With their current largest quantum computer containing 65 qubits, IBM has released an ambitious roadmap for a 1000 qubit quantum computer by 2023. While a 1000 qubit machine is still 1000 times too small to break current internet encryption schemes, it will be big enough to correct the errors that plague smaller quantum machines. If the machine is a success, it will mark an inflection point where the goal of quantum computer development shifts from lowering the error rate to scaling and optimizing the architecture.
Reviewing the quantum material ‘engine room’ – ScienceDaily
The Quantum Anomalous Hall Effect is a unique property of certain materials that allow zero-resistance electrical current to flow along its edge, instead of absorbing it like tradition materials do. An Australian collaboration has reviewed the fundamental theories underpinning this little-understood but exciting quantum effect. The better we understand this effect, the sooner we can use it to significantly reduce the power consumption in electric devices.
Google It: Quantum Chemistry Problem Solved – Mirage News
Since the discovery of quantum computing, there have been hints at its potential for solving some of chemistry’s most complex problems, a rare glimpse into the mechanisms that sustain life itself. This week, Google AI Quantum and Quasar collaborated to perform the largest quantum chemistry calculation to date. While the computer returned accurate answers to chemistry problems where the answer was already known, the hope is that this prototype can be used to solve problems that have not yet been solved.
The UK government has partnered with Rigetti Computing, announcing $13.36 million in investment to create their very own quantum cloud computer. With the ambition of being “the world’s first quantum-ready economy” their main goal is to translate the progress in quantum research to practical progress in industry. Followsing the UK’s previous investment of $1.34 in a ten-year quantum program, we could be seeing governments take a more active role in the quantum race.
Physicists Create City-Sized Ultrasecure Quantum Network – Scientific American
One of the primary challenges for practical quantum communication is being able to scale communications from within a single research labs to a wide network of quantum nodes. An international team of scientists have developed a way to scale up quantum communication to the size of an average city without incurring unreasonable escalation in costs of quantum hardware. Considering their system uses already-existing optical fibers, it brings us even closer to large-scale, secure quantum communication.
Up until now companies have been using superconducting qubits for their quantum cloud computing service, but this could all change with Xanadu’s announcement of the first photonic qubit cloud computer. The main advantages of photonic computers is that they can operate at room temperature and can easily be integrated into existing fiber-optic infrastructure. Having a photonic computer commercially available to consumers through a cloud computing service is touchstone in the competition between alternate modes of quantum computing.
While we’re still grappling with potential practical uses for quantum computers, the expectation has always been that quantum computers are our best bet for simulating complex chemical reactions.This week, a team at Google has successful used it’s quantum computer to accurately simulated a diazene molecule in which the hydrogen atoms move into different configuration around the nitrogen atoms. While this is a relatively basic chemical reaction, it’s our first step towards using quantum computers to develop brand new chemicals.
As Google made headlines with their claims of quantum advantage last year, IBM has been plugging away with it’s own milestones, persistently increasing the ‘quantum volume’ of their computers. Quantum volume measures the length and complexity of quantum circuits, serving as a universal marker for a quantum computer’s ability to explore and solve solutions to real world problems. Focusing on a new set of software and hardware improvements, they were able to reach a quantum volume of 64, which makes it the world’s highest performing quantum computer.
Quantum scientists have always struggled with stabilizing qubits for long enough to perform any useful tasks with them. Scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have made this task even more daunting by demonstrating that even low-level, natural radiation can nudge qubits off balance. Without finding a way to mitigate this newfound radiation issue, there is no way to achieve practical quantum computing in the future.
Wigner’s paradox is a mind-bending, quantum thought experiment that claims that superposition exists for both the particle and the observer, which throws our ideas about objectivity out the window. A group of researchers from Australia and Taiwan have transformed the paradox into a workable mathematical theorem and experiment, and it checks out. A conclusion that the researchers find “disconcerting”, it demonstrates that these contradictions are no longer just philosophical but can exist in real experiments, spelling even more trouble for our neat definitions of objectivity.
Amazon Web Services has released their quantum cloud computing development tool Amazon Braket, allowing customers to build their programs on simulated quantum computers. Since they aren’t wedded to a specific quantum technology, users of the cloud are able to experiment with and contribute to the development of multiple quantum computers. While Amazon is joining in late to the quantum cloud competition, time will tell whether their approach will cement their position in the quantum race.
Quantum States are the backbone of quantum technology, but the problem is they rarely last longer than a few milliseconds. Researchers at the University of Chicago have managed to make quantum states last 10,000 times longer through decoherence; they used a continuous alternating magnetic field to ‘tune out’ unnecessary noise that would otherwise destabilize the system. With this relatively easy-to-apply fix to quantum states, it should give researchers the ability to better manipulate quantum technology across the board.
In 1979 a team at MIT designed the strategy of ‘card-counting’ to modify the odds of blackjack to successfully beat casinos, and this week their technique was given a quantum edge. While positing that the cards in a blackjack deck could be considered ‘entangled’, MIT researchers developed a quantum system that dictates the optimal move for a blackjack player. While current quantum technology is too bulky to sneak into a casino, the experiment shows how entangled systems can show up in our macroscopic, everyday lives.
Using entangled photons to play “quantum Go” – Phys.org
The ancient, complex game of ‘Go’ has often served as the go-to game in testing whether AI can compete against human cognition and problem solving. Now, researchers across several institutions in China have developed a version of the board game that uses entangled photons instead of playing tokens, which adds an element of randomness and could produce a tougher test for artificial intelligence than conventional board games. While this novel spin on one of the world’s oldest games sounds like a fun twist, it could also help develop AI systems even further.
The quest for quantum-proof encryption just made a leap forward – Technology Review
It is generally understood that quantum computing threatens to break the systems of encryption that we rely on for our online security. Knowing this, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology launched a competition in 2016 to develop new encryption standards with the goal of being quantum-proof. The vast majority of potential winners have relied on lattice-based cryptography, which currently have no known quantum solutions. While quantum cryptography is still 30 years away, the push to mediate its effects is well underway right now and is showing promising results.
‘Quantum negativity’ can power ultra-precise measurements – Science Daily
A mindumbingly confusing proposition for those of us who measure probability on a scale of 0-100%, quantum theory suggests that the chance of something happening could be a negative number, such as -5%. Nonetheless, scientists from MIT, Harvard and Cambridge have used this “quantum negativity” in a real-world application, allowing them to extract more information from experiments that they could with only classical physics. This discovery can form the basis for more precise measurements of everything from molecular distances to gravitational waves.
The ‘butterfly effect’, where a small change in the past can dramatically alter the course of history, has been a common trope in science fiction movies. Unfortunately, it seems these riveting stories are considerably more boring in the quantum world. Physicists from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US have used the IBM-Q quantum computer to simulate a group of correlated quantum states, rewind time, make small changes and see how it affects the modern day. It turns out quantum states remain essentially unchanged, and they generally returned to their initial form regardless of changes in the past.
A group of private businesses including IBM, Toshiba and Toyota have teamed up with the University of Tokyo to launch the Quantum Innovation Initiative Consortium. With their headquarters at the university, they plan to accelerate Quantum R&D in Japan by linking academics across academia, research associations and industry. This cements Japan’s centrality in IBM’s Q Network, as one of the key players in the race for quantum supremacy.
The US Department of Energy has issued a report laying out their blueprints for a national quantum internet. With existing quantum labs serving as the main nodes in the nationwide quantum network, the US government plans to create a parallel, more secure network for communications. While it is anticipated that banking and health industries will make use of this new network, the national security benefits would place the US at the forefront of the global quantum race.
UNSW will launch a world-first undergraduate degree in quantum engineering – Business Insider
The University of New South Wales has become the first institution in the world to offer an undergraduate degree focusing on quantum engineering. As Australian universities attract quantum talent from all over the world, the proliferation of specific quantum courses is a logical next step. The first intake of students starts in Term 3, 2020, and is expected to provide trained experts for Australia’s burgeoning quantum industry.
