Quantum

All, Project Q

Carnegie Corporation of New York announces award of major grant to the Centre for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney for Project Q


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Who will benefit from and who will be harmed by the advent of quantum computing, communications and artificial intelligence? Are social media, global surveillance, data-mining and other networked technologies already producing quantum effects in world politics? Will a quantum revolution present us with sentient programs, feral algorithms and non-human forms of intelligence? Who will ‘win’ the quantum race? When and how will quantum be ‘weaponised’? What are the implications for peace and security?

These and other pressing questions have been the key issues addressed by the first-ever multidisciplinary project on quantum innovations, ‘Project Q: Peace and Security in a Quantum Age’. Started three years ago by the Centre for International Security Studies (CISS) with funding from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the School of Social and Political Sciences and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Project Q was created to assess the possibility, significance and global impact of new quantum technologies. (more…)

Q3

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


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

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

Q Research, Q3

The University of Sydney launches world-leading nanoscience institute


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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology

Q Research

New research in photon technology may hold the key to unhackable communication


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A research team from the University of Sydney’s School of Physics have recently made a breakthrough in how to generate single photons or light particles as carriers of quantum information in security systems.

Professor Benjamin Eggleton, Director of the Centre for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS), leads the research team in a collaborative effort between the School of Physics and the School of Electrical and Information Engineering in utilising quantum communication and computing to revolutionise the ability to exchange data securely.

“The ability to generate single photons, which form the backbone of technology used in laptops and the internet, will drive the development of local secure communications systems – for safeguarding defence and intelligence networks, the financial security of corporations and governments and bolstering personal electronic privacy, like shopping online,” Eggleton says.

The team are currently exploring real-world applications of this new technology.

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Alexander Wendt’s animated lecture on ‘Quantum Mind and Social Sciences’ goes live


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Last June, the Project Q team travelled to Ann Arbor Michigan to talk with Professor Alexander Wendt from Ohio State University about his bold new book ‘Quantum Mind and Social Science’. The team produced a short video interview as well a short exegesis of the book by Wendt. The final presentation, an animated video lecture by Wendt, encourages us to venture out of our disciplinary silos to consider the importance of quantum physics for the social sciences.

Watch the video below for the final version of Alexander Wendt’s animated video lecture on ‘Quantum Mind and Social Science’:

All, Project Q, Q3

The Q3 Symposium: Quantum Moment panel


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The inaugural panel for Q3 began with the observation that, “Political Science had given up on the future.” In his opening words, Director James Der Derian remarked that what has hindered our ability to prepare for the shocks to the international system has been the abandonment of the essential imperative to speculate. When the premise of a peace and security symposium is speculation, identifying vantage points becomes the primary challenge. Assembling thinkers from a spectrum of methods, disciplines, and cultures, the opening panel traced three of these points.

(more…)

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Probing the peace and security implications of quantum innovation


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The impact of quantum science on peace and security will be debated by leading practitioners and researchers at the Q3 Symposium and Lecture. 

The University of Sydney’s Centre for International Security Studies (CISS) will host experts from the United States, Japan, Canada and China to address research and policy questions of the quantum age.

Over the past century, quantum mechanics has yielded new understandings of the microphysical world and resulted in a host of technological inventions associated with the modern age – from thermonuclear weapons, to computers, transistors, lasers, LEDs and mobile phones.

“The Q3 Symposium and Lecture come at a crucial moment in the quantum age,” said Professor James Der Derian, CISS Director and Michael Hintze Chair of International Security. “As new applications for quantum science edge closer to reality, we’re gathering to debate the political, ethical and philosophical implications of areas such as quantum computing, communication and consciousness.”

(more…)

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Einstein vs. Schrödinger: collaboration, competition and uncertainty


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“Neither Schrödinger nor Einstein liked what they found in the subatomic world”

What would Einstein and Schrödinger’s theories of the mysterious quantum world be like had they not been so notoriously famous? Where did they begin, and how did they deal with their newfound fame for ideas that were inevitably ‘unproven speculation’?

Paul Halpern’s latest book Einstein’s Dice and Schrödinger Cat: How Two Great Minds Battled Quantum Randomness to Create a Unified Theory of Physics uncovers the challenges set before two of the greatest minds of the past century.

In this article from New Scientist, Halpern’s book is described as a fascinating look into both Einstein and Schrödinger’s careers, from being collaborators at an early stage, to becoming fierce competitors. Halpern’s new book is also a study of the long tail that marks many distinguished careers in science.

More interestingly though, the article does point out the power and importance of collaboration, and ponders the ‘what ifs’ of Einstein and Schrödinger’s progress in their research had they passed on their wisdom and insight to their students or colleagues.

Photo: Wikimedia