Physics in South Africa
+ The country’s strength in laser science [also] stems from laser equipment and expertise left over from its uranium-enrichment program. This legacy “accelerated photonics research in the country and has been responsible for almost all the growth in photonics,” says Andrew Forbes, a photonics specialist at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
+ His [Forbes’] research focuses on using “structured” light for applications like secure quantum communications. Most universities in the country have at least a small photonics unit, with interests ranging from quantum optics to laser materials processing to renewable energy.
South Africa is hunting for students in booming sectors of physics, including astronomy, optics, and nuclear physics
+ Other research groups have established niches of their own, finding ways to make limited budgets go far. Francesco Petruccione, for example, has set up the Centre for Quantum Technology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
+ “We don’t have the resources to build our own quantum computer,” he explains. With the present funding situation, building quantum hardware would be impossible, so his team turned to the much cheaper software side—developing algorithms for a quantum computer.
Content may have been edited for style and clarity. The “+” to the left of paragraphs or other statements indicates quoted material from “Source:” document. Boldface title is original title from “Source:” Italicized statements are directly quoted from “Source:” document. Image sources are indicated as applicable.