Clearly, It’s Been Explained.
Quantum computing, quantum mechanics, quantum bits, and so on. Quantum is one term many people shy away from at its mere mention. However, as quantum computers make the mainstream news more often, some of us (Qubit included), have been trying to grasp the concepts and convey them in layperson’s terms. This piece makes an attempt to expose quantum computing and topological qubits in a crisp, clear light. Well worth sinking a few minutes into to gain some understanding or give some understanding as you see fit. May 1, 2018.
The bloch sphere is a geometrical representation of a two-level quantum system.
Google’s Quantum Computing
Recent comments from Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin keep quantum computing in the company’s spotlight. Add to quantum computing, AI and cryptocurrency are also high on Google’s agenda. Some interesting statistics on the processing capabilities of Google, from its start through to the current edge of its quantum computing endeavors, are found at androidheadlines. May 1, 2018.
“C” is for “Commutative”
This past week, cryptologists from Belgium and The Netherlands released a report on a post-quantum computing algorithm promising quantum resistance. The claim is the algorithm provides a non-interactive key exchange while similar in construct to common elliptic curve cryptosystems (ECCs). This commutative, super-singular elliptic-curve, is touted as being able to be “dropped-in” to replace instantiations of quantum-vulnerable ECCs while maintaining quantum-resistant security schemes. Read the researcher’s report on this scheme dubbed “Commutative Super-singular Isogeny Diffie-Hellman” (CSIDH). May 1, 2018.
Quantum-resistant cryptosystems are being developed; the “drop-in” variety.
Australia and France, Quantum Style
Quantum computing has a new team at the international governance level — Australia and France. Both have teamed up to work together on a silicon quantum computer. Industrialization and commercialization of quantum computing looks to be the end goal. Many details of the specific organizations in each nation contributing are captured in this piece. May 3, 2018.
Quantum Key Distribution Takes a Sizeable Step
Twin-field quantum key distribution (TF-QKD) has been publicly announced by a team of scientists from Toshiba Research in the U.K. Seeking to extend the range of QKDs with an improvement in bandwidth. Simply, a quantum repeater is placed between two communicating parties. Both parties send their code to the repeater which then relays measurements of the entangled signals. From this, the two parties produce a key known only to them. An interesting and plausible concept albeit just that, for now. Quantum is coming. May 3, 2018.
Quantum Frontiers & Fundamentals
Our friends in Bangalore, India, are hosting an international quantum mechanics conference which wraps up on May 4th. Much of the conference involves discussion of the recent and rapid developments in quantum science and the ripple effect through quantum computing and information science. Entanglement, teleportation, and quantum measurement are just a few of the developments being discussed. May 3, 2018.
Quantum Information Storage
Scientists at Rice University have built on their experience with binding photons and excitons as evidenced in a 2016 report on their accomplishments. This has translated into more recent research in which the weak and strong link between these two has been found to be tunable. In this report, details are presented which allude to the ability to create quantum-based data storage. Read on. May 4, 2018.
Dizzying concepts in quantum information science are molding the future of information storage.
$30M to the U.S. Department of Energy
On May 2, the U.S. Energy Secretary under President Donald Trump, Mr. Rick Perry, announced a $30M investment into the Department of Energy’s quantum computing research and development studies. Spread across 3 years and 5 research facilities, the DoE anticipates spending the $30M in furthering development of supercomputers based, in part, on quantum information science. The annual grants range from $1/2M upwards of $2M. May 4, 2018.
U.S. Department of Energy Seal
Complexities of Quantum Computer Programming
The benefits of quantum computing lay in the final output of these complex devices. To fully understand the challenge to reaping the benefits of the quantum computer, the programming aspect must be understood. Not quite the same as programming the Commodore 64, coding with C#, or Pearl. Programming a quantum system to achieve answers to pressing questions requires a fundamentally different approach than the semiconductor-based systems. This article, found on THENEXTPLATFORM, provides layperson’s insight into this challenge. Take some time to read through and share. May 5, 2018.
Programming quantum devices is fundamentally different. It’s not quite like programming the computers of today or yesterday.