Quantum Tunneling Is Not Instantaneous, Physicists Show – Scientific American
Scientists from Toronto have shed light on ‘quantum tunneling’, the process wherein a particle tunnels through a seemingly insurmountable barrier. The team measured how long rubidium atoms spend inside a barrier before they tunnel through it, averaging 0.61 milliseconds, disproving previous claims of instantaneous tunneling. They also discovered that the slower the movement of a tunneling particle, the less time it spends inside a barrier, which is the exact opposite of our everyday laws of motion.
One of the key components of a photonic quantum computer is a mechanism that emits single-photons to use as qubits. Scientists at Columbia Engineering and Montana State University have discovered that placing strain on a 2-D material can turn it into an easily tuned quantum photon emitter. The benefit of doing this with a 2-D material is the ability to position a fine-tuned, room-temperature, single-photon emitter anywhere we want.
The Quantum Mirror – the lightest mirror in the world – Innovation Origins
Researchers at the Max-Planck Institute in Germany have developed a ‘quantum mirror’, which is the lightest mirror in the world. When integrated into a quantum computer circuit, this 10 nanometer thick mirror could help selectively direct lasers in an optical grid. This discovery offers new possibilities for the development of minuscule sensors and microchips.
While our atmosphere fills with unwanted carbon dioxide, scientists have discovered nanoparticles that convert carbon dioxide into fuel. The team from Rutgers university has isolated these tiny titanium dioxide crystals, which blink when they’re exposed to a beam of electrons, and could be used for environmental cleanups and quantum sensors.
Scaling up the quantum chip – MIT News
Scientists at MIT have developed a new way to scale up quantum chips by manufacturing “artificial atoms”. By using microscopically thin slices of diamond, the chip can emit photons that carry quantum information, marking a turning point in the field of scalable quantum computers.
This process has allowed researchers to link 128 qubits together, creating the largest quantum chip to date.
From smartphone users to those of us who use their keys as q-tips, we have grown to intimately understand the convenience of multipurpose devices. This same philosophy has been translated into the quantum world by scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology who have developed a 3-in-1 quantum measurement tool. The scientists designed the blueprints for a device that measures on both the nanometer and millimeter scale, allowing us to characterise materials in a way that we couldn’t before.
Quantum leap for Australian defense research and development – Create Digital
Two quantum science projects have been awarded $1.5 million from the Australian Defense Industry Quantum Research Consortium. The first project involves quantum sensing of small changes in magnetic fields while the second is related to quantum cryptography. But rather than just scientific research, these projects are geared towards producing practical and reliable technology for the defense industry.
Hear Musicians Jam With a Quantum Computer – Technology Networks
While most of quantum research is focused on the strategic fields of security, communication and health, there are a few researchers out there bucking the trend and experimenting with quantum art. Researchers at the Center for Computer Music Research at the University of Plymouth have designed a quantum computer that is capable of “jamming” with a live musician. The number of rules that the average musician draws upon intuitively when improvising is too complex for a classical computer to process in real time, but now researchers have demonstrated live musical improvisation from a quantum machine that you can listen to online.
The supersizing of quantum physics – Cosmos
Even though quantum physics is the science of tiny particles, it can now be conducted using enormous quantum structures. Researchers at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory in the US have hooked up 40kg mirrors to detect tiny gravitational waves. These gravitational waves are so small that it’s almost impossible to detect them without being overwhelmed by environmental noise, but now, thanks to this big quantum object, we can explore more fundamental questions about physics and reality.
Quantum dots help preserve historic limestone monuments – Physics World
As much of the world enters a dialogue regarding which statues deserve to occupy public space, we forget that even the statues we wish to keep will degrade regardless of our opinions of them. Scientists in Spain and Greece have discovered a revolutionary way to preserve limestone architecture, with a quantum-dot nano-composite applied to the surface of the structures. This allows us not only to reinforce, but monitor the changes in limestone and intervene before it degrades.
While teleportation has been a captivating literary convention for science fiction, it seems to have always existed on the subatomic level. Scientists had already confirmed that information could be passed between photons without any physical link between them, and this week researchers from the University of Rochester and Purdue have suggested info teleportation is possible between electrons too. The research paves the way for new kinds of quantum computing, involving quantum teleportation with all kinds of matter, not just photons in qubit semiconductors.
The secure encryption promised by quantum communication is alluring for many groups, with one of the biggest actors being the military. There are currently two army research projects at the university of Chicago, one of which is utilizing phonons instead of photons for quantum entanglement. The specific properties of phonons give researchers a much bigger time window with entangled states, which is very useful for military applications, as they will be relying on quantum networks to function in uncertain, non-ideal environments.
One of the crucial difficulties for quantum computers using entangled particles of light is the necessity for each photon to be perfectly identical. As quantum machines get more and more complex, the required number of perfect photons increases, and so does the chance for error. Scientists at the University of Twente have divided the crystal light-source into multiple domains in order to tailor the properties of photons, bringing us closer to the realization of perfect, identical photons.
China’s quantum satellite enables first totally secure long-range messages – The Conversation
While long-distance, quantum communication has only been possible over 100kms of fiber-optic cable, China’s quantum satellite has just facilitated long-range secure communication over 1200km. The Micius quantum satellite, launched in 2016, has produced a pair of entangled photons and beamed them to two observatories, which were then able to share encrypted data across the furthest distance to date. This achievement ushers in a new era of communication security as quantum cryptography becomes a legitimate, practical communication tool.
The first intuitive programming language for quantum computers – Science Daily
In a field as diverse as quantum computing, the lack of consistency between competing approaches can be a real barrier to collaborative research. A team of scientists from ETH Zurich have developed a universal programming language called Silq, aimed at quantum computer programmers who, up until now, have been using disparate classical computer languages. While Silq automatically identifies and erases the unnecessary values brought over from classical computing, it also provides a simpler, universal quantum language that will help future programmers develop new quantum algorithms.
Honeywell delivers the largest quantum volume yet – Tech Radar
Honeywell has created a computer with a quantum volume of 64, which is more powerful than all other competing computers. The plan is to offer cloud access to their computer, allowing programmers and researchers to solve problems that they previously couldn’t with classical computers. While the scientific paper describing the computer’s performance has not yet appeared, this achievement should place them as the front-runner in quantum cloud computing.
The Bose-Einstein condensate, the fifth state of matter proposed by Satyendra Nath Bose and Albert Einstein, is a single entity composed of atoms that are cooled to near absolute zero. Too big for the quantum world and too small for conventional physics, this entity is extremely fragile and almost impossible to study on earth due to the interference of magnetic fields. This week NASA observed a Bose-Einstein condensate for the first time in space, which could allow us to test general relativity and search for dark energy and gravitational waves.
In the race to develop a quantum computer, the focus has been on large tech companies like Google and IBM, but we’re seeing numerous obscure, smaller tech companies appear as legitimate competitors. Universal Quantum,, a company born out of the University of Sussex has just raised $4.5 million with their ambitious promise to build a trapped ion quantum computer with a billion qubits. It would signal a dramatic shift in the quantum race if these small startups manage to pull of these ambitious quantum projects.
Archer Materials has early-stage validation of quantum computing chip viability – Proactive Investors
One of the main hurdles in quantum computing is our inability to create viable machines that don’t require unnaturally cold temperatures to function. Archer Materials has achieved early-stage validation for their room-temperature quantum chip, placing them among the front-runners of practical quantum computing. While this success has seen an immediate increase in their share price, the real success will be felt in years to come when discoveries like this lead to a functioning, room-temperature quantum computer.
It seems that scammers are atching onto misunderstood, nascent quantum technology to cash in on the 5G conspiracy theory. A $348 USB stick is being marketed as a “Anti-5G Quantum Machine”, promising to use quantum technology to defend from the supposed adverse effects of 5G spouted by conspiracy theorists. Cynically using the complex, inaccessible nature of quantum technology, it is likely that these scams will continue to proliferate as quantum technology develops.
One-of-a-kind microscope enables breakthrough in quantum science – Phys.org
If we wanted to observe the dynamics of light when it is trapped in nano materials, we’d have to rely on computer simulations to give us a proximate image. This week at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, they developed a quantum microscope that records the flow of light, which allows us to observe trapped light directly. This microscopy breakthrough will help us design new quantum materials to store qubits with more stability and improve sharpness and color on existing screens.
