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Breakthrough promises secure quantum computing at home – University of Oxford

The full power of next-generation quantum computing could soon be harnessed by millions of individuals and companies, thanks to a breakthrough by scientists at Oxford University Physics guaranteeing security and privacy. This advance promises to unlock the transformative potential of cloud-based quantum computing and is detailed in a new study published in the influential U.S. scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Never in history have the issues surrounding privacy of data and code been more urgently debated than in the present era of cloud computing and artificial intelligence. As quantum computers become more capable, people will seek to use them with complete security and privacy over networks, and our new results mark a step change in capability in this respect.

Quantum computing is developing rapidly, paving the way for new applications which could transform services in many areas like healthcare and financial services. It works in a fundamentally different way to conventional computing and is potentially far more powerful. However, it currently requires controlled conditions to remain stable and there are concerns around data authenticity and the effectiveness of current security and encryption systems.

Several leading providers of cloud-based services, like Google, Amazon, and IBM, already separately offer some elements of quantum computing. Safeguarding the privacy and security of customer data is a vital precursor to scaling up and expending its use, and for the development of new applications as the technology advances. The new study by researchers at Oxford University Physics addresses these challenges.

We have shown for the first time that quantum computing in the cloud can be accessed in a scalable, practical way which will also give people complete security and privacy of data, plus the ability to verify its authenticity, said Professor David Lucas, who co-heads the Oxford University Physics research team and is lead scientist at the UK Quantum Computing and Simulation Hub, led from Oxford University Physics.

In the new study, the researchers use an approach dubbed blind quantum computing, which connects two totally separate quantum computing entities potentially an individual at home or in an office accessing a cloud server in a completely secure way. Importantly, their new methods could be scaled up to large quantum computations.

Using blind quantum computing, clients can access remote quantum computers to process confidential data with secret algorithms and even verify the results are correct, without revealing any useful information. Realising this concept is a big step forward in both quantum computing and keeping our information safe online said study lead Dr Peter Drmota, of Oxford University Physics.

The results could ultimately lead to commercial development of devices to plug into laptops, to safeguard data when people are using quantum cloud computing services.

Researchers exploring quantum computing and technologies at Oxford University Physics have access to the state-of-the-art Beecroft laboratory facility, specially constructed to create stable and secure conditions including eliminating vibration.

Funding for the research came from the UK Quantum Computing and Simulation (QCS) Hub, with scientists from the UK National Quantum Computing Centre, the Paris-Sorbonne University, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Maryland, collaborating on the work.

The study Verifiable blind quantum computing with trapped ions and single photons has been published in Physical Review Letters.

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Oxford University’s Research Paves the Way for Secure, Cloud-Based Quantum Computing – yTech

Summary: A breakthrough in quantum computing research at Oxford University could revolutionize how individual users utilize quantum computing through cloud services over fiber optic connections. The study addresses the pivotal concern of maintaining data privacy and security in such a sensitive computational environment.

In an era where supercomputers and personal devices have dominated computational tasks, the potential for quantum computing to surpass these capacities is within reach. Notably, tech giants like Google, Amazon, and IBM are already incorporating aspects of quantum technology in their operations. The inherent challenge that arises with quantum computing is the delicate nature of quantum interactionswhere minor disturbances may lead to the collapse of the quantum state, a hurdle that must be overcome to fully harness its capabilities.

Oxford Universitys Physics Department has made a significant advance in this field, targeting the crucial aspect of secure quantum computing. As the findings in the Physics Review Letters journal suggest, the future might see the introduction of devices that connect to personal laptops, safeguarding data during the use of quantum cloud computing services.

The research introduces a novel concept of blind quantum computing. This involves a secured connection between a quantum computing server and an independent client device via a fiber network, ensuring complete data privacy and the ability to verify the accuracy and integrity of the information. The system employs an apparatus capable of detecting photons, which plays a key role in achieving the desired security during computations that depend on real-time corrections.

Under the guidance of Professor David Lucas, the Oxford team successfully demonstrated the practical application of cloud-accessible quantum computing, holding promises of full data security, privacy, and authenticity verification. This advance also opens up potential opportunities for telecom providers to support the infrastructure required for quantum networks.

Quantum Computing Industry Overview

The quantum computing field is experiencing rapid growth, fueled by its potential to solve complex problems far beyond the capacity of classical computers. Leading tech companies such as Google, Amazon, and IBM are investing heavily in quantum technology, aiming to harness it for various applications including cryptography, drug discovery, financial modeling, and climate research.

Market Forecasts

Financially, the quantum computing industry is projected to expand substantially in the coming years. Market research forecasts that the global quantum computing market, which includes hardware, software, and services, could surpass tens of billions of dollars by the end of this decade. This growth is anticipated as advancements in the field unlock new commercial uses and as industry and government investments continue to pour into research and development.

Industry Issues

However, the industry faces several challenges, with data security and privacy ranking as critical concerns. Quantum computings ability to potentially break current encryption standards poses substantial risks to data security. The Oxford University breakthrough, which addresses security concerns, is a crucial step towards countering such threats.

The sensitivity of quantum states to external disturbances is another significant issue, often referred to as quantum decoherence. Achieving long-term stability of quantum information requires technological innovations to isolate qubits (quantum bits) from environmental interference, a feat that researchers across the globe are striving to accomplish.

Additionally, building a scalable quantum computing infrastructure involves creating new standards, protocols, and devices that can operate in extreme physical conditions, usually at near absolute zero temperatures. The real-world application of quantum computing also necessitates a skilled workforce proficient in quantum mechanics and its computational applications, signaling a need for focused education and training programs.

Potential Opportunities and Advancements

With the progress at Oxford University, the concept of blind quantum computing provides a promising avenue for secure quantum data processing. The potential expansion of cloud-based quantum computing services may necessitate updates to telecommunications infrastructure, presenting opportunities for telecom companies to facilitate quantum networks.

