Quantum Technology Edges Us Closer to the Wizardry of Harry Potter
Quantum technology: the next disruption
Selected notes ~
+ The world as we know it would not exist without that first quantum revolution. Applications can still be found everywhere in our day-to-day lives — the laser beams in your BluRay players and barcode readers, the lasers used in medical procedures, the ultra-precise atomic clocks behind your car’s satnav system, and a vast array of other microelectronic devices. But that’s just a taste of what’s to come. Another revolution is already taking shape.
The second quantum revolution starting now will involve manipulating these fundamental particles, individually or a few at a time, and using certain phenomena to produce effects that are, to say the least, counterintuitive.
+ Why is it so hard to describe the quantum universe that our researchers find so inspiring? Simply because no human being has ever been directly confronted by these phenomena. Nobody has realised in practical terms, for example, that a particle can exist in two states at the same time, each with a certain probability, like a lottery ticket before the draw, which is both a winner and a loser. Nor has anybody had to deal with the fact that two distant particles can be part not of similar objects, but of the very same object. In the world of quantum physics, fundamental particles can walk through walls. Welcome to Hogwarts!
+ This quest for the inner secrets of matter and an uncharted universe is truly fascinating. It challenges both our understanding and our imagination, and that’s exactly why researchers all over the world find it so inspiring. Today they are starting to manipulate these qubits, or quantum bits, to make quantum devices that perform actual functions. And the holy grail for many is quantum computing, which would literally offer unimaginable power and possibilities. When will we see the first quantum computers? In 10 years? 30 years? Never? The task is complex and opinions are divided.
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