As part of the gradually developing jump from quantum physics to chemistry and biology, researchers at the University of Texas at El Paso have found that carbon quantum dots can be used to combat certain neurological disorders. This discovery would create a brand new avenue for pharmaceutical companies to help people suffering from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s by providing them with tailored, carbon quantum dots.
In a joint venture between the CSIRO, multiple Australian universities and the quantum computing startup Quantum Brilliance have announced the construction of a quantum innovation hub. Following the CSIRO’s report claiming that the quantum technology sector would support 16,000 jobs and create over AU$4 billion annually, this new hub is an important step in securing a collaborative approach to quantum innovation between government, universities and the private sector.
When dealing with the integrated photonics approach to quantum computing, one major barrier for scaling is the inability to generate quality photons on a single microchip. A team of physicists from the University of Bristol have developed a technique called “inter-modal spontaneous four-wave mixing” to create a near-perfect photon source on a commercial chip. Being able to create thousands of photon sources for a truly scalable quantum circuit allows us to create practical, quantum machines that will be solving specialized tasks in the very near future.
Stitch in time: how a quantum physicist made new code from old tricks – University of Sydney
One of the main hurdles for noisy, quantum systems dealing with tiny, fragile parcels of information are the inevitable errors. While eradicating these errors is impossible, Sydney University’s Ben Brown has applied existing 3D error-suppression codes in a 2D architecture, which was also considered impossible. Using these established error-suppression codes frees up a lot of the hardware so it can focus more on solving useful problems, allowing us to produce much more efficient quantum microchips.
While scientists around the world are racing to develop commercial applications for quantum technologies, some companies are jumping the gun. Samsung has announced that their newest phone contains a Quantum Random Number Generator, that utilizes something called ‘quantum noise’ to produce truly random numbers to create perfectly unpredictable encryption. Is this a legitimate mass-market application of quantum technologies or just clever marketing for a conventional computer chip?
One of the big hurdles in quantum chemistry is the ability to calculate a molecule’s electronic structure, since you’d have to account for all the potential states that the molecule’s electrons could be in. In a collaboration between the University of Zurich and IBM’s Watson Research Center, researchers have created a machine learning tool that can calculate the energy required to make a molecule. While it can only analyse simpler molecules, it serves as a proof of concept for the vital role of AI and neural networks in solving the mysteries of quantum chemistry.
While scientists often deal with fragile entangled states by freezing them to absolute zero, the Institute of Photonic Sciences has done the opposite by heating them up to 450 Kelvin. By observing the collisions of this mess of atoms, they were able to observe that the atoms remained entangled for 1 millisecond, which means the entangled state can withstand approximately fifty random collisions in that time. While these results are surprising, they hope that this giant entangled state will lead to better sensors for brain imaging, self-driving cars and the search for dark matter.
A path towards quantum computing at room temperature – Tech Explorist
One of the most common barriers to practical, quantum computer circuits is the unnaturally cold temperatures at which they have to operate. Scientists from the US army have theoretically demonstrated practical quantum logic gates composed of photonic circuits and optical crystals, that should be able to bypass the need for sub-zero temperatures. If the US army translates this theoretical success to practical applications, it could spell an enormous shift in international geopolitics.
While many histories of quantum physics have focused on the field’s most foundational theorists, David Kaiser’s new book ‘Quantum Legacies’ takes a different approach. Tracking the changing material conditions of physics, Kaiser documents the rhetorical shifts in the philosophy of physics from the World Wars, through to ‘hippie physics’ in the 60’s and the creation of the Large Hadron Collider. Through this approach, Kaiser bucks the trend of focusing on single geniuses and instead praises the ensemble responsible for quantum physics.
On the fourth anniversary of their public quantum cloud services, IBM has challenged the public to program its quantum computers. For four days, IBM is offering four exercises, ranging in difficulty, aimed at everyone from experienced developers to those curious about quantum computing. While it functions as PR for IBM, It’s a great way to work with the fundamentals of quantum computing and familiarize yourself with a hands-on approach.
While quantum supremacy is still a long way away, a team at Cambridge Quantum Computing has developed a path for truly applicable quantum advantage with already existing technology. Using a native quantum structure (no hint of classical computation), they have translated grammatical sentences into quantum circuits, creating a meaning-aware and grammatically informed quantum computer program. If this program continues to be scaled to the point of processing meaningfully large numbers of sentences, it could finally achieve a practical outcome unreachable with classical computers.
Today’s Most-Secure Communications Threatened by Future Quantum Computers – Scitech Daily
In light of the security concerns around quantum cryptography, RAND Corporation has issued a report pushing for immediate government action. The report proposes immediate development of an interoperable standard for post-quantum cryptography, requiring a centrally coordinated approach from a strong state apparatus. Could we see an expanding role for the state when threatened by quantum cryptography?
Can Quantum Computers Help Us Respond to the Coronavirus? – IEEE Spectrum
Continuing from last-week’s news regarding free quantum, cloud computing for Cornavirus researchers, Spectrum offers a deep dive into the immediate benefits of using quantum.during a pandemic. From planning logistics for patient transportation and hospital resources, to modelling the spread of the virus, all the way to assessing the rate of virus mutation and the efficacy of existing drugs, Coronavirus researchers believe that quantum computers can be of critical use, even at it’s current level of development.
D-Wave Opens Quantum-Computing Resources to Coronavirus Research – The Wall Street Journal
While D-wave’s quantum computer is still years away from large-scale commercial use, it is allowing coronavirus researchers free access to it’s machines over the cloud. In this scenario, quantum computers could be used to speed up certain calculations related to drug discovery and hospital logistics. While computations that run on currently available quantum computers generally don’t exhibit a significant speedup for solving practical problems, this pandemic could provide a new practical test of our current quantum capabilities.
Psiquantum, a 5-year old startup has raised $215 million with the bold promise to deliver a ‘1 million qubit’ silicon photonic quantum computer. While this would be light-years ahead of their competitors, their machine is yet to be built and therefore can’t run calculations to compare against Google or IBM. While they’ve attracted impressive funding and a world-class team, the waters are muddied by their refusal to publish academic papers regarding the project. If this secretive approach proves successful, could it be the new way quantum research is done in the private sector?
By the end of the year Samsung will stop producing LCD panels in favor of a quantum alternative. As LCD panel prices fall worldwide, it coincides with Samsung’s $10.7 billion investment in quantum dot technology. These nano-crystals utilize quantum mechanics to produce pure monochromatic red, green and blue light, and are one of the rare, consumer-end examples of commercial, quantum technology.
Creating an Unhackable Quantum Internet – Technology Networks
One of the main barriers to achieving a quantum internet is our inability to send quantum information across long distances without loss. Researchers at Harvard and MIT have developed a prototype of a quantum repeater, that sits as a node at different points across the network, catching, storing and amplifying bits of quantum information. This conceptual breakthrough could infinitely extend the possible range of existing quantum networks and bring about new possibilities for worldwide quantum technology.
Army researchers make giant leap in quantum sensing – ARL Public Affairs
In an attempt to harness quantum technology for direct warfare, scientists at the U.S Army Research Laboratory are developing a new quantum sensor. By equipping soldiers with room-temperature, Rydberg atom sensors in the field, they will be able to detect the entire radio frequency spectrum with minimal noise, giving them communication dominance on the battlefield. While innovation in quantum technology generally takes the form of “war by other means”, the military is still a key player that is actively adapting this burgeoning technology for the battlefield.
The quest to find the graviton may need to go quantum – Futurism
The bridge between quantum and classical physics has proven to be elusive, from quantum mechanics to Einstein’s theory of relativity we don’t have a uniform way to explain our universe. Physicists from the University of California have created a study that probes the link between these two worlds in the elusive ‘graviton’, which is the potential backbone of gravity at the quantum scale. While their study only offers potential directions to explore for clues about how gravity works, the prospect of joining these two theories could revolutionize physics.
