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Project Q, Q Research, Q3

Project Q is highlighted in this new piece on ‘quantum philanthropy’


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Program director for international peace and security at the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Stephen Del Rosso, writes in The Chronicle of Philanthropy on the increasing need for philanthropists to help further public understanding of the societal implications of quantum innovation, highlighting Project Q’s leading role in the effort.

Del Rosso writes, “Quantum presents a ripe target of opportunity for foundations that have long supported efforts to explore and explain complex notions rooted in science — from nuclear security to climate change — that affect our everyday lives. Moreover, through its grant making to scholars and policy experts and increasing interest in broadly disseminating their findings, philanthropy is well-positioned to take on this challenge.”

The article describes research endeavours by tech giants Microsoft, Google and IBM, as well as government agencies and major universities such as the University of Sydney’s Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology (AINST) who are working on different developmental paths to a fully functioning quantum computer.

“Philanthropy is unhindered by the crisis-to-crisis mode of government operations or the disciplinary imperatives of the academy, so it is ideally suited to sponsor investigation into the relevance of quantum approaches today and in the future.” (more…)

Project Q, Q Research, Q3

Quantum Leap: China’s satellite and the new arms race


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Q3 speaker Taylor Owen recently wrote a piece for Foreign Affairs that explores the effects and implications of new quantum technologies on international relations, which features Project Q’s work and research.

The piece looks at the recent launch of China’s quantum satellite into orbit, the private and public partnerships in the development of quantum computers, and if in understanding these new quantum technologies we are able to better understand the universe.

Taylor Owen is an assistant professor of digital media and global affairs at the University of British Columbia and a Senior Fellow at the Columbia Journalism School. Listen to his talk below on the final roundtable event at the third annual Q Symposium last February.

Project Q, Q3

Q3 Symposium Highlight Video with Project Q Announcement


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Watch the highlight video of the 3rd annual Q Symposium (Q3), which was held on February 11-13, 2016 at the Q Station in Manly.

The Q team have just returned from Singapore where they attended the International Conference on Quantum Communication, Measurement and Computing (QCMC) at the National University of Singapore. The team conducted many interviews of attendees and professionals, ranging from quantum physicists to computer scientists to a global strategist, as part of the production of Project Q’s documentary film.

The team have also decided to postpone the upcoming 4th annual Q Symposium (Q4) to February 2018 to focus on producing the digital green paper and edited volume publications, as well as the treatment for the documentary feature film as part of Project Q.

In the meanwhile, keep up to date with the Project by subscribing to our blog updates at the bottom of this page or follow us on Twitter @ProjectQSydney.

Image above: The Q Team interviewing Alex Bocharov from Microsoft Research at the QCMC Conference in Singapore

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Q3 Provides Chance to Reflect on Project Q’s Progress


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While progress towards a meaningful quantum computer has yet to cascade into Moore’s law territory, this year’s Q Symposium—the third such event hosted by the University of Sydney’s Centre for International Security Studies and generously supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York—gave the impression that significant steps have been taken over the past two years.

By necessity, much of the writing and research of Q1 tended to treat the imminence of quantum technology speculatively. Post-Snowden secrecy combined with the oft-grandiose claims of its potential power made by those in its pursuit led many —myself included—to feel that quantum computing could be a paradigm shift for security on par with nuclear weapons. While this may ultimately prove the case, this year’s conference seemed very consciously engaged with the current reality of quantum technologies and theories, grounding its proceedings in a tone more grounded in the current quantum state of affairs.

This move could not come at a better time. With Project Q and similar efforts (i.e. Alexander Wendt’s publication of Quantum Mind and Social Science) beginning to present the ideas of a quantum social science to the broader community of security scholarship at ISA, the research and thinking around Q must strive to demonstrate the rigor and conceptual clarity necessary to allay competing criticisms of science envy and charlatanism.

(more…)

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Watch the final roundtable event from Q3 Symposium on peace and security in a quantum age


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The final roundtable from the third annual Q Symposium held on February 11-13 this year is now available online. View the full recording below.

The roundtable wraps up the conference and features a discussion panel of Professors Azar Gat (Tel Aviv University), Karen O’Brien (University of Oslo), Christian Reus-Smit (University of Queensland), Assistant Professor Taylor Owen (University of British Columbia), Stephen Del Rosso (Carnegie Corporation) and Professor James Der Derian (University of Sydney).

Q Research, Q3

Is it time for a quantum leap in climate change?


