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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
IonQ, a US quantum computing startup that uses trapped ion technology to achieve room-temperature quantum computers, has just tapped into big venture capital funding. The US$55 million comes from Samsung Electronics and the Government of the United Arab Emirates, which signals a broadening in quantum’s geopolitical reach.
Why Two Tech Giants Are Arguing About Quantum Computers – The Atlantic
Last month, Google claimed to have achieved quantum supremacy, which was met by a constant flurry of counter-claims that show no sign of dying down. IBM in particular has cast doubt on google’s claim, asserting that their classical supercomputer could have completed Google’s supremacy algorithm in 2.5 days with “far greater fidelity”. Will the future of quantum research hinge on this kind of controversy, competition and shifting goal posts?
Physicists at the Technical University of Munich headed an international team that implemented secure quantum communication within the microwave range in a local quantum network. Utilising a 35-centimetre superconducting cable between two entangled quantum states, the physicists were able to remotely send information from one quantum state to the other. This represents a crucial step towards distributed quantum computing and opens up the possibility of a universal quantum computer.
As opposed to the classical understanding of vibrations as oscillating waves, when we dig down to the quantum level, we see vibrations as individual units of energy known as phonons. Now scientists at MIT and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have created and observed a single phonon in a common material at room temperature. The ability to observe this phenomena in the “real world” allows us to slowly move quantum technology out of controlled labs and into our daily lives.
Scientists at John Hopkins University have discovered a new superconducting material with which to organise qubits. While traditional superconductors require a very precise external magnetic field be applied on each qubit, this new material can work without an external magnetic field, which brings us much closer to practical, quantum computing.
Analogue approach offers solution to quantum problems – Cosmos Magazine
The sheer complexity of science at the quantum level makes it incredibly difficult to model even on the most advanced classical computers. Scientists at Germany’s Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik have proposed moving away from the digital and back to the analogue world in order to tackle this problem. By combining “optical lattices” and “cavity quantum electrodynamics” they’ve creates a quantum chemical simulator, in which the atoms play the role of electrons and simulate chemical reactions.
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 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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…
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 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%.