Australian Engineers Just Accidentally Solved a 58-Year-Old Quantum Mystery – Science Alert
60 years since its nobel-prize winning discovery, the phenomenon of nuclear electric resonance had only existed in theory until it was observed by accident in an Australian laboratory. Thanks to faulty equipment, the University of New South Wales made a breakthrough, involving controlling the spin of atoms by using electrical rather than magnetic fields, which could drastically speed up the development of quantum computers.
Novel error-correction scheme developed for quantum computers – University of Sydney
Quantum computers are generally plagued with errors, which often holds them back from scaling up to complex, functioning machines. Dr Arne Grimsmo from the University of Sydney, along with colleagues from RMIT and UQ have developed quantum error correction codes that are “platform agnostic”, so they can be used with a diverse range of quantum hardware systems.
Rigetti Computing took a $71 million down round, because quantum computing is hard – Tech Crunch
As one of the few startups aimed at making quantum computing commercially viable, Rigetti is facing difficulties making this proposition for a technology that is still in its infancy. While receiving $71 million in a round of venture-capital funding sounds like a great achievement, it falls far behind their earlier valuations and is a far cry from the budgets of tech giants like Google and IBM. This could signal a problem going forward for companies relying on venture capital to challenge the established tech giants.
Novel method for easier scaling of quantum devices –MIT News
One potential pathway to quantum computing is in a natural defect present in diamonds, which responds to light by emitting protons that can carry quantum information. The problem here is that the natural defect is always surrounded by various other unknown defects with different properties which threaten to decohere the quantum state of the qubit. Scientists at MIT have found a solution, instead of discounting these unknown defects, they have created a system that can identify them and use them to carry quantum information too. This method allows us to move from a single photon source to multiple and is a big step for scaling these types of quantum devices.
Honeywell reveals plans to launch a quantum computer – Tech Radar
Honeywell has announced it will release the most powerful quantum computer to date, boasting a quantum volume of over 64. This new machine comes off the back of their Quantum Charge Coupled Device (QCCD) architecture, and should have over twice the quantum volume offered by IBM’s Q System competitor. This is quite an achievement for what was originally an aerospace and engineering company, which could open a space for many diverse companies to take a lead in quantum computing.
EU Consortium to Prevent Quantum Cyberattacks – Photonics
The EU’s €1 billion quantum technology flagship initiative has used quantum key distribution (QKD) to create the most secure transmission of sensitive information to date. With QKD, the photons are linked in such a way that any attempt to read or copy them will change their properties and corrupt the information. The project aims to integrate QKD into existing telecommunications networks, without needing separate quantum communication infrastructure.
Physicists Have Filmed The Moment an Atom Undergoes a Quantum Measurement – Science Alert
When trying to observe electrons, we are really playing a game of probability, never knowing what position an electron will take when orbiting an atom. A team of physicists from Sweden, Germany and Spain have trapped and observed an atom of strontium, suggesting that there is no absolute state in which you can measure the position of an electron; observing the electron still leaves some features of its superposition untouched and undecided. While this experiment confirms the predictions of modern quantum physics, there is still a long way to go before we understand how to measure quantum possibilities.
Freeman Dyson, quantum physicist who imagined alien megastructures, has died at 96 – LiveScience
From pioneering calculations bridging the quantum and classical worlds to contributions in nuclear engineering, ferromagnetism and astrophysics, Freeman Dyson was an undeniably accomplished physicist. Like many physicists, his ideas gave birth to an abundance of science-fiction worlds that will live on long after his death.
Queensland researchers smash solar efficiency record for ‘quantum dot’ solar cells – Renew Economy
While solar cells are conventionally constructed with rigid silicon wafers, a team of researchers at Queensland University have managed to improve the efficiency of new quantum dot solar cells, bringing the technology closer to commercial viability. These small-scale, printable quantum solar cells are so thin that they can potentially be applied as a transparent skin to power cars, planes, homes and could be a powerful tool for tackling climate change.
Cryo-chip overcomes obstacle to large-scale quantum computers – Phys.Org
While quantum chips need to operate at abnormally low temperatures, many of the mechanisms controlling the chips operate at room temperature outside of the quantum fridge. As quantum computers get bigger and more complicated, they are limited by the number of wires that they require to connect them to external controllers. Qutech has resolved this issue by designing an integrated circuit that controls quantum computers from within the fridge, allowing quantum computers to freely grow in complexity.
PhysiciQuantum Physicists “Hold” Individual Atoms in Place for First Time – Futurism
Complex atomic interactions are generally deduced from statistical averages of large numbers of atoms. In a world first, researchers from the university of Otago have held individual atoms in place using highly focused laser beams in a vacuum chamber. Alongside their initial observations regarding how long it takes for individual atoms to form a molecule, this level of detail and control of atoms could provide a way to build and control single molecules of particular chemicals.
Quantum experiment in China breaks through distance barrier in optic fibres – ABC
A team of Chinese scientists have successfully entangled clouds of quantum atoms at a mind-boggling distance of 50kms apart. Considering that the previous record for entanglement was done across 1.3km of fibre-optic cable, this most recent experiment has so drastically extended the range of entanglement, it brings us within reach of a quantum internet.
Artificial atoms create stable qubits for quantum computing – UNSW Newsroom
In the realm of silicon-based quantum computing, it is often difficult to have reliable and stable electrons that can function as qubits. Quantum Engineers from the University of New South Wales have created artificial atoms in silicon chips which can have a higher number of electrons, thereby allowing them to work with more reliable qubits. This is an important step for the realisation of large-scale silicon quantum computers.
Quantum Technology 2020 Trends: These Are The Immediate Security Threats And Opportunities – Forbes
While 1% of organisations have currently budgeted for quantum computing projects, it is predicted that by 2023, 20% of business will do so and 25% will experience a competitive, quantum advantage. These predictions are mainly based on the recent successful uses of quantum encryption technologies such as Key Distribution (QKD), but that is only one small part of the potential quantum technology offers to the business sector.
Trump administration to propose big jump in funding for AI, Quantum R&D: sources – Reuters
In a budget proposal to be released on Monday, the Trump administration plans to double the spending on quantum information sciences to $860 million within two years. The U.S chief technology officer cited concerns for national security and economic strength, leaving no doubt that the funding jump is aimed at keeping pace with China’s efforts in an increasingly competitive quantum race.
‘Overly aggressive’: R&D uncertainty stops quantum leaps, startup says – Sydney Morning Herald
In light of the uncertainty caused by Australia’s shifting policy regarding tax offsets for research, Michael Biercuk from the University of Sydney has called for more certainty on behalf of investors and entrepreneurs. It is claimed that Australia’s quantum potential may be stifled by reforms aimed at closing tax loopholes for big business.
AI method determines quantum advantage for advanced computing – Phys.org
Given the costly and time-consuming nature of creating quantum computers, coupled with the uncertainty regarding its efficacy over conventional computers, there is a need for ways to predict whether or not a project is viable before investing. In a collaboration between three Russian universities, researchers created an AI model that distinguishes between complex networks and determines whether one has a potential quantum advantage.
This tiny glass bead has been quantum chilled to near absolute zero – New Scientist
Once you get to the extremely small quantum scale, heat and motion are interchangeable: the more a particle is moving, the hotter it is. Researchers at the university of Vienna were able to use a single, optical trapping laser to hold a glass particle in place, thereby cooling it to its coldest possible state. While this method has successfully cooled diffuse gases in the past, this is the first time it has worked with a solid particle, which will allow future researchers to study how gravity applies to quantum objects
India finally commits to quantum computing, promises $1.12B investment – The Next Web
The Indian government just announced a planned investment of $1.12 billion in quantum computing research over the next 5 years. While India’s investment comes late in the game, following the billions invested by the U.S., E.U and China, this sudden surge in funding is sure to diversify the global quantum race.
How supercomputers are helping us link quantum entanglement to cold coffee – Phys.Org
Theoretical physicists from Trinity College in Dublin have discovered an unexpected link between quantum entanglement and thermalisation, which is the process in which an object reaches the same temperature as its surroundings. Previously, there were multiple ways to describe how a system thermalises, and each of these ways were seen as equivalent. With the help of quantum physics, they were able to show that entanglement changes depending on which way you choose to describe thermalisation, which has far reaching theoretical implications for the field of statistical mechanics.
