“Sputnik Moment” Spurs International Race to Harness Quantum Technology
(PBS.Newshour) The U.S. is competing in an increasingly crowded field in the global race to develop quantum technology. Christopher Booker asks University of Chicago Professor David Awschalom if the U.S. may be falling behind in the race to harness quantum technology.
Booker calls China’s launch of the world’s first satellite containing quantum communication technology “quantum’s Sputnik moment”. David Awschalom explained “that was an awakening in many areas of the government to note that it was technologically possible. But now, after decades of investment in quantum research, US capabilities have been surpassed.
The US has been spending around $200 million a year in research and development grants in quantum technology. But in recent years, many other developed nations have launched national quantum initiatives – pumping billions into programs of their own. China’s investment total is not known– but some estimates put their investment at tens of billions of dollars.
David Awschalom explained that China has been joined by Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada in the quantum tech race. He does not believe the United States is behind. “But I think the United States will have formidable competition.”