Colloquium

The International Race For A Quantum Computer

Stephanie Simmons, SFU Physics
Location: Online

Friday, 22 January 2021 02:30PM PST
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Synopsis

Silicon transistors, the essential building block of most modern electronic devices, cannot shrink much further without being rendered inoperable by quantum mechanics. This classical-quantum threshold in fact presents a tremendous opportunity: when we harness quantum mechanics, rather than attempt to avoid it, we will be able to build a quantum computer. Quantum computers will open up a world of opportunities — they could accomplish certain computational tasks exponentially faster which would otherwise be forever impractical. A few recent demonstrations in the US and China have claimed to have already outperformed the world’s top supercomputers using quantum computers at a few specific computational challenges. During this lecture, Dr. Simmons will discuss quantum computing approaches (including SFU’s own silicon colour centre technology), how quantum technologies will change our lives in a very fundamental way, and provide a snapshot of the accelerating worldwide race to build a prototype.