A new twist on quantum communication in fiber – Phys.org
In a collaboration between universities in South Africa and China, physicists have discovered that multiple quantum patterns of twisted light can be transmitted through a conventional fibre link that was designed for only one pattern of light. The transfer of multi-dimensional entanglement states over 250m of single-mode fiber sets a precedent for utilizing old, well-established technologies for a brand new quantum future.
Quantum computing talent war: JPMorgan Chase poaches a top IBM exec – WRAL Techwire
JP-Morgan Chase hired prominent, 24-year IBM employee and former head of quantum computing algorithms, Marco Pistoia. In an industry suffering from skills-scarcity, the poaching of a valued contributor to quantum innovation can hurt organizations such as IBM. Technology Business Research predict that this form of strategic hiring will only increase as we come closer and closer to quantum advantage.
4 Ways to Make Bigger Quantum Computers – IEEE Spectrum
With the majority of existing quantum computers only operating at abnormally low temperatures, if we seek to scale these technologies we inevitably run into the problem of not having “enough room in the fridge”. At the most recent International Electron Devices meeting, engineers offered some potential solutions to this problem ranging from CryoCMOS, Microrelays, Single-flux quantum logic and Weyl semimetals. Could any of these novel solutions solve one of the major problems hindering the development of quantum computing?
Scientists Create “Strange Metal” Packed With Entangled Electrons – Science Daily
Usually when we study quantum entanglement we study tiny things, but recently physicists from the US and Austria have observed the effects of entanglement in a macroscopic metallic film. They detected “billions of billions” of simultaneously entangled electrons in a relatively large “strange metal” compound. Seeing as quantum entanglement is the basis for the storage and processing of quantum information, this discovery has far reaching implications for the future of quantum computing.
IBM Doubles Its Quantum Computing Power Again – Forbes
Every year since 2017, IBM’s quantum computers have been doubling the “Quantum Volume” of their quantum computers, reaching a volume of 32 in 2020. Quantum Volume, a quantum performance metric developed by IBM, has served as an impressive marker for the company’s quantum capabilities and rapid progress. Should Quantum Volume be adopted as an industry standard metric or is it just a part of IBM’s marketing?
Quantum Loop Provides Testbed for Quantum Communications – Photonics
The U.S Department of Energy, in collaboration with the University of Chicago have laid down 52 miles pf fiber optic cables, making it one of the longest ground-based quantum communication channels in the US. The loop will be used to test the transfer of encrypted quantum communication over large distances, with plans to eventually connect to other laboratories and form one of the longest quantum links in the world. These tests could offer key advances for quantum communication and a potential quantum internet.
In leap for quantum computing, silicon quantum bits establish a long-distance relationship – Phys.org
One of the limitations of silicon quantum computers is that its components need to be microscopically close to each other in order to function. A team at Princeton University has overcome this problem by demonstrating that silicon “spin” qubits can interact with each other from opposite ends of a computer chip. While this 4mm distance doesn’t sound like much, it unlocks new possibilities for quantum hardware with the potential of qubits communicating from one chip to another.
China’s quantum satellite links with world-first mobile ground station – CGTN
In a world first, China has successfully sent an encrypted transmission from a quantum satellite to a mobile quantum ground station. The station, developed by two Chinese universities and a tech company, weighs just over 80kg and can be mounted on a road vehicle. The ability to transmit quantum encrypted messages with such versatility could have tremendous security and commercial applications.
Why Scientists Supercooled LEGO Bricks to Near Absolute Zero – Popular Mechanics
For current superconductors and quantum computers to function, unnaturally low temperatures are necessary, along with materials that can reliably insulate against temperature changes. In a bizarre study, scientists from Lancaster University have discovered that Lego bricks are an adequate material for housing these demanding machines. This discovery is a step forward for quantum researchers, offering a practical, cheap and mass produced casing that makes research more commercially viable.
Amazon enters quantum computing race with cloud quantum processors – New Scientist
Amazon has staked its claim in the quantum race this week, launching a new service called Amazon Braket. The cloud service allows Amazon customers to test algorithms on quantum processors from D-Wave, Rigetti and IonQ. Unlike Google and IBM, who are creating their own quantum computers, Amazon’s cloud service is aimed at the majority of companies that prefer the low-cost, cloud-based, on-demand computing.
How suspicions of spying threaten cross-border science – Technology Review
A report from Strider, an American intelligence startup, accuses China of using European and American funding to develop military applications for quantum technology. The report was dismissed by scientists, warning against creating an unnecessarily hostile environment and jeopardizing hard-earned international scientific relationships. While Strider admitted that there is no direct evidence linking these researchers and the chinese military, the report’s existence highlights the growing anxiety and tension between science and security.
How babies can teach AI to understand classical and quantum physics – The Next Web
A group of MIT researchers have created an AI model that understands physics as well as a three-month-old baby. By studying infants after presenting them with physical objects, the researchers created a schema that teaches machines everything from object solidity and permanence to motion. Although the research is still in its infant stages, it helps bridge the gap between the human brain and artificial neural networks and could form the basis for “thinking” machines when combined with quantum computing technology.
Quantum dot lasers move a step closer with electric-pumping development – Phys.org
The quantum dot is one of the rare offshoots of quantum mechanics that has been commercially available for consumers for some years now. Colloidal Quantum Dots (CQD’s) are semiconductor nanoparticles that are used in the display screens of many electronic devices, due to their ability to generate vivid colours when powered by another source of light energy. This week, a team from Nanyang Technological University have managed to couple CQD’s with electric fields to emit laser light using only a fraction of the energy required for traditional lasers. If this cheap, already-commercially available quantum technology can be used for laser light, it could revolutionise the laser-reliant fields of medicine, security and consumer electronics.
Strange quantum effect found in an exotic superconductor – Big Think
Superconductors are able to conduct electricity without resistance, but are generally only operational at abnormally low temperatures. However, some iron-based superconductors operate at room-temperature, and an international team of researchers are close to figuring out why. By adding cobalt atoms to an iron superconductor, they were able to make superconductivity disappear, which demonstrates a quantum phase transition and brings us closer to developing an accessible version of an otherwise exotic superconductor.
Quantum computers could mark their own homework – Physics World
Due to their sensitivity to environmental noise, quantum computers are often error prone. This week, scientists from the UK’s University of Warwick have created an efficient protocol for assessing the correctness of quantum computing. Previously, conventional computers were used to check the correctness of quantum calculations, but this method should be abandoned eventually if quantum computers are to outperform than conventional computers. The team’s protocol is done entirely by quantum computers and would hopefully jettison our counterproductive reliance on conventional computers.
Researchers reach milestone in quantum standardization – Phys.org
As the quantum race heats up, we see the rise of disparate, competing quantum platforms and technologies. In light of this, researchers from Canada have developed a method to establish a universal standard for measuring the performance of quantum computers called ‘cycle benchmarking’. The method determines the total probability of error under any given quantum computing application, which allows for cross-platform evaluation of quantum capabilities.
Japan plots 20-year race to quantum computers, chasing US and China – Nikkei Asian Review
While the US and China are still seen as the leaders of the quantum race, Japan has promised record investment to catch up. Tokyo aims to develop full fledged quantum computers by 2039 by producing five quantum innovations centers of the next five years. This hopeful investment might bring about a geopolitical leveling-out of the quantum race, making room for more diverse voices and visions of a quantum future.
Quantum light improves sensitivity of biological measurements – Phys.org
Enzymes, the complex molecules responsible for many of the processes inside our bodies, have been notoriously difficult to study through optical approaches. A multidisciplinary group of researchers from The Optical Society have demonstrated that light controlled at the level of a single photon can allow accurate measurements without altering the activity of the enzyme. This is just one of the fruitful cross-pollinations between quantum physics and biology, shining a light on previously inaccessible molecules.
