Oct 16, 2020
Upgrading isn't just for phone
systems. Quantum information science tackles the upgrade of old
existing technologies, which run by classical physics laws, to
those that function in the quantum realm. It's as easy as it
sounds: Vlatko Vederal tells listeners what this entails and what
possibilities researchers like him are working toward.
Listen and learn
Vlatko Vedral is a professor at University of Oxford in Quantum Information Science. He explains his field in helpful terms, comparing classical technologies with quantum technologies like quantum computing applications. His useful analogies give listeners a comprehensive picture of what this will look like and he provides a specific timeline. First, he says, quantum cryptography will take more of a center stage because it's the simplest one to begin with. Then there will be a shift towards implementing quantum memory, and finally, in the next ten years or so, we will see upgrades to large scale quantum computers.
His explanation about how
quantum cryptography helps elucidate the challenges for all quantum
applications. Basically, if two people are trying to communicate
using quantum bits, anyone eavesdropping is forced to a take
measurement and collapse the communication to classical properties.
This makes their listening-in detectable because that action will
emit a lower fidelity, giving them away.
He and Richard then discuss more fascinating potentials and the challenges they present, which tend to center on the error rate and physical necessities. For example, they must cool an atom to an extremely low temperature. As more cubits are added, the system gets hotter and noisier. Their only current solution is to do error correction, but researchers like Vedral are working towards better techniques. So listen in for these exciting possibilities.