The development reported by Oxfords team not only captures the essence of these technological breakthroughs but also highlights the potential for wide-ranging impacts across sectors that depend on computing power. As research like this develops, companies and governments must collaborate to ensure responsible stewardship of quantum computing technology and address societal and ethical implications of its deployment.

The quantum computing revolution offers an array of possibilities across industries. By overcoming the intrinsic challenges related to security, coherence, and infrastructure, the industry stands poised to redefine our capabilities in data processing and technological innovation.

Roman Perkowski is a distinguished name in the field of space exploration technology, specifically known for his work on propulsion systems for interplanetary travel. His innovative research and designs have been crucial in advancing the efficiency and reliability of spacecraft engines. Perkowskis contributions are particularly significant in the development of sustainable and powerful propulsion methods, which are vital for long-duration space missions. His work not only pushes the boundaries of current space travel capabilities but also inspires future generations of scientists and engineers in the quest to explore the far reaches of our solar system and beyond.

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Denver and Boulder Emerge as Quantum Computing Innovators – yTech

Summarizing the recent focus on quantum computing in Colorado, CNBC has put a spotlight on Denver and Boulder with their Cities of Success: Denver & Boulder television special. This program, which explores the economic evolution of these cities since the 1980s, highlights their new status as quantum computing centers, alongside their existing strengths in technology, life sciences, and venture capital.

As economic challenges like housing affordability and homelessness persist, the special emphasizes how quantum technology could serve as a significant driver for economic growth and help navigate these socioeconomic issues. With a nod to local success stories and potential hurdles, the special is narrated by Carl Quintanilla, who grew up in the area and is now a CNBC anchor. He brings a personal perspective to the technological and economic transformation of his hometowns.

Interviews with local government officials and business leaders, such as Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Denver Mayor Mike Johnston, provide insights into how quantum computing could influence the local economy. The program also features dialogues with quantum experts Corban Tillemann-Dick from Maybell Quantum and Zachary Yerushalmi from Elevate Quantum, who discuss the future and importance of this cutting-edge technology for the region.

Elevate Quantum has been recognized as a TechHub by the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, aiming to maintain Colorados prominence in quantum technology. Meanwhile, Maybell Quantums mission is to create widely accessible quantum solutions while fostering a skilled workforce and supply chain to support the U.S. as a leader in the quantum field.

Quantum Computing as an Economic Catalyst

Quantum computing has been identified as a potential major growth sector within the tech industry. As highlighted in the CNBC Cities of Success: Denver & Boulder television special, Colorado is positioning itself as a hub for this revolutionary technology. The focus on cities like Denver and Boulder as emerging centers of quantum computing comes amidst a backdrop of broader technological developments and market trends.

Industry Insights and Market Forecasts

The quantum computing industry is at a nascent stage but promises to revolutionize various fields, including cryptography, drug discovery, financial modeling, and optimization problems across different industries. The global quantum computing market is growing rapidly, with estimates suggesting it could be worth billions of dollars in the next decade. According to industry research firms, the anticipated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is promising, reflecting significant investment and research in the sector.

Challenges and Developments

Despite the optimism, the quantum computing industry faces challenges that involve both technical intricacies and the need for a skilled workforce. Maintaining quantum coherence, error correction, and developing algorithms that can run on qubits, which are the basic units of quantum information, remain complex tasks. Furthermore, as quantum computing continues to develop, there is a pressing need for educational programs and job training to build a workforce capable of supporting this high-tech industry.

Additionally, the industry must navigate issues such as cybersecurity concerns due to quantum computers potential to break traditional encryption methods, necessitating the development of quantum-safe encryption technologies.

Local Economic Impact and Opportunities

Quantum computing could significantly impact Colorados economy by attracting investments, creating high-tech job opportunities, and fostering innovation across various sectors. Businesses like Maybell Quantum and Elevate Quantum underscore the local capability to shape a competitive quantum landscape nationally and internationally.

Importantly, the quantum computing sector has the potential to address broader socioeconomic issues through innovation that could lead to more efficient resource allocation, better data analysis for policy-making, and advanced technologies to manage challenges such as housing affordability and homelessness.

For those interested in learning more about the industry and related organizations leading the charge, below are a few indicative links:

IBM Quantum Google Quantum AI The National Quantum Initiative

The active engagement of government officials, such as Governor Jared Polis and Denver Mayor Mike Johnston, in promoting quantum technology underscores the commitment at the state and local levels to sustain and grow Colorados presence on the quantum computing map.

In summary, while quantum computing presents its set of challenges, Denver and Boulders proactive approach sets a blueprint for economic transformation powered by high-tech innovation. Their progress can serve as a model for other cities looking to harness the potential of cutting-edge technologies for economic growth and societal benefit.

Roman Perkowski is a distinguished name in the field of space exploration technology, specifically known for his work on propulsion systems for interplanetary travel. His innovative research and designs have been crucial in advancing the efficiency and reliability of spacecraft engines. Perkowskis contributions are particularly significant in the development of sustainable and powerful propulsion methods, which are vital for long-duration space missions. His work not only pushes the boundaries of current space travel capabilities but also inspires future generations of scientists and engineers in the quest to explore the far reaches of our solar system and beyond.

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Future quantum computers will be no match for ‘space encryption’ that uses light to beam data around with the 1st … – Space.com

By converting data into light particles and beaming them around the world using satellites, we could prevent encrypted messages from being intercepted by a superpowerful quantum computer, scientists claim.

Currently, messaging technology relies on mathematical, or cryptographic, methods of protection, including end-to-end encryption. This technology is used in WhatsApp as well as by corporations, the government and the military to protect sensitive data from being intercepted.

Encryption works by scrambling data or text into what appears to be nonsense, using an algorithm and a key that only the sender and recipient can use to unlock the data. These algorithms can, in theory, be cracked. But they are designed to be so complex that even the fastest supercomputers would take millions of years to translate the data into something readable.