Experimental test of local observer independence – Science Advances
Starting from Wigner’s famous 1960’s thought experiment positing that two observers can experience seemingly different realities, an international team from the UK, France and Austria have created a complementary empirical investigation. They constructed a physical experiment using laser generated photons, whose results imply that quantum theory should be interpreted in an observer dependent way. I.e. objective reality does not exist.
Physicists Detect Strange Electron Pairs Acting as a Brand New State of Matter – Science Alert
While studying the relationship between electrons and superconductors, physicists from the US and China have accidentally discovered a new state of matter. Electrons usually form “cooper pairs” that either conduct electrical current without resistance or conversely insulate and not letting any current pass. Surprisingly, the physicists found a middle-state that doesn’t conduct or block current and could be the basis for new kinds of future technology.
Rigetti, CBA test quantum computing’s financial potential – CIO
An unlikely partnership has sprouted between researchers from Rigetti Computing and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia as they test the use of quantum computing in the financial services sector. While at the current scale, this specific quantum model can’t outperform traditional computers, but it is an important step in understanding how quantum can be practically applied in finance.
A Glimpse Into Honeywell’s Quantum Play Through Microsoft’s Azure Ignite Announcement – Forbes
Microsoft revealed “azure quantum”, a quantum cloud service that provides subscribers with access to quantum computers from Honeywell, IonQ and QCL. While a late-comer to the arena of quantum cloud services, what set’s Microsoft and Honeywell apart is their use of trapped ion technology instead of the conventional superconducting qubits. Along with These developments see the solidification of the private sector’s central role in the quantum revolution.
A new quantum data classification protocol brings us nearer to a future ‘quantum internet’ – Phys.org
While quantum technologies promise groundbreaking applications, many devices would fall short if they weren’t able to communicate with each other. In order to create a network of quantum devices, you need a protocol that can sort data from diverse quantum systems according to the state in which they were prepared. Researchers at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona have managed to create a machine learning protocol that is able to cluster quantum data samples based on whether they share a common underlying probability distribution. This protocol sets a solid theoretical framework for future distribution of quantum information, and brings a quantum internet closer to life.
ColdQuanta awarded $2.8M from the US government to advance its quantum core technology – Quantaneo
Quantum atomics company ColdQuanta Inc. was just awarded $2.8M U.S for four separate programs from DARPA, NASA, and the U.S. military, putting their cumulative funding at over $30M. While each of these investments focus on different applications of cold atom technology, they all point towards military development of quantum systems for global positioning and communication.
Scientists Have Made a Quantum Encryptor 1,000 Times Smaller Than What Came Before – Science alert
When we encrypt data we conventionally use passwords or biometric data, which can both be hacked or leaked, but that could all change with the implementation of Quantum Key Distribution. Scientists at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have not just made such a quantum encryptor 1,000 smaller than previous models, but they made it using standard industry materials like silicon. These practical advances could lead to the commercialization and widespread use of quantum key distribution for cyber security.
Volkswagen to Test Quantum Navigation App in Real Traffic – Wall Street Journal
While conventional navigation applications study congestion and send the same information to individual drivers, a quantum-computing navigation program creates an individualized route for each participating driver, thereby creating near-perfect traffic conditions. Volkswagen has been looking to commercialize this technology for three years, and they are rolling out their first real-world tests in Lisbon next week. With plans to roll out the quantum-routing technology in mid-2020, are we on the cusp of having quantum-powered, networked cities?
Quantum paradox experiment may lead to more accurate clocks and sensors – Science Daily
Einstein’s “twin paradox” predicts that time can pass at different speeds for different people depending on their velocity and proximity to enormous mass. A recent experiment from the University of Queensland seeks to use quantum entanglement to test if this theory is applicable outside of classical physics. If the twin paradox is confirmed on the quantum level, then it could lead to advanced technologies that will allow physicists to build more precise sensors and clocks.
Weaving quantum processors out of laser light – Phys.org
A team of scientists from Australia, Japan and the US just opened a new avenue in quantum computing by producing a prototype of a large-scale quantum processor that uses laser light. 10 years in the making, this project allows extreme scalability and opens up new possibilities for universal quantum computing using light.
Physicists have discovered a new quantum property – Tech Explorist
When two photons are entangled, the quantum state of the first will correlate with the state of the second, regardless of how close they are to each other. This week, researchers from Switzerland and Iran have opened up quantum theory by asking what would happen when three pairs of entangled photons are placed in a network. When they forced two photons from separate pairs to become entangled, the connection was also present in their twin photon elsewhere in the network. This important theoretical discovery underlines the power of quantum correlations in networks, which far exceeds what researchers had originally thought possible.
Quantum vacuum: Less than zero energy – Phys.org
Classical physics would posit that there is a natural bottom-limit to energy; once every single particle is removed from a certain volume and there is nothing left to carry energy, that is where energy ends. An international research team from Austria, Belgium and India have proven that under certain conditions, negative energies are temporarily allowed. When thought in terms of the theory of general relativity, negative energy means we could expect negative mass and negative gravity.
Quantum gold rush: the private funding pouring into quantum start-ups – Nature
While we tend to compartmentalise quantum as a technology that is slowly improving based on the natural progression of scientific research, it is important to interrogate the role funding plays in dictating technological development. With insightful references to the history of investment in AI, Elizabeth Gibney provides a great rundown of the role of venture capital in dictating the direction, viability and preferability of some forms of quantum research over others.
Why I Coined the Term ‘Quantum Supremacy’ – Wired
John Preskill, the theoretical physicist who coined the term “quantum supremacy”, offers a retrospective analysis of his popular term in the wake of Google’s alleged quantum supremacy milestone. Should google’s achievement be classified as quantum supremacy, and if so, what does this mean for the new era of quantum technology?
Google claims to have reached quantum supremacy – Australian Financial Revue
In a landmark moment in quantum computing, google has reportedly attained quantum supremacy, wherein a quantum computer is able to carry out previously impossible calculations. Their quantum processor was able to perform a calculation in three minutes and twenty seconds, which would have taken our most advanced classical computer approximately 10,000 years. While their system can only perform this one, highly technical calculation, it does form a landmark step towards a new computing paradigm.
Aliro comes out of stealth with $2.7M to ‘democratize’ quantum computing with developer tools – Tech Crunch
Aliro Technologies, a Harvard quantum-software startup, has announced its first round of funding of $2.7 million. They’re creating a platform that will let developers use universal programming languages in the world of quantum computation, which is made up by hundreds of disparate, proprietary machines all with their own unique code. If achieved, this towards making quantum computing as accessible as classical computing would afford more democratization in a field currently dominated by specialists.
Team closes in on ‘holy grail’ of room temperature quantum computing chips – Phys.org
Professor Yuping Huang and his team at Stevens Institute of Technology have produced a nano-scale chip that facilitates photon interactions with much higher efficiency than previous systems. It works at very low energy levels, which suggests they’re on track for producing room-temperature quantum computing which is vital for practical, commercial quantum computers.
Sydney’s Q-CTRL leaps into top-10 of global quantum tech start-ups – The University of Sydney
Professor Michael Biercuk from Sydney University’s Q-CTRL tech-startup has announced a $22m investment in it’s first round of venture capital fundraising, catapulting the company into the top-10 global quantum startups. Aiming at solving the problem of inherent instability of quantum hardware, Q-CTRL has been able to greatly reduce hardware errors, paving the pay to commercially viable quantum computers.
IBM, Fraunhofer partner on German-backed quantum computing research push – Reuters
As Germany seeks to catch up with the United States and China in the global technology race, IBM has partnered with German research institute The Fraunhofer Society, on the back of a €650m investment into quantum research by Merkel’s government. This will result in the first quantum computer deployed by IBM outside of the United states and could help Europe’s largest economy have a legitimate stake in the quantum race.
I Work for N.S.A. We Cannot Afford to Lose the Digital Revolution. – The New York Times
In an opinion piece for the New York Times, General Counsel for the National Security Agency, Glenn S. Gerstell provides an interesting overview of the myriad security threats posed by rapidly developing technologies and offers potential solutions. Is this a cynical attempt to justify increased funding and legitimize a controversial government agency, or a genuine call for bold, preemptive security measures in an age of technological revolution?
