Simon Fraser University Quantum Algorithms Institute Professor Talks Algorithms Contribution to Quantum Computing’s Mainstream Success

The Qubit Report previously reported the October announcement from SFU.  See British Columbia Funding Quantum Algorithms Institute regarding the $17M announcement.  Because Quantum is Coming.  Qubit.

New Quantum Algorithms Institute at SFU to position B.C. as world leader in quantum computing

Excerpts and salient points ~

+  This October, the provincial government announced it will invest $17 million over the next five years to establish a new Quantum Algorithms Institute hosted at Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus, serving as the core of the city’s new innovation corridor.

+  SFU physicist Stephanie Simons, a professor and Canada Research Chair in Quantum Nanoelectronics, heads the university’s Silicon Quantum Technology Group. She explains that algorithms are one of the keys to bringing quantum computing into the mainstream.

+ Q: How does this translate into real-world benefits today?

+ In analogy to classical computers, we are kind of at the point when the original transistor was built. It has taken 40 years for it to get to the point where we have these supercomputers—smartphones—in our pockets. And the Internet existed for a long time before most people even knew about it, and now none of us can breathe without it. I imagine quantum technologies will likely follow a similar trajectory, but maybe with a more targeted focus.

+ That said, people working on the pen-and-paper algorithms can already identify areas where we can expect quantum computing to unlock a lot of potential. Finance is one. And cryptography as we know it will be completely different: quantum computers can very efficiently take apart most of our current encryption standards, and they also offer better (physically unhackable!) encryption.

+ Chemical simulations are another natural application area. Chemicals themselves are quantum objects, and classical techniques of modelling them are inherently bad in some ways. So we will be able to get a much better look at how one molecule interacts with another. I imagine drug development will be a much better process, and so will simulating the behaviour of materials.

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Source:  Simon Fraser University News.  SFU News,  New Quantum Algorithms Institute at SFU to position B.C. as world leader in quantum computing…

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