Happy World Quantum Day!
The goal of World Quantum Day is to promote "public understanding of Quantum Science and Technology around the World."
Because 4/14 is a reference to the first digits of Planck’s constant (4.14 ×10−15 electronvolt seconds), a fundamental constant governing quantum physics.
Kind of like 3/14 is "Pi Day" and 5/4 is "Star Wars Day" (May the Fourth be with You).
From Theory to Reality
A century ago the fundamentals of quantum mechanics was the subject of heated debate.
Quantum physics is hard, partly because it is difficult to observe quantum processes.
So quantum experimentalists took on the challenge of proving these early theories by building specialized hardware that has since migrated out of the lab.
This led to the First Quantum Revolution in the mid-20th century, which saw the introduction of lasers, transistors, and atomic clocks.
We are now in the Second Quantum Revolution, enabled by hardware that can detect and manipulate single quantum objects.
This has opened the door to advancements in quantum computing, sensing, and communications, that may impact the future just as profoundly as the laser and transistor.
There has been a lot of progress in the last century.
A recap on major quantum news over the last year:
- Reports that talk about the impact of quantum development
- “Quantum Technologies” Capgemini report found that a nearly a quarter of surveyed US organizations are working on quantum technologies, though, like in a lot of areas quantum, China is the leader with 43% of their companies active with quantum technologies.
- "The Quantum Decade" IBM report as a "playbook for achieving awareness, readiness, and advantage" in quantum computing.
- "A Guide to a Quantum-Safe Organization" QED-C report to help organizations prepare for a post-quantum world.
- Reports and articles on China's lead in quantum development:
- “State of U.S. Science and Engineering 2022” National Science Board report highlighted that R&D funding in the United States, while still highest in the world, was ceding ground to China.
- “Chinese Threats in the Quantum Era” Booz Allen Hamilton report claims that China has "multibillion dollar investments to enable breakthroughs in the field—and an $11 billion National Laboratory for Quantum Information Sciences."
- “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China” DoD report noted that China’s 14th Five-Year Plan includes plans to install satellite-enabled, global “quantum-encrypted communications capability” by 2030.
- Other reports out of China:
- Their leading quantum research group and QuantumCTek (fresh off a record IPO) have been added to a US trade blacklist for "acquiring and attempting to acquire U.S.-origin items in support of military applications".
- Developed what it calls a Satellite Quantum System in a bid to combat any adversary intrusion into its power infrastructure.
- Article claims that they have “achieved a series of breakthroughs in quantum technology including the world's first quantum satellite, a 2,000-km quantum communication line between Beijing and Shanghai, and the world's first optical quantum computing machine prototype.”
- Articles about other governments stepping up their quantum research:
- The United States has a number of quantum projects in development, including the Chicago Quantum Exchange. To fund future quantum initiatives, the US is combining elements of the $250B U.S. Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 with the America Competes Act of 2022 into one bill.
- Europe is developing "value chains in critical sectors for space such as quantum", and a broadband constellation that will “leverage quantum encryption to secure the network.”
- Russia is setting up a National Quantum Laboratory as a "key step to the development of all domestic industry of quantum technologies."
- Korea is developing “quantum cryptography communication networks in both the public and private sectors”, bringing together 26 companies including SK telecom, KT, and LG.
- Articles and reports about private quantum investment:
- "The Quantum Insider Annual Report" tracked $3.2B of quantum investment in 2021, as well as their Top Ten Quantum Technology Predictions for 2022.
- “Quantum Tech 2022: A Stampede Of Unicorns Is Headed For Your Industry,” Forbes claims that “Technologies based on the fundamental properties of quantum mechanics will revolutionize industries, changing business models forever.”
- “Quantum Security Report” by The Quantum Insider forecasts a Quantum Security Market worth $10B by 2030.
Lots of quantum-focused conferences coming up soon. Here's a small sample:
- IQT San Diego, May 10-12, 2022, San Diego
- Photonics for Quantum, June 6 - 9, Rochester, NY
- Quantum.Tech Boston, June 14-15, Boston, MA
- Quantum 2.0 Conference and Exhibition, June 13 - 16, Boston, MA
- Quantum Information Science International Workshop, July 12-14, 2022, New York
- Optics + Photonics, August 21 - 25, San Diego, CA
- IEEE Quantum Week 2022, September 18 - 23, Broomfield, CO
To learn more about quantum mechanics, we recommend these resources:
- The Theoretical Minimum by Leonard Susskind, lecture series and book
- Why Everything You Thought You Knew About Quantum Physics is Different presentation and Beyond Weird book by Philip Ball
- Quantum Computing Since Democritus lecture notes by Scott Aaronson
- Free e-books:
For further educational material hosted by quantum enthusiasts check out:
- Quantum Curious for a range of online resources
- Quantumapalooza for links to online learning opportunities, hosted by Harrisburg University
- 2021 Quantum Investment Summit panel discussions, hosted by the Quantum Startup Foundry
- Different Approaches to Getting Started on your Quantum Journey webinar hosted by Quantum.Tech.
- Chicago Quantum Summit webinar on quantum technology
For news about the dynamic world of quantum companies and technology check out:
- Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) is a quantum advocacy group that hosts Quantum Marketplace events, reports, and job postings.
- The Quantum Insider, hosts conferences, releases reports and provides industry connections.
- QURECA hosts webinars and provides industry news and connections.
- Inside Quantum Technology hosts conferences and has a good daily newsletter
- Quantum Computing Report hosts quantum market and investment analysis, with a weekly newsletter you can sign up for here