ANU Mount Stromlo Observatory to get technology NASA will have to catch up with – ABC News
The Australian National University is creating a quantum optical ground station which can transmit more information to space than stations with traditional radio waves. The new technology is expected to form the backbone of future space communication, putting Australia at the forefront of the next potential space race and prompting NASA to play catch-up.
Quantum Physics and Social Science | Robert Wright & Alexander Wendt – The Wright Show
With steady technological progress being made in the disruptive field of quantum computing, there’s an immediate impetus for social scientists to weigh in. The initial cross-pollination is predictably murky and controversial, but this interview between Robert Wright and Alex Wendt can provide a deeper look into one particular form of social science’s early grappling with quantum physics.
Beyond the Hype: The EU and the AI Global “Arms Race” – Carnegie Europe
With the disruptive, deep-tech fields of AI and quantum both being popularly framed through the narrative of an “arms race”, it is easy to see how a culture of insecurity can be cultivated. While lagging behind in the “AI race”, the European Union’s regulatory power and it’s “ethical AI” narrative places it as a potential agenda-setter in promoting a human-centered R&D approach to Artificial Intelligence. Could the EU be counted on to actively re-frame the “quantum race” as well?
Entanglement sent over 50 km of optical fiber – Science Daily
Researchers at the Department of Experimental Physics at the University of Innsbruck have achieved a world first by transporting entangled quantum particles over 50 kilometres of fiber-optic cable. This is a huge boon for those seeking practical applications of quantum technology, as quantum internet now has the capacity to link cities together.
Australia’s Archer details first stage of room temp quantum chip success – ZDNet
Archer Exploration has become one of the first Australian companies to produce a prototype for room-temperature quantum computer chips. Their carbon-based quantum computing device, dubbed 12CQ, is a decent step for the commercialisation of practical quantum technology and will help solidify Australia’s position as a hub for quantum research.
Now that’s what I call future proofing. IBM makes world’s first quantum computing-safe tape drive – Blocks & Files
While so many tech companies are racing towards the first quantum computer, IBM is developing new ways for classical computers to defend themselves against a potential quantum encryption attack. Utilizing algorithms based on two practically-unsolvable cryptographic primitives ‘Kyber’ and ‘Dilithium’, IBM aims to protect computers from an anticipated quantum attack… Now if only there was a functioning quantum computer to test it against.
Quantum radar has been demonstrated for the first time – MIT Technology Review
Researchers at the Institute of Science and Technology in Austria have used microwave photons to create the world’s first quantum radar. Unlike conventional radar, quantum radars can easily filter-out background interference. They also work at such low power that they produce barely any interference of their own, which makes them perfect for non-invasive biomedical applications and stealth-based security applications.
Japan aims to put quantum cryptography into practical use from 2025 – The Japan Times
In publishing their budget for 2020, Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications included 1.5 billion Yen for research and development of quantum technology, with the goal of putting quantum cryptography into practical use by 2025. It is still not clear whether this level of investment will do much to stop them falling behind the U.S and China who currently dominate the quantum race.
A single-photon source you can make with household bleach – Phys.org
Angela Belcher and Ching-Wei Lin from MIT have discovered a way to produce single-photon emitters “within a minute” by simply using household bleach and light. Up until now, producing the essential raw material for quantum computing, the single photon, was hampered by preparation methods that require special reactants at abnormally low temperatures. This breakthrough allows for real-world production of single-photons at scale which is vital for translating fundamental quantum experiments to practical applications.
Looks Like We Have a New State of Matter – Popular Mechanics
Physicists from New York University have just discovered a new state of matter – topological superconductivity. The new state promises specific benefits for quantum computing, as topological superconductivity is the only state that can store “majorana particles” which in turn can store quantum information while shielding it from environmental noise. This new state could hold the key to manipulating quantum information free of error.
Quantum Teleportation Has Been Reported in a Qutrit For The First Time – Science Alert
Quantum teleportation transports information across distances through particle entanglement, but so far it has only been managed using qubits. Researchers at the University of Science and Technology of China have achieved quantum teleportation using qutrits which add a level of complexity, promising greater processing power for quantum computers.
Quantum entanglement in chemical reactions? Now there’s a way to find out – Phys.org
Researchers at Purdue University have developed a practical way to measure entanglement in chemical reactions, giving us the tools to test the widely held suspicion that quantum phenomena are at the heart of natural chemical reactions such as photosynthesis. Uncovering exactly how chemical reactions work could allow us to mimic or recreate them in new technologies, such as solar energy systems.
Vault Cloud, Quintessence Labs and Ziroh Labs combine tech for world first – CIO
As part of the steady commercialization of quantum technology, AustCyber has funded the integration of cloud service provider Vault cloud, Ziroh Labs’ encryption technology and QuintessenceLabs true quantum random number generator. This public/private collaboration will create the world’s first secure and scalable package for enterprise file synchronization and sharing systems, expected to be commercially available later this year.
Quantum Darwinism, an Idea to Explain Objective Reality, Passes First Tests – Quanta Magazine
In an attempt to bridge the gap between the rules of classical physics and the spooky rules quantum physics, some scientists are turning to the theory of “Quantum Darwinism”. The theory posits that quantum particles don’t change state because we observe them, rather that we can only observe the particle’s “fittest” state that has imprinted itself on the environment. Three distinct groups of researchers have conducted experiments related to Quantum Darwinism, all of which have had positive results, which suggests we are on the road to reconciling the biggest mysteries of physics.
Physicists count sound particles with quantum microphone – Phys.org
Physicists at Stanford have developed a “quantum microphone” that’s so sensitive it can measure phonons, or individual particles of sound. The device opens the door to a smaller, more efficient quantum computer that manipulates sound rather than light, boasting wavelengths that are thousands of times smaller.
Why Big Banks Could Soon Jump on the Quantum Bandwagon – Wired
Financial institutions rely heavily on complex computer modeling to calculate the potential fluctuations and general risks involved in financial products. Recently, IBM and J.P. Morgan have been able to run simple risk-calculation programs on actual quantum computers, providing proof-of-concept for a technology the financial sector has been looking for, a machine built to process uncertainty.
200 times faster than ever before: The speediest quantum operation yet – ScienceDaily
Researchers at UNSW have produced the first two-qubit gate between atom qubits in silicon, a milestone that was thought to be impossible 20 years ago. This discovery allows us to observe and control interactions between qubits in real time with high fidelity, which is a critical step for running quantum algorithms and building the first practical quantum computer from atom qubits.
How the quest for a scalable quantum computer is helping fight cancer – Phys.org
While a viable quantum computer is still a while away, quantum computing is constantly spurring practical innovations in conventional computers, as proven by researchers at Case Western Reserve University. The researchers pioneered “Magnetic Resonance Fingerprinting” which utilizes Microsoft’s quantum-inspired algorithms to sift through sensitive and complex body scans, allowing doctors to detect the effectiveness of cancer treatments six times faster than conventional methods.
Scientists Just Unveiled The First-Ever Photo of Quantum Entanglement – Science Alert
Physicists at the University of Glasgow in Scotland have achieved a world-first by photographing quantum entanglement. The image shows two photons that shifted in exactly the same way, despite being split. This opens the way to new quantum imaging schemes and lends further proof of the spooky action at the heart of quantum mechanics.
‘Connecting the dots’ for quantum networks – Science Daily
Scientists at the U.S Naval Research Laboratory have worked out how to squeeze quantum dots so that they emit light at identical wavelengths and positions. This breakthrough, allowing many quantum dots to communicate in an integrated circuit, promises to accelerate quantum information technologies and neuromorphic or “brain-inspired” computing.
Europe’s VCs finally leap into quantum – Sifted
A Finnish quantum computing startup just raised €11.45m from investors in Europe. Considering the rarity of European venture capital investment in Quantum, most European companies move to Silicon Valley to raise money. The company’s success in securing investments could be the start of a wave of European investors taking the plunge into Quantum technology, signalling a shift in the worldwide distribution of quantum research.
World’s smallest MRI machine means we can now scan individual atoms – Futurism
Researchers from the United States and South Korea attached magnetized iron atoms to the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope, thereby creating an MRI machine so small it can scan the energy released by individual electrons. This allows for an unprecedented level of detail in examining the raw materials needed for quantum computing.