Technical University of Munich
The Technical University of Munich has support to create a quantum research facility. With a focus of bridging quantum systems and real-world applications, the University will team with industry to bring quantum research to production environments. Three spheres of influence show promise for the center: (1) Hybrid quantum devices, (2) functional quantum materials, and (3) modeling complex quantum systems. Read on to fill in the details. May 7, 2018.
Munich, Germany, receiving a new quantum engineering center.
Select Random Chickens, Least Grain, and Maximize Profits?
Changing the way we think about computing is necessary to reap the benefits of the quantum computer. The author of the original article suggests changing our perspective from linear to analog and from vertical to horizontal. Doing so will enable us to draw better conclusions vice a firm, descript, answer as we do in conventional computing. How little grain is needed to feed the random herd of chickens to produce the maximum profit? Find out more in this piece. May 7, 2018.
Reliable, Global Crypto-key Dispenser
The European Space Agency is researching ways to incorporate quantum key distribution via its satellite network. Last week, the ESA signed a contract to develop a quantum cryptography telecommunication system; dubbed QUARTZ. The government plus commercial endeavor, is looking to provide reliability in the arena of secure cryptographic key distribution. Scalable and commercially available, the ESA and industry partners hope to produce this satellite network for QKD. May 7, 2018.
This report is found at Astro Watch…
Works in Ambient Room Temps, Easy to Make, Thin.
German physicists, using thin semiconductors as targets of infrared lasers have shown how to excite electrons between the 1 and the 0 classical states. The speed of these shifts is an astounding one million times faster classical computing. Doing such state changes so rapidly permits processing prior to losing the fragile state; put another way, the quantum state does not need to be retained for an extended period to gain benefits from processing. Much effort is being placed in developing quantum computing systems which are free of external influences such as heat and magnetism. The method shows much promise as it holds benefits which include use in ambient temperatures, thin, atomic-thickness layers of material, and an overall simplicity in construction. Read on. May 9, 2018.
Rocketships Need Big Engines and Lots of Fuel…
D-Wave’s spinoff, Quadrant, is experiencing the advantages of two types of computing: Classical and quantum. With quantum supremacy years off in the distance, Quadrant is coupling the 2000Q D-wave box to its classical-based neural network and producing fair gains in processing. Well-developed, and thorough, this piece is worth the read. May 9, 2018.
Tangle Lake, Alaska
What does Tangle Lake, Alaska, have in common with quantum computing? Intel named its 49-qubit processor “Tangle Lake”. Frigid conditions, an ‘entangled appearance’ from above; the similarities end there. Recently, Intel published an infographic explaining the components of this qubit processor. Visually interesting and a concise description of this 3×3 inch chip. May 9, 2018.
IBM Expanding Quantum Computing Partnerships
IBM ‘s Q Network is adding North Carolina State Univeristy to its retinue. To date, nearly 80,000 coders from across industry and academia have utilized the IBM Q network — a 50 qubit, quantum system made available by Big Blue to encourage discovery in quantum applications. Read on for more. May 11, 2018.
Testing “Hello World”
“Hello World” is perhaps the most basic of messages sent via classical computers. But what is the maximum “hardness” of a task a classical system might tackle that is also the simplest a quantum system may solve? If this can be defined, it would represent the threshold of quantum supremacy. Google, NASA, and other university research teams are trying to find this point. May 11, 2018.
Einstein’s Spooky Action at a Distance…Wrong?
Is Einstein’s concept of spooky action at a distance in jeopardy of being proven false? This interesting, and albeit mind-bending study, suggest it is. The suggestion is also made that there are speeds faster than light. Curious? Read on. May 11, 2018.
Simply Put, a Primer
Superposition. Entanglement. Qubit. Absolute-zero. Decoherence. For the layperson, these terms may be remotely familiar or not-at-all. In any case, take a look at this quantum primer with its embedded clips. A good primer or just a fresh reminder of this relatively new technology and its language. May 12, 2018.