Related: World's 1st fault-tolerant quantum computer launching this year ahead of a 10,000-qubit machine in 2026

Quantum computers change the equation. Although the field is young, scientists predict that such machines will be powerful enough to easily break encryption algorithms someday. This is because they can process exponentially greater calculations in parallel (depending on how many qubits they use), whereas classical computers can process calculations only in sequence.

Fearing that quantum computers will render encryption obsolete someday, scientists are proposing new technologies to protect sensitive communications. One field, known as "quantum cryptography," involves building systems that can protect data from encryption-beating quantum computers.

Unlike classical cryptography, which relies on algorithms to scramble data and keep it safe, quantum cryptography would be secure thanks to the weird quirks of quantum mechanics, according to IBM.

Breaking space news, the latest updates on rocket launches, skywatching events and more!

For example, in a paper published Jan. 21 in the journal Advanced Quantum Technologies, scientists describe a mission called "Quick3," which uses photons particles of light to transmit data through a massive satellite network.

"Security will be based on the information being encoded into individual light particles and then transmitted," Tobias Vogl, professor of quantum communication systems engineering at TUM and co-author of the paper, said in a statement. "The laws of physics do not permit this information to be extracted or copied."

That's because the very act of measuring a quantum system changes its state.

"When the information is intercepted, the light particles change their characteristics," he added. "Because we can measure these state changes, any attempt to intercept the transmitted data will be recognized immediately, regardless of future advances in technology."

The challenge with traditional Earth-based quantum cryptography, however, lies in transmitting data over long distances, with a maximum range of just a few hundred miles, the TUM scientists said in the statement. This is because light tends to scatter as it travels, and there's no easy way to copy or amplify these light signals through fiber optic cables.

Scientists have also experimented with storing encryption keys in entangled particles meaning the data is intrinsically shared between two particles over space and time no matter how far apart. A project in 2020, for example, demonstrated "quantum key distribution" (QKD) between two ground stations 700 miles apart (1,120 km).

When it comes to transmitting photons, however, at altitudes higher than 6 miles (10 kilometers), the atmosphere is so thin that light is not scattered or absorbed, so signals can be extended over longer distances.

The Quick3 system would involve the entire system for transmitting data in this way, including the components needed to build the satellites. The team has already tested each component on Earth. The next step will be to test the system in space, with a satellite launch scheduled for 2025.

They will probably need hundreds, or perhaps even thousands, of satellites for a fully working quantum communications system, the team said.

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Top Academics: Here’s How We Facilitate the Next Big Leap in Quantum Computing – PCMag Middle East

Table of Contents From Quantum Physics to Quantum Computing Grand Challenges and Error Correction The Road to Quantum Advantage Education and Workforce Development The Quantum Bottom Line

In advance of the ribbon-cutting for its new IBM System One quantum computer, the first one on a college campus, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) last week hosted a quantum computing day which featured several prominent speakers who together provided a snapshot of where the field is now. I've been writing about quantum computing for a long time, and have noted some big improvements, but there are also a host of challenges that still need to be overcome.

Here are some highlights.

The first plenary speaker was Jay M. Gambetta, Vice President of Quantum Computing at IBM, who gave an overview of the history and progress of quantum computing, as well as the challenges and opportunities ahead. He explained that quantum computing is based on exploiting the quantum mechanical properties of qubits, such as superposition and entanglement, to perform computations that are impossible or intractable for classical computers. He talked about watching the development of superconducting qubits, as they moved from single qubit systems in 2007, to 3-qubit systems in 2011, and now with IBM's Eagle chip, which has 127 qubits and is the heart of the Quantum System One.

He then asked how we could make quantum computing useful. His answer: We need to keep building larger and larger systems and we need to improve error correction.

"There are very strong reasons to believe there are problems that are going to be easy for a quantum computer but hard for a classical computer, and this is why we're all excited," Gambetta said. He discussed the development of quantum circuits and that while the number of qubits was important, equally important was the "depth," detailing how many operations you can do and the accuracy of the results. Key to solving this are larger and larger systems, and also error mitigation, a topic that would be discussed in much greater detail later in the day.

To get to "quantum utility"which he said would be reached when a quantum computer is better than a brute force simulation of a quantum computer on a classical machineyou would need larger systems with at least 1000 gates, along with improved accuracy and depth, and new efficient algorithms.

He talked about quantum algorithmic discovery, which means finding new and efficient ways to map problems to quantum circuits. For instance, a new variation on Shor's algorithm, which allows for factorization in much faster time than would be possible on a classical computer. "The future of running error-mitigated circuits and mixing classical and quantum circuits sets us up to explore this space, " he said.

In a panel discussion that followed, James Misewich from Brookhaven National Laboratory discussed his interest in using quantum computing to understand quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interactions between quarks and gluons. QCD is a hard problem that scales well with the number and depth of qubits, and he is looking at entanglement between jets coming out of particle collisions as a possible avenue to explore quantum advantage.

Jian Shi and Ravishankar Sundararaman from RPI's Materials Science and Engineering faculty talked about computational materials science, and applying quantum computing to discover new materials and properties. Shi noted there was a huge community now doing quantum chemistry, but there is a gap between that and quantum computing. He stressed that a partnership between the two groups will be important, so each learns the language of the other and can approach the problems from a different perspective.

One of the most interesting talks was given by Steve M. Girvin, Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics, Yale University, who discussed the challenges of creating an error-correction quantum computer.

Girvin described how the first quantum revolution was the development of things like the transistor, the laser, and the atomic clock, while the second quantum revolution is based on a new understanding of how quantum mechanics works. He usually tells his students that they do the things that Einstein said were impossible just to make sure that we have a quantum computer and not a classical computer.

He thought there was a bit too much hype around quantum computing today. quantum is going to be revolutionary and do absolutely amazing things, but it's not its time yet. We still have massive problems to solve.

