments in quantum technologies. Organizations such as Google, D-wave systems, and University of California Santa Barbara[25] have formed partnerships and investments to develop quantum technology.

Country/Group Name of Center/ Project Government control (yes/no/partial) Type of Quantum Technology Research Established date Funding
Australia Australian Research Council Centres of Excellence Yes Computing 2017 US$94 million
Department of Defence's Next Generation Technologies Fund Yes Integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance

Space capabilities

Enhanced human performance

Medical countermeasure products

Multi-disciplinary material sciences

Quantum technologies

Trusted autonomous systems


Advanced sensors


Directed energy capabilities[26]

2016[27] US$4.5M
Sydney Quantum Academy Partial Quantum economy December 7, 2020 [28] US$15.0M[29]
Silicon Quantum Computing Partial Quantum computing May 2017 US$83M[30]
Canada Canadian Space Agency Quantum Encryption and Science Satellite Partial Quantum key distribution(QKD)[31] December 2017
National Research Council of Canada's Security and Disruptive Technologies Research Centre: Quantum Sensors and Security program Partial Longer-range emerging and disruptive technologies 2012 US$23M
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council/UK Research and Innovation Partial Quantum technology development US$3.4M
Canada’s National Quantum Strategy Partial The Strategy will guide investments along three pillars − quantum research, talent and commercialization − toward achieving three key missions, in quantum computers and software, communications and sensors. 2023 US$267M
China Chinese Academy of Sciences Center for Excellence in Quantum Information and Quantum Physics Yes General May 2015 US$10.0B
Quantum Experiments at Space Scale (QUESS) project (the Micius satellite) Yes Quantum key distribution May 2015
Beijing–Shanghai Quantum Secure Communication Backbone Yes Quantum Communications May 2015
National Quantum Laboratory Yes Quantum metrology and building a quantum computer May 2015 (opened in 2020)
European Union Quantum Technologies Flagship program Yes Quantum computing

Quantum simulation

Quantum communication

Quantum metrology and sensing[32]

2018 Expected budget of €1 billion[32]
Coordination and support action for Quantum Technology Education (QTEdu) Yes Education[33] 2020
QuantERA Yes Quantum technologies 2016[34] €89 million[35]
Open European Quantum Key Distribution (OpenQKD) Yes Quantum-based cryptography[36] Sept. 2, 2019 (ended Sept. 1, 2022) [37] €17 974 246,25[37]
European Quantum Communication Infrastructure (EuroQCI) Yes Quantum communication infrastructure[38] June 2019[38] €90,000,000[39]
France National Strategy for Quantum Technologies Yes Quantum computing, quantum communications and quantum sensors [40] January 21, 2021[40] US$1.8B[40]
Germany Quantum Technologies — From Basic Research to Market Yes Quantum technologies September 26, 2018 €650M[41]
Agenda Quantensysteme 2030 Yes quantum computing, quantum simulation, quantum communication, quantum sensors, supporting technologies, public outreach March 23, 2021.[42]
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft-IBM collaboration Yes Quantum computing[43] September, 2019[43] €40M[43]
QuNET Yes Quantum communication[44] 2018[44] €165M[44]
India National Mission on Quantum Technologies & Applications Yes Quantum communication, quantum simulation, quantum computation, Quantum sensing, and quantum metrology[45] 2020[45] Rs 8000 Crore [45]
Israel National Program for Quantum Science and Technology Yes National quantum development[46] 2019[46] US$360[46]
Japan Quantum Technology Innovation Strategy Yes Quantum technology 2020 US$470
Quantum Strategic Industry Alliance for Revolution (Q-STAR) Yes An industry council to promote quantum technologies September 1, 2021
Quantum Leap Flagship Program Yes Superconducting quantum computer, quantum simulation, quantum computing, solid state quantum sensors, lasers[47] 2018 [47] US$200M[47]
The Moonshot Research and Development Program (Goal 6) Yes Quantum computing 2019[48] US$963M for total program not just quantum[48]
Netherlands National Agenda for Quantum Technology: Quantum Delta NL Yes Quantum computing, quantum communication, and quantum sensing [49] 2020 [50] €615M[50]
Russia Rosatom Yes Quantum technologies and research infrastructure [51] 2021 [51] 23 billion rubles[51]
RZD (Russian Railways) Yes Quantum Communications[52] October 2021[52] 138M Russian rubles[52]
Singapore Quantum Engineering Program Yes Quantum technology[53] 2018[53] US$121.6M[53]
Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) Yes Quantum Technologies[54] 2007[54] US$194.9M[54]
SGInnovate- Quantum Technologies[55] Yes Digital financing 2015[56]
South Korea Quantum Computing Technology Development Project Yes Quantum technologies[57] 2019[57] US$39.8M[57]
United Kingdom National Quantum Technologies Programme Yes Funding UK quantum technologies[58] 2013[59] US$1B[58]
National Quantum Computing Centre Yes Quantum computing[60] Set to open in 2023[60] £93m[60]
Rigetti Computing Partial Quantum computing[61] 2013[62] US$268m[62]
United States Quantum Industry Consortium Yes General "quantum ecosystem" (quantum industry supply chain, federal R&D investment priorities, standards and regulation, industry interactions, etc.)[63] 2018 US$1.25B[64]
National Quantum Coordination Office Yes Quantum technology research and development[65] 2019[65]
The Department of Energy Office of Science[66] Yes Quantum computing, quantum algorithms, quantum sensors, quantum processors, quantum networks and quantum simulation[66][67] 2019 US$900M (US$300M in FY 2023)[68][69]
The National Science Foundation (Five Quantum Leap Challenges Institutes) Yes Quantum computing, quantum sensors, quantum processors, quantum biological sensing, and quantum simulation[70][71] 2020[71] US$125M[70][71]
National Quantum Initiative Act Yes Quantum information science and Quantum technology development[72] Dec. 21, 2018[72] US$1.275B[72]
MonArk Quantum Foundry Partial Development of quantum materials and devices[73] August 17, 2021[74] US$19,990,000[74]
Center for Quantum Networks Partial Quantum computing[75] 2020[75] US$26 m[75]
National Q-12 Education Partnership Yes Education[76] 2020[76] US$1M[76]
Quantum Wellness Technologies No Quantum information science and Quantum technology development[77] 2023[77]

See also[edit]


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