Adding $9M Seed Money to Canadian Firm; for Silicon-based Chips
Canada, like Australia, the U.S., and well, China, is upping the ante in the quantum computing research business. Toronto-based firm Xanadu, has raised $9M to fund research into achieving quantum supremacy. With recent studies edging toward silicon-based quantum chips showing promise, the group of scientists at Xanadu believe they are on to something. May 12, 2018.
Much reporting in the media covers quantum computing applications and developments using flash and awe. Cracking encryption, detecting stealth aircraft, and “spooky action at a distance” are fun buzzwords and catchy phrases. The flashy headlines are just that — flashy. But what about the next, real, step? The firm, Strangeworks, has posted “7 Axioms” to achieving the next steps, their way. Take a look. Give it some thought. What is the next step? How does the budding quantum computing community make the bridge from flashy to reality? May 12, 2018.
Developing Efficient Quantum Computing Algorithms
Research supported by the U.S. Army Research Office, the U.S. National Science Foundation, and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research is progressing toward efficient quantum circuits (quantum algorithms) with available quantum computing equipment. Availability and expense curtail proliferation of resources to conduct quantum computation. The researchers find it an imperative to optimize quantum algorithms to make best use of the available resources as these are likely to remain in high-demand, low-availability. Read on for details on optimizing these circuits. May 14, 2018.
Packets of Energy; Subtractable, Indivisible
Teams at the University of Southern Denmark, Arhaus University, and the University of Maryland’s Joint Quantum Institute have demonstrated the ability to subtract a photon of light from a laser beam. A unique property of light is its non-interaction with other photons as they pass through one-another. This property benefits quantum communication with high-success rates of transmission over long distances with encoded data. The study’s goal is to manipulate photons using other photons; causing photons to interact with one-another. The benefit lays within photon-photon interaction as it pertains to quantum information science. The team admits there is much study to complete to fully understand these interactions. May 14, 2018.
Fujitsu’s Turn: Digital Annealer
On the heels of IBM Q, Alibaba, and others, Fujitsu is made its “quantum inspired” service available inside Japan, May 15. By April 1st, 2019, Fujitsu leadership intends to make the cloud-based service available to the remainder of Asia, Europe, and the U.S. Fujitsu claims its service will assist in research of pharmaceuticals, finance, and logistics industries. May 16, 2018.
Quantum Applications of Barium?
Current thinking is that exploiting quantum properties is needed to develop quantum computing. Researchers from the University of Innsbruck claim to be able to precisely control certain properties. Full control of entangling particles, generating single photons, and particle positioning, play into this “deliberate entanglement”. May 16, 2018.
Quantum Many-Body Scars
Using precision laser instrumentation, recent work by Harvard and MIT discovered atom chains oscillating beyond reasonable expectations. An explanation has been offered by researchers from the University of Leeds and others. The observed phenomenon has been labeled as “quantum many-body scars”. The end-effects observed are chains of atoms not filling their entire chaotic-space as one would expect — a quantum scar. The thought is the atoms retain quantum qualities longer than expected. These lengthy oscillations are deemed necessary to advance quantum computing. May 16, 2018.
See figure at the bottom of this page…
For Sale: Quantum Computing Algorithms.
We may be seeing quantum computers being developed and available to and from the world’s largest corporations soon. But with those computers comes the need for complex and intrinsically different computer algorithms. New quantum startup, ZapataComputing’s (www.zapatacomputing.com), ultimate goal is to be the quantum algorithm superstore. Drop your company’s need for a quantum programming specialist. This hopeful startup would like to provide the expertise. May 18, 2018.
Faculty at the University of Hannover have created two clouds of entangled atoms. Different from entangled atomic particles as earlier efforts created, the clouds of atoms were “Bose-Einstein condensates”. These atomic condensates were effectively occupying the same position in a coherent state; considered entangled. Separating the two clouds permitted the team to demonstrate the entangled quality. At present, large scale quantum computing is held back due to lack of needed scale in entangling particles. This could be a valuable step in the large scale quantum computing direction. May 18, 2018.