He noted that quantum sensors are extremely sensitive, which is great for making sensors, but bad for building computers, because they are very sensitive to external perturbations and noise. Therefore, error correction is important.

Among the issues Girvin discussed were making measurements to detect errors, but he said we also need calculations to decide if it truly is an error, where it is located, and what kind of error it is. Then there is the issue of deciding what signals to send to correct those errors. Beyond that, there is the issue of putting these together in a system to reduce overall errors, perhaps borrowing from the flow control problems used in things like telephony.

In addition to quantum error detection, Girvin said there are "grand challenges all up and down the stack," from materials to measurement to machine models and algorithms. We need to know how to make each layer of the stack more efficient, using less energy and fewer qubits, and get to higher performance so people can use these to solve science problems or economically interesting problems.

Then there are the algorithms. Girvin noted that there were algorithms way before there were computers, but it took time to decide on the best ones for classical computing. For quantum computing, this is just the beginning, and over time, we need people to figure out how to build up their algorithms and how to do heuristics. They need to discover why quantum computers are so hard to program and clever tools to solve these problems.

Another challenge he described was routing quantum information. He noted that having two quantum computers that can communicate classically is exponentially less good than having two quantum computers that can communicate with quantum information, entangling with each other.

He talked about fault tolerance, which is the ability to correct errors even when your error correction circuit makes errors. He believes that fact that it's possible to do that in a quantum system, at least in principle, is even more amazing than the fact that if you had a perfect quantum computer, you could do interesting quantum calculations.

Girvin described the difficulty in correcting errors, saying you have an unknown quantum state, and you're not allowed to know what it is, because it's from the middle of a quantum computation. (If you know what it is, you've destroyed the superposition, and if you measure it to see if there's an error, it will randomly change, due to state collapse.) Your job is that if it develops an error, please fix it.

"That's pretty hard, but miraculously it can be done in principle, and it's even been done in practice," he said. We're just entering the era of being able to do it. The basic idea is to build in redundancy, such as building a logical qubit that consists of multiple physical qubits, perhaps nine. Then you have two possible giant entangled states corresponding to a logical Zero and a logical One. Note the one and zero aren't living in any single physical qubit, both are only the superposition of multiple ones.

In that case, Girvin says, if the environment reaches in and measures one of those qubits, the environment doesn't actually learn what it knows. There's an error, but it doesn't know what state, so there's still a chance that you haven't totally collapsed anything and lost the information.

He then discussed measuring the probability of errors and then seeing whether it exceeds some threshold value, with some complex math. Then correcting the errors, hopefully quicklysomething that should improve with new error correction methods and better, more precise physical qubits.

All this is still theoretical. That's why fault tolerance is a journey with improvements being made continuously. (This was in opposition to Gambetta, who said systems are either fault tolerant or they aren't). Overall, Girvin said, "We still have a long way to go, but we're moving in the right direction."

Later in the morning, Austin Minnich, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics, Caltech described "mid-circuit measurement" and the need for hybrid circuits as a way of finding, and thus mitigating errors.

In a discussion that followed, Kerstin Kleese van Dam, Director of the Computational Science Initiative at Brookhaven National Laboratory, explained that her team was looking for answers to problems, whether solved on traditional or quantum machines. She said there were problems they can't solve accurately on a traditional computer, but there remains the question of whether the accuracy will matter. There are areas, such as machine learning, where quantum computers can do things accurately. She predicts that quantum advantage will come when we have systems that are large enough. But she also wondered about energy consumption, noting that a lot of power is going into today's AI models, and if quantum can be more efficient.

Shekhar Garde, Dean of the School of Engineering, RPI, who moderated this part of the discussion, compared the status of quantum computing today to where traditional computing was in the late 70s or early 80s. He asked what the next 10 years would bring.

Kleese van Dam said that within 10 years, we would see hybrid systems that combine quantum and classical computing, but also hoped we would see libraries that are transferred from high-performance computing to quantum systems, so a programmer could use them without having to understand the way the gates work. Aparna Gupta, Professor and Associate Dean of RPI's Lally School of Management would bet on the hybrid approach offering more easy access and cost-effectiveness, as well as "taking away the intrigue and the spooky aspects of quantum, so it is becoming real for all of us"

Antonio Corcoles, Principal Research Scientist, IBM Quantum, said he hoped users who don't know quantum will be able to use the system because the complexity will become more transparent, but that can take a long time. In between, they can develop quantum error correction in a way that is not as disruptive as current methods. Minnich talked about "blind quantum computing" where many smaller machines might be linked together.

One of the most interesting talks came from Lin Lin, Professor of Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, who discussed the theoretical aspects and challenges of achieving quantum advantage for scientific computation. He defined quantum advantage as the ability to solve problems that are quantumly easy but classically hard, and proposed a hierarchy of four levels of problems.

Lin said that for the first two levels, a lot of people think quantum advantage will be achieved, as the methods are generally understood. But on the next two levels, there needs to be a lot of work on the algorithms to see if it will work. That's why this is an exciting time for mathematicians as well as physicists, chemists, and computer scientists.

This talk was followed by a panel during which Lin said that he is interested in solving quantum many-body problems, as well as applying quantum computing to other areas of mathematics, such as numerical analysis and linear algebra.

Like Garde above, Lin compared where quantum is today to the past, going even further to say it's where classical computing was 60 or 70 years ago, where error correction was still very important. Quantum computing will need to be a very interdisciplinary field, in that it will require people to be very good at building the machines, but it will always produce errors, so it will require both mathematical and engineering ways to correct these.

Ryan Sweke from IBM Research noted that one of the things that has allowed classical computing to develop to the point it is at is the various levels of abstraction, so if you want to work on developing algorithms, you don't have to understand how the compiler works. If you want to understand how the compiler works, you don't have to understand how the hardware works.

The interesting thing in the quantum regime, as seen in error mitigation for example, is that people who come out of the top level of abstraction have to interact with people who are developing the devices. This is an exciting aspect of the time we're in.

