(WarOnTheRocks) Quantum technology — and quantum computing more specifically — has become quite the popular topic in national security circles. The extraordinary level of interest emerges from the potential impacts of quantum computers on information security and general issues of international strategic technological advantage.
Quantum computing has been identified as a possible target technology for export controls as well as foreign-investment review in emerging tech companies. And the new U.S. National Quantum Initiative is framed around strategic competition and even directly addresses the notion of a technological “race” with China.
There are many new analysts offering “expert” advice on the technology underlying quantum computing. Many of them merit your skepticism. A combination of technical complexity and competitive media positioning has led to a wide variety of pervasive misconceptions in the field.
The author Michael J. Biercuk has 20 years of experience designing, building, and optimizing quantum computing hardware, and offers friendly advice and insights that aren’t readily available otherwise. He advises to:
1) Learn the Basics
2) Start with the History
3) True Technical Expertise Is Out There, So Reach Out
4) How to See Through the Hype
The advice I offer here is broad and aims to help national security professionals seeking to build a knowledge base in quantum technology. This is an essential undertaking for anyone seeking to engage meaningfully with this emerging and high-impact field.
The author is Michael J. Biercuk, is a professor of quantum physics and quantum technology at the University of Sydney and a chief investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems. In 2017, he founded Q-CTRL, a quantum technology company for which he serves as CEO.

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