What It Can (and Can’t) Do Well…Right Now…
Let’s take a step back and remind ourselves (or educate our new readers over) what quantum computing is basically about. The link below is to a guide for businesses as to the current state of quantum computing. Worth the time to read and bring yourself up to speed or just remind yourself what “quantum is coming” is all about. Right now. May 18, 2018.
Healthcare and Quantum Computing
Case Western Reserve University is teaming with Microsoft Quantum to advance MRI accuracy in short order. A relatively stale avenue in the medical industry, MRI technology is advancing once again thanks to Microsoft’s quantum computing research, in particular, quantum algorithms tailored to MRIs. Microsoft will contribute quantum algorithm advances which are anticipated to allow improved diagnostic capabilities hopefully geared toward identifying specific types of cancerous tissues. In total, the endeavor is coupling CWRU MRI research with Microsoft’s quantum computing, machine learning, and virtual reality, to embark on advanced medical solutions. May 19, 2018.
From Dream to Nightmare. Because Quantum Is Coming.
The month of April was punctuated with a number of varied quantum computing meetings around the U.S. The breadth of topics discussed is a nod to the rapid growth of quantum science and the budding quantum computing industry. D-Wave delivered status of its 4,000 qubit system in production; IBM reinforced the notion of maximizing potential through delivery of the key quantum qualities: coherence, connectivity, and controllability. Many other topics and meetings were held. Read on for more. May 19, 2018.
Using the Quantum Universe to Affect the Physical Universe
If you have been wondering just what is this entanglement thing? What is a qubit? How do we manipulate matter — for example, how do we change magnetic material to non-magnetic material? Superconductors at room temperature? What does this all mean. It may be ‘weird’ and sound difficult to understand. Don’t be afraid. This piece is a well-done, layperson’s read, on the subject of manipulating nature — it’s all about quantum…because quantum is coming. May 19, 2018.
In Terms of Efficiency, Look Into ‘Lattice Field’ Encryption
IBM’s Director of Research, Arvind Krishna, recently made clear statements in terms of expected timing and capabilities for quantum computing. On today’s encryption: Expect it to be broken instantly (Lattice Field algorithms presumably are quantum resistant and cost efficient). The near future for quantum computing: By 2023, expect quantum computing to be in wide use commercially. And, on current gaps: Algorithms. We need algorithms and quantum software technologies to be studied, tested, and implemented. A thought provoking discussion. Take a read…May 20, 2018.
Intel ~10 Years; Microsoft ~5 Years; IBM ~5 Years
Intel is one of the forerunners in the race to quantum supremacy. Alongside Microsoft, IBM, and Google, Intel hopes to press on to success with its silicon-based quantum processors. Doing so would be ideal as Intel is the world leader in silicon chip manufacturing for classical computers. If able to create quantum supremacy with silicon chips, they have the infrastructure to mass produce the wafers and the proven history and intellectual property to do so effectively. James Clarke, Intel’s director of hardware, believes maturity for quantum computing will have to wait a decade. For a bit more detail on Intel’s approach to quantum computing, see this article from Barron’s author Tiernan Ray. May 21, 2018.
Quantum Mechanics is Much Deeper Than Thought
What is superposition and how does it really work? What transpires to cause this duality of position? Researchers from Japan and Israel have been attempting to answer these questions. In an experiment to help decipher the background details of superposition, “The Jumpy Shutter” attempts to answer many questions that are peculiar to superposition. It’s deeper than we have ever imagined. May 23, 2018.
See bottom of this page for “The Jumpy Shutter”…
Forward Secrecy’s use as a layer of security during encrypted sessions may be threatened. Simply, Forward Secrecy permits only the end-points in a secure session to decrypt traffic. The problem is surveillance of encrypted traffic in high-security environments demands the ability to break open and inspect content. Forward Secrecy prevents this action. Now, the issue of post-quantum cryptography enters the picture with the purported ability to crack encryption keys in short order. NIST is handling PQC as an imperative. This report suggests TLS 2.0 may be in the offing, incorporating quantum-resistant algorithms. May 24, 2018.