Di Fang, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Duke University, said now was a "golden time for people who work on proving algorithms." She talked about the varying levels of complexity, and the need to see where new algorithms can solve theoretical problems, then look at the hardware and solve practical problems.

Brian McDermott, Principal R&D Engineer at the Naval Nuclear Laboratory, said he was looking at this in reverse, seeing what the problems are and then working backward toward the quantum hardware and software. His job involved matching applications of new and emerging computing architectures to the types of engineering problems that are important to the lab's mission for new nuclear propulsion.

The panelists discussed where quantum algorithms could have the most impact. McDermott talked about things like finite elements and computational fluid dynamics, going up to material science. As a nuclear engineer, he was first attracted to the field because of the quantum properties of the nucleus itself moving predicting behaviors in astrophysics, the synthesis of nuclei in a supernova, and then with engineering, into nuclear reactors and things like fusion. Lin discussed the possibilities for studying molecular dynamics.

Olivia Lanes, Global Lead and Manager for IBM Quantum Learning and Education gave the final talk of the day, where she discussed the need for workforce development in the quantum field.

Already the US is projected to face a shortfall of nearly two million STEM workers by next year. She quoted Carl Sagan, who said "We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology," and agreed with him that this is a recipe for disaster.

She noted that not only do very few people understand quantum computing, very few actually understand how classical computers work. She cited a McKinsey study which found that there are three open jobs in quantum for every person qualified to fill those positions. It's probably just going to get worse from here to 2026.

She focused on upskilling and said it was unrealistic to expect that we'll make everyone into experts in quantum computing. But, there were a lot of other jobs that are part of the quantum ecosystem that will be required, and urged students to focus on the areas they are particularly interested in.

In general, she recommended getting a college degree (not surprising, since she was talking at a college), considering graduate school, or finding some other way to get relevant experience in the field, and building up rare skills. "Find the one thing that you can do better than anybody else and market that thing. You can make that thing applicable to any career that you really want for the most part," she said. "Stop letting the physicists hog quantum; they've had a monopoly here for too long and that needs to change."

Similar concepts were voiced in a panel that followed. Anastasia Marchenkova, Quantum Researcher, Bleximo Corporation, said that there was lots of pop science, and lots of research, but not much in the middle. She said we need to teach people enough so they can use quantum computing, even if they aren't computer scientists.

Richard Plotka, Director of Information Technology and Web Science, RPI, said it was important to create middleware tools that can be applied to quantum so that the existing workforce can take advantage of these computers. He also said it was important to prepare students for a career in the future, with foundational knowledge, so they have the ability to adapt because quantum in five or ten years won't look like it does today.

All told, it was a fascinating day of speakers. I was intrigued by software developers explaining the challenge in writing languages, compilers, and libraries for quantum. One explained that you can't use traditional structures such as "ifthen" because you won't know "if." Parts of it were beyond my understanding, and I remain skeptical about how quickly quantum will become practical and how broad the applications may be.

Still, it's an important and interesting technology that is sure to get even more attention in the coming years, as researchers meet some of the challenges. It's good to see students getting a chance to try out the technology and discover what they can do with it.

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Quantum Computing: A Glimpse of the Future at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – yTech

Summary: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) has recently magnified its technological landscape by inaugurating the IBM System One quantum computer, the first on a college campus. Echoing this milestone, RPI organized a Quantum Computing Day featuring insights from renowned experts who assessed the state of quantum computing, its strides, and the roadblocks yet to be navigated.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) stands on the forefront of computational innovation with the introduction of IBMs pioneering quantum computer, IBM System One, to a college setting. In celebration of this leap, RPI called upon industry leaders and academics during its Quantum Computing Day. Jay M. Gambetta of IBM articulated quantum computings reliance on quantum mechanics to surpass classical computing limitations. With IBMs advancement from rudimentary qubits to the 127-qubit Eagle chip, he underscored the necessity of scaling systems and enhancing error correction. Quantum utility, he suggested, will only be achievable with the orchestration of larger systems, precision, and innovative algorithms.

Speakers such as James Misewich from Brookhaven National Laboratory highlighted quantum computings potential to unravel the complexities of quantum chromodynamics. Moreover, RPIs own Jian Shi and Ravishankar Sundararaman shed light on quantum computings applications in materials science, emphasizing the symbiotic relationship between this field and quantum chemistry for breakthrough discoveries.

Keynote speaker Steve M. Girvin from Yale University provided a reality check amidst quantum computings surrounding hype. He detailed the quantum sensors predicamenthigh sensitivity yields exceptional detection but also vulnerability to interference, making error correction a crucial function. Beyond error rectification, Girvin laid out the expansive challenges encompassing everything from algorithmic development to efficient quantum information routing, marking the emerging quantum era as one filled with innovation as well as intricate hurdles to overcome.

Expanding on the Technological Landscape of Quantum Computing

Quantum computing is currently one of the most rapidly evolving fields in the tech industry. With entities like IBM bringing advancements to the table, such as the IBM System One, the industry is witnessing significant milestones. The installation of this quantum computer at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) stands as a testament to the increasing collaboration between academia and the tech industry, a symbiosis that aims to spur innovation and bridge the gap between theoretical and applied quantum mechanics.

As discussions during RPIs Quantum Computing Day revealed, quantum computing holds vast potential but also faces a multitude of challenges. The quantum industry is expected to grow considerably in the coming years. Market research forecasts point to a booming quantum computing market due to the high demand for quantum computing in banking, finance, pharmaceuticals, and even the energy sector. Analysts predict that the industry could reach billions of dollars as more practical and industry-specific applications are developed.

The potential applications in materials science, as discussed by Jian Shi and Ravishankar Sundararaman from RPI, are particularly promising. Researchers are optimistic about the role quantum computers will play in drug discovery, complex molecular modeling, and the development of new materials, with corresponding implications for sustainability and technological innovation.