Dotz Nano finds graphene quantum dots effective in treating brain injuries, strokes and heart attacks – SmallCaps
New research has found graphene quantum dots (GQD), manufactured from coal, can be effective in treating brain injuries, strokes, multiple sclerosis and heart attacks.This development prompted technology specialists Dotz Nano to immediately begin commercial production of it’s GQD, which is a significant development for both the biomedical applications and commercialization of quantum technology.
Business eager for quantum velocity – The Australian
A survey conducted by Japanese tech giant Fujitsu found that 90% of business leaders felt insufficient computing power was holding them back, leaving them simultaneously longing for quantum and disappointed by the pace of technological development. In the absence of practical quantum computers, The private sector’s fixation on the promises of quantum technology has lead companies to implement practical bridging technologies between quantum and classical computing.
Researchers teleport information within a diamond – EurekAlert
While scientists conventionally try to teleport quantum information across long distances, a team at Japan’s Yokohama National University has managed to achieve quantum entanglement inside a diamond. This discovery will shape how we share and store sensitive information in the future as we are able to project information into otherwise inaccessible spaces.
AT&T hopes quantum networking will amplify the power of quantum computing – CNET
A partnership has been announced between communications company AT&T and researchers at INQNET (Intelligent Quantum Networks and Technologies) with the ultimate goal of building a quantum internet. The continued cross-pollination of private sector industry and research institutions, primarily focusing on making quantum technology commercially viable, has major implications for the democratization of quantum.
Building a Bridge to the Outside World – IST Austria
Currently, quantum computers need to operate at abnormally low temperatures in order to function, but a team of Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology in Austria have found a way to link these computers with the outside world. The team produced entangled radiation using a 30-micrometer-long piece of silicon, which would function as a link between sensitive quantum computers and the conventional optical fibers that connect them inside data centers and beyond.
Quantum computing will break net security; Cloudflare wants to fix it – CNET
As quantum threatens to crack conventional forms of encryption, Cloudflare and Google have teamed up in search of secure “post quantum encryption”. In releasing CIRCL (Cloudflare interoperable reusable cryptographic library) they aim to provide a practical, open-source software package that will allow anyone to contribute and evaluate post-quantum encryption algorithms.
A New Law to Describe Quantum Computing’s Rise? – Quanta Magazine
While Moore’s law initially posited that the technological development of computational power would speed up exponentially, we now understand that it vastly underestimates the speed of quantum development. Neven’s law posits that quantum computing exhibits “double exponential” growth, which suggests quantum supremacy is right around the corner.
Machine learning unlocks mysteries of quantum physics – Phys.org
Studying quantum phenomena requires subatomic images of electronic motions, but the data generated by Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) is too complex for humans to interpret. By delegating this complex task to A.I networks, Eun-Ah Kim’s team at Cornell University has made this data interpretable, which will allow us to design the complex materials necessary for quantum computing.
Physicists Play Guitar To Demonstrate The Potential Of Quantum Radio – Forbes
A group of musically talented physicists at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) have found a way to directly measure electronic fields using atoms, which has practical applications for the future of communication. While sound quality is currently worse than conventional, digital recording, Rydberg atoms have the potential to pickup audio data in the presence of noise, even in deep space.
UK government to invest £153m in quantum computing – E&T
During London Tech Week, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced a £153m investment in Quantum computing, on top of a pledge of £1bn from the private sector. This eager investment will see the UK move closer to closing the quantum gap separating them from the U.S and China.
Quantum Computing Comes To Africa Through IBM And Wits University – Forbes
IBM has partnered with the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, making it the first African University in IBM’s Q Network. It is intended that quantum research in Africa will be geared towards cosmology and molecular biology, privileging developments in quantum computing that address specifically African needs.
Light-powered nano-organisms consume carbon dioxide, create eco-friendly plastics and fuels – Science Daily
A Research team at the University of Colorado has used light-activated quantum dots to create nanobio-hybrid organisms, or “living factories” that eat CO2 and convert it into useful, eco-friendly chemicals. The next step would be optimizing the conversion process, with the goal of offering a commercially viable alternative to petrochemical production.
Scientists Predict Quantum Jumps, Turning Physics on Its Head – Futurism
Schroedinger’s cat, the brutal quantum metaphor for superposition and unpredictability, has been turned on its head. Scientists at Yale University have made a leap towards useful quantum computing with their discovery of an ‘early warning system’ for quantum jumps, allowing us to not only predict, but reverse quantum jumps without ever having to directly observe the cat.
Quantum cryptography goes faster and further on commercial fibre links – Physicsworld
Researchers at Peking University have made quantum telecommunication and encryption much more practical and commercially viable. The team were the first in the world to utilize already-existing commercial fibre networks to distribute quantum cryptography keys across a 50km distance.
New device brings us closer to finding a ‘killer app’ for quantum computers – Create Digital
While the scientific community is still grappling with understanding quantum technology, some experiments are giving more and more scope for potential applications. A collaboration between Griffith University and Nanyang Technological University have created a quantum device that can help model complex weather and traffic systems better than classical computers.
‘Noise-cancelling headphones for quantum computers: international collaboration launched’ – UNSW Newsroom
The U.S Department of Defence’s ‘Next Generation Technologies Fund’, in coordination with the Army Research Office has launched an international collaboration comprising three Australian universities and 7 leading U.S. research institutions. They aim to get a step closer to successful quantum computing by developing theoretical methods to analyse the noise around quantum bits with the goal of “canceling” it.
‘There’s a Brand-New Kilogram, And It’s Based on Quantum Physics’ – LiveScience
In lieu of viable qubit computing, quantum theory has offered other practical applications as it retrospectively rewrites our conventions of measurement. The “Kilogram” used to refer to a prototype 1KG block of metal in France, but as of Monday, a Kilogram will be measured through its relationship to Planck’s Constant, which allows a Kilogram to retain the same mass regardless of where in the universe it is measured.
‘Honeywell Leaps Into Quantum Computing in Race With Google, IBM’ – Bloomberg
There’s a new competitor in the private sector vying for quantum supremacy. Honeywell international inc. brings its expertise in aerospace engineering and control-system hardware specifically to make the quantum race even more competitive as it boasts record-breaking fidelity in trapped-ion technology.
‘Generating high-quality single photons for quantum computing’ – MIT News
Researchers at MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics have developed a way to generate high-quality photons without having to trade indistinguishability for efficiency. Their ability to generate them at room temperature is an important achievement for the democratisation of quantum computing, offering direct applications for consumer quantum computing.
‘Researchers can now tell how accurate two-qubit calculations in silicon really are’ – UNSW Newsroom
Australian Scientists at UNSW have become the first team in the world to successfully measure the accuracy of silicon two-qubit operations. This major step in the fidelity and viability of quantum computing will have enormous ramifications for international security, particularly in the field of encryption.
‘Quantum bit communication breaks distance record’ – Futurity
“Breaking Records in Quantum ping-pong” University of Chicago creates a remote entanglement system using superconducting qubits that accurately exchanged quantum information along a meter long track.
‘For a Split Second, a Quantum Computer Made History Go Backward’ – The New York Times
Scientists at the Moscow Institute of Physics use a Quantum computer to undo the aging of a single, simulated elementary particle by one millionth of a second. Replicating it in nature is another question…
‘Open Source Release coming for Microsoft’s Quantum Development Kit’ – Microsoft
Microsoft reveals it will make their quantum computing development tools open source. Everyone from academic institutions to industry developers can freely make use of Q#, a programming language for writing Quantum code and a quantum simulator.
‘IBM Unveils Beta of Next Generation Quantum Development Platform’ – IBM
IBM announces public beta of the next generation of their quantum computing cloud service. This allows greater versatility for the quantum developer community who can now work on the cloud with Qiskit, an open-source framework for programming quantum.
‘Quantum computing a step closer to reality’ – Asia Times
A Joint Research Team from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and South China Normal University have discovered a novel method that increases the efficiency of producing photonic quantum memories by 70%.