Post-Quantum Cryptography / In Simple Terms
The Quantum Safe Security Working Group from the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) has been working diligently to bring “non-technical executives” a post-quantum cryptography primer. A quick read, the primer covers the basic concept of post-quantum cryptography, alternative algorithms to what is in use today, and several other key components to PQC. Well worth the time to digest and present to executive leadership. May 24, 2018.
U.S. Air Force Decides to Get On Board Quantum
The U.S. Air Force restated its commitment to bring in artificial intelligence and quantum computing. At a recent AI and quantum computing summit, held at Andrews Air Force Base in the U.S., the Vice Chief of Staff for the U.S. Air Force gathered top officials to discuss operationalizing AI and quantum computing. The end-goal is to inculcate AI and quantum computing within the ranks. May 25, 2018.
Validating Cloud Quantum Computations
Quantum computing via the cloud is gaining ground. Numerous institutions have joined the likes of the IBM Q Experience, a quantum cloud computing service. Quantum computing clouds being developed reach back to quantum computers, programmable at your discretion. Albeit the computing devices are nascent, end-results have proven the ability to leverage cloud computing successfully. Oak Ridge National Laboratories researchers have arrived at a known result from the binding of a proton and neutron with the IBM Q environment. Though not without quirks, quantum cloud users must overcome challenges, some of which are qubit connectivity and decoherence related. Read on for a good description of just what the study entailed. Original and viewpoint article links are provided. May 25, 2018.
Space, the Final Frontier? Or Quantum Physics, Science, Computing…
The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) successfully launched Cygnus, last week. Cygnus is a payload with many scientific experiments aboard. The International Space Station captured the shuttle. Included in the payload were multiple experiments involving quantum science. Most interesting is that quantum experiments will be conducted during crew rest periods to reduce effects of decoherence. May 28, 2018.
Device-Independent Quantum Key Distribution
With attempts to establish cybersecurity in every aspect of our connected world struggling to succeed, quantum computing may arrive before true information security is established. If such time does occur, an upheaval of current encryption protocols may take place. However, continuing research into device-independent quantum key distribution (DIQKD) protocols is helping build confidence in these theoretical security methods. Independent of the trust placed in the underlying hardware enabling the QKD setup, U.S., Czech, French, and other researchers at Zurich’s Institute of Theoretical Physics have determined DIQKD is possible with quantum technology and protocols presently available. May 28, 2018.
Is Cryptographic Agility The Solution?
In the next ten years, the notion of quantum supremacy will have likely been attained, and further, quantum computing will have begun to crack data encryption of the prolific types in use today. Ten years. Who knows of this impending shift from “security” to seemingly instant “insecurity”? Even data encrypted today, last week, 3 years ago, etc., will be vulnerable to decryption. Is anyone listening? Ten years, if predictions hold firm. There are some industry leaders – IBM, for one – which believe the time before quantum supremacy and its deleterious effects upon encryption are a mere 5 years in the offing. This piece explains the concept of cryptographic agility and why we, as a society, must get moving to switch to post-quantum cryptographic methods. May 30, 2018.
The hub-bub to-do with quantum computers and encryption lays in the computational difference between the quantum and the classical computer processing power. Today’s confidentiality for data-in-transit across the internet relies upon the computational infeasibility of cracking the encryption. (It would take too long to break the code with classical computers). The advent of quantum computing will significantly reduce the time to crack the encryption codes. Quantum key distribution (QKD), a method of distributing secret keys between two parties, is possible – today – in enabling perfect secrecy between two-parties. Researchers have recently shown this ability to maintain perfect secrecy over fiber-optic wires. Read on for more and a link to the original study. May 31, 2018.
Quantum Mechanical Phenomena
Quantum mechanical phenomena are manipulated in various ways by various commercial outfits. Rigetti, D-Wave, IBM, Intel, and Google, have achieved milestones toward a quantum computer which performs computations incapable of being performed by classical systems. Each company has a unique tack toward this goal. Rigetti is considered a “full-stack” operation; Google’s Bristlecone is a gate-based system employing superconductors; IBM…Read on for a quick synopsis of just what these leaders are up to and where they may end up. May 31, 2018.