World Quantum Day: A Love Letter from Arthur Herman
(Forbes) Arthur Herman,Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, Director of the Quantum Alliance Initiative (QAI), and co-author of “Risking Apocalypse: Quantum Computers and the U.S. Power Grid” penned a lengthy missive in celebration and recognition of the World Quantum Day, April 14, 2022. IQT-News summarizes here, the entire document is worth the time to read.
Herman points out “The first WQD a year ago passed almost unnoticed. This year there’s been a notable surge in interest, reflecting a sea change in the public perception of quantum as well as among governments, that we all have a stake in where this transformational technology is going—and in who leads us there.” World Quantum Day 2022 was the brainchild of a network of quantum scientists from more than 65 countries, including the U.S., aiming to promote and raise awareness about quantum technology
Herman also explains, “This has been fascinating sea change to watch. It was a little more than four years ago that I launched the Quantum Alliance Initiative at Hudson Institute, to do something similar to World Quantum Day: namely, to create an international network of quantum scientists and labs and companies who would raise awareness of the endless potential of quantum technology.”
Herman’s QAI was able to help the Quantum Industry Coalition led by Paul Stimers, to shape the language of the National Quantum Initiative signed by President Trump and cheerlead for the formation of the Quantum Economic Development Consortium under the able stewardship of D. Joe Broz (now at IBM IBM +0.3%) and Celia Merzbacher.
Then the Department of Energy launched its five National QIS Research Centers operating out of its national labs—seedbeds for increasing research on quantum information science for both the private and public sectors.
The number of countries who have jumped into the quantum technology field has been astounding. As of April 2021 more than fifteen countries have national quantum initiatives underway. What was a technology run as a series of lab experiments back in 2017, is now realizing its commercial potential. The U.S. quantum computing market is slated to reach $1.7 billion by 2026, from $427 million last year. Companies like IDQ, Australia’s QLabs, and American-based Quantum Exchange have proved that these tools work, while another American company, Qubitekk, is showing how communication based on photonic qubits can protect industrial systems like the energy grid.
Looking back it’s been an amazing journey, from the first QAI conference in 2017 to World Quantum Day. For myself, it’s meant building friendships and learning from the smartest and most motivated people I know. As an historian and policy analyst, it’s been illuminating, not just having a front-row seat but helping to shape the future of a technology that will change everything.
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.