The Future of Quantum Technology

26/11/2019

Andrew Grassick

On Monday 25th November, we invited four panellists to take part in a very well attended discussion on the Future of Quantum Technology. We were fortunate enough to have Prof. Steve Simon, Dr Natalia Ares, Shuxiang Cao and Amy Hughes as panellists. Their research interests range from topological quantum computing to qubit scalability with machine learning, and superconducting circuits to ion-traps to quantum thermodynamics. 

We discussed topical issues such as Google's recent announcement of quantum supremacy - its significance as a big step forwards, as well as the difficulty in defining what we really mean by supremacy. Whatever their thoughts on the definition of supremacy, our experts were in agreement that Google's feat of properly tuning 50 qubits in order to achieve their result is an extremely impressive one! 

The interplay between companies and academic researchers was next on the agenda, as the panellists shared their views on the importance of commercial interest in quantum computing, through funding but also by producing alternative ideas via their slightly different work processes. Lastly, we discussed exactly which applications of quantum technology are attracting these companies to the field. Potential uses such as tensor network machine learning and hybrid classical/quantum computers were mentioned, as well as the exciting near-term prospect of simulating real quantum systems.

 Even after the panel, we still had more questions for our panellists, so we took a trip to the bar in St John's College to carry on the conversation further! If you have any burning questions about quantum information, or just want to listen to a group of experts discussing all things quantum, do make sure to look out for our next panel events - I cannot recommend it enough!