Listen: UNSW Professor Andrea Morello explains Quantum Computing and his world-beating breakthrough to Stephen O’Doherty
Quantum computing has been called the space race of the 21st century. When applied to computer design the principles of quantum mechanics have the potential to take computing to almost unimaginable levels
What seemed like science fiction only a few year ago is now attracting tens of billions of dollars in research globally – including in Australia, where scientists at the University of New South Wales have just published details of a new engineering method that could be as significant to quantum computing as integrated circuits were to… well, almost all modern technology.
What excites scientists and investors alike about quantum computing is that it has the potential to increase computational power by orders of magnitude.
The race is on to realise that potential, which involves solving real-world engineering problems, like how to get atoms close enough to interact (quantum physics calls it entanglement) while being able to fit other components necessary for computing on the same chip.
That’s where the UNSW team’s breakthrough is so significant.
The design was conceived by a team led by Andrea Morello, Program Manager in UNSW-based ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T).
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On Open House were were keen to talk to the team leader, Professor Andrea Morello, about the breakthrough, and the ‘lightbulb’ moment in which the idea was born.
However we also wanted to start way back at the beginning. what is a quantum computer? Why is it different? How does it work and why is its computational power so vastly different?
Professor Morello stepped out of teaching a Year 3 University Quantum Physics class to give us a short course in the cutting edge science that may just, genuinely, be the next technology revolution.
We can’t offer a certificate for listening to this podcast, and there’ll be no test afterwards. But we do guarantee you will be more informed than the average person about this amazing field of science.
Professor Andrea Morello and Dr Guilherme Tosi at the UNSW quantum computing labs. Photo: Quentin Jones/UNSW | Artist’s impression of flip-flop qubit embedded in the silicon matrix of a chip. Illustration: Dr Guilherme Tosi