However, the enthusiasm is tempered by the issues laid out by keynote speaker Steve M. Girvin from Yale University. The high sensitivity of quantum sensors, while beneficial for detection, also introduces greater susceptibility to interference, necessitating advanced error correction techniques. This underscores a broader set of challenges the industry faces, including the need for more robust quantum algorithms, the construction of scalable systems, and the development of infrastructure to support efficient quantum information routing. Addressing these challenges will be essential for quantum computing to transition from a largely experimental phase to broader practical utility.

In conclusion, while the quantum computing industry is poised for remarkable growth, hurdles such as error correction, system scalability, and the development of practical algorithms remain formidable. As highlighted by the events at RPI, the juxtaposition of rapid technological progress and the persistent hurdles provides a nuanced picture of an industry at the cusp of a potentially revolutionary technological era. For those interested in following the evolution of quantum computing, keeping an eye on institutions like Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and industry leaders like IBM is critical. To learn more about how IBM is shaping the future of quantum computing, visit IBMs official website.

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This University in New York Is the First With a Full-Fledged Quantum Computer – PCMag

On Friday April 5, I attended the ribbon-cutting for the first quantum computer installed on a university campus, an IBM Quantum System One machine at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. While quantum computing has the potential to solve some problems that traditional computers cant and has been advancing at a steady rate, there are still many questions and challenges around the technology. Installing the machine on a college campus will allow researchers to examine many of these issues and allow students to get hands-on experience with the technology.

RPI President Martin A. Schmidt (Credit: Michael J. Miller)

RPI President Martin A. Schmidt says that with this quantum computer, we will explore applications, develop algorithms, and in so doing help humanity solve some very large problems. He states that while it's easy to predict that quantum systems will rapidly become essential because of their computational power, we don't yet fully know how best to use them. He says we can anticipate that there will be important applications in biomedicine, in modeling climate and predicting weather, and in materials design; but there will be applications in many other fields.

With IBMs research in Yorktown Heights, manufacturing in Poughkeepsie, and partnerships with the University of Albany as well as RPI, he hopes for "an agglomeration effect," in which organizations in a region working together can create something where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Schmidt notes that there are already partnerships in the area for semiconductor research, and this has led to new factories being built in upstate New York: "Adding 'quantum valley' aspects to 'tech valley' is not only going to draw new businesses here and encourage startups, but also offer the region's existing businesses early insights into what it means to be quantum advantaged."

Schmidt hopes the system and its use by RPI and the University of Albany will help answer the question of how the United States educates a quantum-ready workforce for the near future. He notes RPI's history of 'hands-on' education and that students at all levels will be encouraged to use the machine.

Separately, Schmidt also tells me that he believes the quantum computer will be useful in attracting both faculty and students.

Curtis Priem, a cofounder of Nvidia and vice-chairman of RPIand the donor who arranged for the machine to come to RPInotes that he enrolled at RPI initially because of this 'hands-on' approach and remarked at how today even undergraduates can use RPI's supercomputer.

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna (Credit: Michael J. Miller)

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna says that quantum systems will solve problems that we cannot solve on today's computersproblems in materials, problems in carbon sequestration, problems around drug discovery, and problems in lightweight materials, lubricants, and EV battery materials. "When you think about it intuitively," he says "they come from a world of physical chemistry, which means that they are subject to the principles of quantum mechanics, which is why these systems, which kind of simulate nature, are the ones that are going to let us make progress on these problems." They have the potential to solve problems around stochastics and financial risk.

Krishna believes that the university could uniquely help with workforce development, saying "Students are going to imagine using these systems in ways that even the inventors of these systems can't conceive." Listing a set of potential use cases, he says, " I'll make a bet that within five years students and faculty here are going to bring up use cases that are far beyond what we are imagining."

The unveiling was preceded by a day of discussions about the opportunities and the many challenges facing quantum computing before it is ready for commercial applications. I'll talk about those in my next post.

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A New Dawn for Quantum Computing: Major Advancements on the Horizon – yTech

Recent research by a global consortium of scientists has reached a pivotal milestone in quantum physics that may usher in a new era of computing and technological innovation. Their study could dramatically change the landscape of everyday technology by incorporating quantum attributes into nonmagnetic materials using light at ambient conditions. This paves the way for practical quantum computing in day-to-day life.

The typically frigid realm of quantum mechanics has made a significant leap toward practical application. Scientists have discovered how to induce magnetic properties in nonmagnetic materials with light, remarkably, without requiring subzero temperatures. Considering their potential for enabling superconductivity and extraordinary magnetism in everyday materials, these findings signify an impending revolution, particularly in quantum computing applications.

The impact of this discovery is far-reaching, potentially altering every facet of technological development, from data security enhancements to magnetic-based medical technologies like MRI scanners. The notion of a quantum computer in every household, once seen as science fiction, is now a viable future prospect.

However, adapting this breakthrough to consumer-level technology is not without its challenges. Producing quantum states outside of strict laboratory settings remains a significant hurdle, and advances in production and infrastructure will be necessary to sustain this quantum leap.

This breakthrough underscores a pivotal period in technological progress and highlights the need for thoughtful deliberation on the implications of widespread quantum computing, including ethical, safety, and privacy issues. Industry experts and research institutions, such as IBM and government initiatives like Quantum.gov, continue to lead the path towards harnessing these quantum advancements.

Summary: With quantum computing set to revolutionize industries and infrastructures, scientists have made a breakthrough by inducing magnetism in nonmagnetic materials using light at room temperature. This advancement could simplify quantum computer designs and reduce costs, leading to a more practical and commercially viable technology. The excitement around this development is tempered by challenges in maintaining quantum coherence outside of lab conditions, talent shortages, and potential cybersecurity risks. Nonetheless, this transformative period in computing is poised to offer innovative solutions and a wealth of technological advancements.