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Professor Karen O’Brien from the University of Oslo joined the Q Symposium (Q3) this year on the Final Roundtable to discuss applications of quantum concepts in understanding social change.

Professor O’Brien recently wrote an opinion piece for WIREs Climate Change titled ‘Climate change and social transformations: is it time for a quantum leap?’ which explores the metaphysical, metaphorical and meaningful significance of quantum social theory for understandings of social change.

You can read the op-ed here.

Project Q, Q3

Q3 Symposium featured in latest SSPS Review magazine


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Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 3.03.22 PMThe latest issue of the SSPS Review, a digital magazine published by the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Sydney recently featured a review of the third annual Q Symposium.

The SSPS Review celebrates the achievements of the school – staff, students and alumni, as well as donors who make a significant contribution to research and the student experience.

The piece is written by Project Q director James Der Derian and research assistant Maryanne Crooks, and provides an overview of the events that occurred at the third annual Q Symposium last February.

You can view and download the latest issue of the SSPS Review here, and you can read the piece from Page 30-33.

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Watch the Quantum Moment and Matter panels from the Q3 Symposium


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View the full recordings of the Quantum Moment and Matter panels from the third annual Q Symposium, held in February this year.

The Quantum Moment panel was opened by Associate Professor Michael Biercuk (Quantum Control Lab, University of Sydney) on the new quantum revolution and the unique opportunities provided by current quantum research. His presentation was followed by Professor Shohini Ghose (Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada) on quantum diversity and her interesting take on what it takes to be a quantum feminist. Finally, Assistant Professor Bentley B. Allan closed the panel with his presentation on the implications of quantum interpretations and technologies for the cosmological basis of political discourses.

The Quantum Matter panel began with Professor Andrew Dzurak (University of New South Wales) who presented his work in silicon-based quantum computing at the Centre for Quantum Computer Technology. Professor Chao-yang Lu (University of Science and Technology China) then discussed his research in perfecting single photons for multi-photon experiments, and was followed by Professor Stephen Bartlett (University of Sydney) who described new approaches to understanding quantum physics in the macroscopic world.

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The Q3 Symposium: Quantum Metaphysics panel


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In opening the panel on quantum metaphysics, Dr. Jairus Grove pointed to a central theme of the Q Symposium: how both the metaphorical and technological exploitation of quantum mechanics has unleashed metaphysical effects. Artist Alexa Meade, Professor Christopher Fuchs from the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and writer John Phillip Santos from the University of Texas at San Antonio joined Dr. Grove on Sunday in a provocative discussion about the metaphysical quandaries of quantum.

Los Angeles based 3D artist Alexa Meade explained how her artworks involve painting a representation of reality onto itself, making 3D spaces appear 2D. Artist-in-residence at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario, Canada, Meade is no stranger to the conversation of how quantum affects reality, and incorporates this element into her own work. With the subjects of her art acting as both observers and participants, Meade demonstrated how her work triggers new ways of viewing the world, taking on a superpositional quality of 3D and 2D. (more…)

Q Research, Q3

The University of Sydney launches world-leading nanoscience institute


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This week, the University of Sydney launches the Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology (AINST), which aims to bring together the best researchers and research facilities to discover and harness new science at the nanoscale, including quantum science, to address some of society’s biggest challenges.

The Sydney Nanoscience Hub will be the new headquarters for AINST, and is among the most advanced facilities for measurement and experimental device fabrication in the world.

The Hub will be home to several different projects including the Quantum Control Lab lead by Associate Professor Michael Biercuk who was a Q3 Symposium participant on the Quantum Moment panel last February. Michael has also been involved in the public media discussing his team’s work in quantum innovation recently on ABC’s Q&A program. Professor David Reilly who leads the Quantum Nanoscience Lab research project at the Hub was also a participant at the first Q1 Symposium in 2014.

This week, AINST will be holding several different events as it officially launches, which included a free public talk by Professor Joanna Aizenberg from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard titled ‘Slippery Surfaces: how nanoscience is changing our material world‘.

A two-day Scientific Meeting will follow from Wednesday to find out the latest developments in nanoscale science and technology from eminent scientists from around the world, including research leaders from the institute. Professor Charles M. Marcus from the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark will be presenting a seminar ‘From the Atom to the Computer and Back Again – A 100 Year Round Trip‘ on the development of semiconductor-based computing technology and quantum mechanics. Registrations for the meeting are still open and can be done via AINST’s website.

Photo: Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology