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Quantum News Briefs September 6: Terra Quantum’s Pflitsch asks & answers “Will quantum technology be the ‘silver bullet’ for climate change; “The Global Race for Quantum Dominance”; Overcoming infrastructure & scaling challenges in quantum computing and MORE

By Sandra Helsel posted 06 Sep 2022

Quantum News Briefs today begins with article by Markus Pflitsch, CEO and Founder of Terra Quantum who asks and then answers “Will quantum technology be the ‘silver bullet’ for climate change?” followed by a look at the international race for quantum dominance and ‘quantum sovereignty’, and then an indepth look at “How to overcome infrastructure and scaling challenges in quantum computing” and MORE.

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Will quantum technology be the “silver bullet” for climate change?

Markus Pflitsch, CEO and Founder of Terra Quantum explains in his September 2 Forbes article why quantum matters in the climate fight.  Quantum News Briefs summarizes below.
Quantum computers will be able to process information of unprecedented complexity that today’s supercomputers cannot. Quantum technologies present the opportunity to tackle climate challenges in a new way by opening up possibilities in computing, imaging, sensing, meteorology, communications and more. Quantum tech may be able to accelerate our efforts to mitigate the climate-harming effects of mission-critical processes by powering innovations across industries.
Quantum technology plays to the advantage when a problem is complex, making it a great match for solving specific climate issues. For example, in the current work on climate change mitigation, quantum computers may be able to run simulations and predict scenarios faster and more accurately than anything we’ve seen before.
The application of quantum technologies could transform the energy industry and lead to cleaner energy with fewer emissions.
• Finding favorable locations for wind and solar farms so they can harvest the greatest amount of natural energy.
• Improving prediction of CO2 emission peaks in power plants so operators can optimize emission control systems.
• Quantum computing can enable more accurate weather simulations based on hundreds of years of historic weather data to help predict the energy production of a particular time frame
• Discovering new sources of renewable energy
Quantum computing can improve transportation to reduce emissions
• Reduce empty miles.
• Plan supply chain routes with better fuel efficiency.
As a global society, we need to act now to make meaningful changes to avoid further devastating impacts to the planet. Click here to read original article.

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Winning the international race to “Quantum Sovereignty”

Every country is vying to get a head start in the race to the world’s quantum future. François Candelon, Maxime Courtaux, Gabriel Nahas and Jean-François Bobier explain the status of the international contenders in the quantum race in their Fortune article summarized below.
The passage of the 2019 National Quantum Initiative Act by the U.S. Congress  laid out the country’s plans to rapidly create quantum computing capabilities. A year ago, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia teamed up to develop military applications of digital technologies, especially quantum computing technologies.
Earlier, Europe launched a $1 billion quantum computing research project, Quantum Flagship, in 2016, and its member states have started building a quantum communications infrastructure that will be operational by 2027. In like vein, China’s 14th Five Year Plan (2021-2025) prioritizes the development of quantum computing and communications by 2030.
In all, between 2019 and 2021 China invested as much as $11 billion, Europe had spent $5 billion, the U.S. $3 billion, and the U.K. around $1.8 billion between to become tomorrow’s quantum superpowers.
Countries have learned the hard way since the Industrial Revolution that general-purpose technologies, such as quantum computing, are critical for competitiveness.
Much worse could be in store if countries and companies don’t focus on increasing their quantum sovereignty right away. Because the development and deployment of such systems requires the efforts of the public and private sectors, it’s important for governments to compare their efforts on both fronts with those of other countries.
The Four Keys to Quantum Sovereignty:
* Lay the foundations.
* Facilitate the transition.
* Coordinate the stakeholders.
* Develop the business talent.

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Overcoming infrastructure & scaling challenges in quantum computing

Elizabeth Ruetsch is the author of extensive article in EE Times discussing the infrastructure and scaling challenges ahead for quantum computing. Quantum News Briefs summarizes below, the original worth the time to read.
Ruetsch cautions it may take several years for quantum computers to deliver on the ever-increasing range of use cases that could benefit industries. Many questions are still to be answered. The general trends, however, are not unlike what happened in classical computing — where a tech stack emerges that makes quantum research and qubit development more accessible. The challenges are abbreviated below:

Understanding quantum computing infrastructure requirements
Surpassing what’s possible with classical computing systems isn’t easy, particularly from a hardware perspective.
According to a survey by the Pistoia Alliance, for example, 11 percent of those in the life sciences sector alone cited a lack of access to quantum infrastructure as an impediment to adoption. This is a considerable challenge, especially when organizations depend on standalone tools that require complex integration.
A quantum computer will require resiliency coming from redundancy to address “noise” — by increasing the number of physical qubits required for every logical qubit used in the application.
Building scalability into quantum systems
Another similarity between quantum and classical computing is the need to scale infrastructure in order to accommodate increased demands in workflow and performance.
Today, for instance, quantum researchers are working with dozens to up to 100 qubits. To achieve the end-user applications in finance or materials science requires tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even more qubits.
The quest for a quantum-specific tech stack
Understandably, companies might be daunted by what it will take to fully embrace the potential of quantum in their business, particularly given that it could involve cobbling together various solutions.
Organizations have spent decades assembling classical computing tech stacks to meet their business needs — everything from the underlying networks to data centers to end-user devices and applications. All of these areas require significant time and investment to ensure systems don’t break down or provide less than optimal performance. Original article here.

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Engineering atomic antennas for quantum sensing

Jennifer Choy, a scientist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, imakes atom-size antennas. They bear no resemblance to the telescoping rod that transmits pop hits through a portable stereo. But functionally, they’re similar. They’re quantum sensors, picking up tiny electromagnetic signals and relaying them in a way we can measure.
Taking advantage of atoms’ —which reveals itself only at nature’s smallest scales—and their sensitivity to external disturbances, these sensors exhibit extraordinary accuracy and precision, making their traditional counterparts look like blunt instruments by comparison.
Choy works on quantum sensors in which electrons in quantum materials act as the antenna. The information they pick up can be read through their interactions with photons, the massless particles that carry electromagnetic information.
As a member of Q-NEXT, Choy is engineering sensors that take the form of atom-sized holes in a diamond created by the removal of individual carbon atoms. The vacancy and an adjacent atom together trap a pair of electrons—the atomic antenna—from neighboring atoms.
Choy’s interest in quantum sensing began when she was a grad student at Harvard, where she earned master’s and doctoral degrees in applied physics. She worked in Marko Loncar’s lab developing diamond-based photonic devices.

 

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Sandra K. Helsel, Ph.D. has been researching and reporting on frontier technologies since 1990.  She has her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.

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