Introduction to Quantum Computing Industry

Quantum computing is poised to be the next great leap in computational power, capable of addressing problems that are currently intractable for classical computers. Unlike conventional computers, which use bits that represent either a 0 or a 1, quantum computers use quantum bits or qubits that can represent both 0 and 1 simultaneously through a property known as superposition. This, combined with entanglement and quantum interference, allows quantum computers to process vast amounts of data at unprecedented speeds.

Market Forecasts

The quantum computing market is projected to grow significantly in the coming years. According to recent market research, the global quantum computing market size is expected to reach multi-billion-dollar levels by the end of the decade, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 20%. This growth is fueled by increasing investments from governments and private sectors in quantum technologies and research and development activities.

Industry Applications and Challenges

Industries ranging from finance and pharmaceuticals to automotive and aerospace are anticipated to benefit from quantum computing capabilities, particularly in optimization problems, machine learning applications, and simulations of molecular and chemical processes. In the financial sector, quantum computing could transform risk analysis and fraud detection, while in medicine, it could accelerate drug discovery and the personalization of treatments.

However, there are significant issues facing the industry as it moves toward commercialization. The production of qubits and the maintenance of their coherence require exacting conditions, such as extremely low temperatures and vacuum environments. One of the key challenges is to develop technology that can operate at ambient conditions while preserving quantum states, which the current breakthrough aims to address.

In addition, there are concerns about cybersecurity, as the ability of quantum computers to break traditional encryption methods could render current safety protocols obsolete. This has led to considerable interest in developing quantum-safe encryption techniques. Furthermore, integrating quantum computing into current infrastructures will require considerable development of new algorithms and software capable of exploiting quantum computational advantages.

Conclusion and Related Links

The achievement of inducing magnetism in nonmagnetic materials using light at room temperature is a considerable step toward making quantum computing more accessible and cost-effective. If these early scientific triumphs can be transitioned into practical applications, we may see quantum computing move from the realm of research labs to commercial reality.

This progress in quantum computing foreshadows an era of accelerated innovation with wide-ranging positive implications for various sectors. For further understanding of the domain and industry insights, you are encouraged to visit the main domains of leading institutions and initiatives in this field:

IBM Research for its pioneering work in quantum computing Quantum.gov for details on the United States National Quantum Initiative

Continued research and investment are essential to overcoming the remaining technical barriers, and with the combined efforts of the scientific community and industry partners, the full potential of quantum computing may soon be realized.

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Quantum Encryption Advances at Oxford University Physics – yTech

Oxford researchers have made a significant leap in quantum security, which may lead to the safe deployment of quantum computing in domestic settings. The team, directed by postdoctoral research assistant Peter Drmota at Oxford University Physics, has successfully demonstrated a blind quantum computing technique on a trapped-ion quantum processora technology touted for its scalable quantum computing prospects.

This new approach marries quantum computing with quantum cryptography in a manner that hasnt been achieved before. It does so by ensuring that both the processed data and the algorithms used remain hidden from both the server and potential eavesdroppers. The concept relies on the principles of quantum mechanics, which state that attempting to observe or duplicate a quantum state will inevitably alter it.

In practical terms, the teams experiments used a standard fiber network to link a quantum computing server with a simplistic device used for detecting light particles at a separate client computer. This allowed the client to perform computations remotely on the server without the server having access to any of the data or the algorithms being used.

Drmota finds great potential in the blind aspect of this technology, particularly in verifying the correctness of computations done by a remote quantum computer. This is crucial for problems that are beyond the scope of classical computing. The relative simplicity and scalability of the Oxford approach, incorporating existing technology like fiber networks and photon detectors, herald a future where cloud-hosted quantum servers could engage with clients worldwide to process sensitive data securely.

The research is a stride towards enabling secure, confidential quantum computations by clients with minimal resources, thereby potentially bringing quantum computings formidable power to everyday users. This development was made possible thanks to collaborative efforts funded by UKs Quantum Computing and Simulation Hub and contributions from various international institutions. Insights from this study appear in the distinguished Physical Review Letters journal.

Advancements in Quantum Computing and Quantum Security

The groundbreaking research conducted by Oxford University is a notable achievement in the rapidly expanding field of quantum computing. Quantum computing is an emerging industry that boasts the potential to revolutionize various fields by performing complex computations much faster than current classical computers can. Given that quantum computing involves processing and storing information in quantum states, it brings forward not only unprecedented computational power but also unique challenges concerning data security and privacy.

Quantum security is particularly crucial as quantum computers have the potential to break current encryption methods, which would jeopardize data integrity and privacy. The blind quantum computing technique developed by Dr. Peter Drmota and his team adds an additional layer of security, allowing computations to take place without revealing the data or the algorithms to the server, thus ensuring the confidentiality of sensitive information.

Market Forecasts and Industry Growth

The global quantum computing market has been projected to grow significantly in the coming years, fueled by investments from both public and private sectors. Market analysts foresee that with continued advancements and reductions in cost, quantum computing services could become widely accessible through cloud-based models, similar to how classical computing services are offered today.

Industry Challenges and Potential Issues

Despite the optimism surrounding quantum computing, the industry is not without its challenges. One of the major hurdles lies in the current technological limitations which include error rates and quantum decoherence that can affect the stability of quantum states. Moreover, securing quantum communications to safeguard against potential quantum attacks is an ongoing area of investigation, highlighted by advancements such as the one from Oxford researchers.

Addressing the broader concerns, there is also the need to develop new standards and protocols for quantum security to ensure compatibility and protection across the various platforms and networks that may emerge. Furthermore, the issue of accessibility and education must be addressed, as the complexity of quantum computing could create a barrier for entry for many users and businesses.

As the quantum computing industry evolves, companies, governments, and educational institutions must work collaboratively to establish an ecosystem that not only fosters innovation but also ensures a secure and equitable framework for its use. Partnerships and funding, such as those from the Quantum Computing and Simulation Hub in the UK, are pivotal in supporting research that bridges the gap between theoretical quantum computing and practical, secure applications.

For readers seeking to stay updated on the latest in this transformative field or to learn more about the market and its influencers, reputable sources include the official websites for quantum technology development and research centers. One may find these sources at the main domains without any specific subpage links:

Oxford University Physics Department: physics.ox.ac.uk Quantum Computing and Simulation Hub: qcshub.org Physical Review Letters Journal: aps.org

These platforms often provide insights and updates on current research, industry trends, and market forecasts, helping individuals and businesses to navigate the complexities of quantum technologies and their implications for the future.

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New method of measuring qubits promises ease of scalability in a microscopic package – EurekAlert

image:

An artistic illustration shows how microscopic bolometers (depicted on the right) can be used to sense very weak radiation emitted from qubits (depicted on the left).

Credit: Aleksandr Kkinen/Aalto University

Chasing ever-higher qubit counts in near-term quantum computers constantly demands new feats of engineering.

Among the troublesome hurdles of this scaling-up race is refining how qubits are measured. Devices called parametric amplifiers are traditionally used to do these measurements. But as the name suggests, the device amplifies weak signals picked up from the qubits to conduct the readout, which causes unwanted noise and can lead to decoherence of the qubits if not protected by additional large components. More importantly, the bulky size of the amplification chain becomes technically challenging to work around as qubit counts increase in size-limited refrigerators.

Cue the Aalto University research group Quantum Computing and Devices (QCD). They have a hefty track record of showing how thermal bolometers can be used as ultrasensitive detectors, and they just demonstrated in an April 10 Nature Electronics paper that bolometer measurements can be accurate enough for single-shot qubit readout.

A new method of measuring

To the chagrin of many physicists, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle determines that one cannot simultaneously know a signals position and momentum, or voltage and current, with accuracy. So it goes with qubit measurements conducted with parametric voltage-current amplifiers. But bolometric energy sensing is a fundamentally different kind of measurementserving as a means of evading Heisenbergs infamous rule. Since a bolometer measures power, or photon number, it is not bound to add quantum noise stemming from the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in the way that parametric amplifiers are.

Unlike amplifiers, bolometers very subtly sense microwave photons emitted from the qubit via a minimally invasive detection interface. This form factor is roughly 100 times smaller than its amplifier counterpart, making it extremely attractive as a measurement device.

When thinking of a quantum-supreme future, it is easy to imagine high qubit counts in the thousands or even millions could be commonplace. A careful evaluation of the footprint of each component is absolutely necessary for this massive scale-up. We have shown in the Nature Electronics paper that our nanobolometers could seriously be considered as an alternative to conventional amplifiers. In our very first experiments, we found these bolometers accurate enough for single-shot readout, free of added quantum noise, and they consume 10 000 times less power than the typical amplifiersall in a tiny bolometer, the temperature-sensitive part of which can fit inside of a single bacterium, says Aalto University Professor Mikko Mttnen, who heads the QCD research group.

Single-shot fidelity is an important metric physicists use to determine how accurately a device can detect a qubits state in just one measurement as opposed to an average of multiple measurements. In the case of the QCD groups experiments, they were able to obtain a single-shot fidelity of 61.8% with a readout duration of roughly 14 microseconds. When correcting for the qubits energy relaxation time, the fidelity jumps up to 92.7%.

With minor modifications, we could expect to see bolometers approaching the desired 99.9% single-shot fidelity in 200 nanoseconds. For example, we can swap the bolometer material from metal to graphene, which has a lower heat capacity and can detect very small changes in its energy quickly. And by removing other unnecessary components between the bolometer and the chip itself, we can not only make even greater improvements on the readout fidelity, but we can achieve a smaller and simpler measurement device that makes scaling-up to higher qubit counts more feasible, says Andrs Gunyh, the first author on the paper and a doctoral researcher in the QCD group.

Prior to demonstrating the high single-shot readout fidelity of bolometers in their most recent paper, the QCD research group first showed that bolometers can be used for ultrasensitive, real-time microwave measurements in 2019. They then published in 2020 a paper in Nature showing how bolometers made of graphene can shorten readout times to well below a microsecond.

The work was carried out in the Research Council of Finland Centre of Excellence for Quantum Technology (QTF) using OtaNano research infrastructure in collaboration with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and IQM Quantum Computers. It was primarily funded by the European Research Council Advanced Grant ConceptQ and the Future Makers Program of the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation and the Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation.

Full paper:

Andrs M. Gunyh, Suman Kundu, Jian Ma, Wei Liu, Sakari Niemel, Giacomo Catto, Vasilii Vadimov, Visa Vesterinen, Priyank Singh, Qiming Chen, Mikko Mttnen, Single-Shot Readout of a Superconducting Qubit Using a Thermal Detector, Nature Electronics, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41928-024-01147-7 (2024).

Contact information:

Mikko Mttnen

Professor, QCD group leader

Aalto University

mikko.mottonen@aalto.fi

m. +358505940950

Andrs Gunyh

Doctoral researcher

Aalto University

andras.gunyho@aalto.fi

Nature Electronics

Experimental study

Single-Shot Readout of a Superconducting Qubit Using a Thermal Detector

10-Apr-2024

M.M. declares that that he is a Co-Founder and Shareholder of the quantum-computer company IQM Finland Oy. M.M. declares that he is an inventor in granted patents FI122887B, US9255839B2, JP5973445B2, and EP2619813B1 titled Detector of single microwave photons propagating in a guide, applied by Aalto korkeakoulusti, and invented by M.M. and Jukka Pekola. This patent family describes an ultrasensitive microwave detector concept. M.M. declares that he is an inventor in pending patent applications WO2022248759A1 and TW202303466A titled Quantum-state readout arrangement and method, applied by IQM Finland Oy, and invented by M.M. and Juha Hassel. This patent family describes a concept of measuring the states of qubits using bolometers. Other authors declare no competing interests.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

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