A year ago this week, Chinese physicists launched the world's first quantum satellite. Unlike the dishes that deliver your Howard Stern and cricket tournaments, this 1,400-pound behemoth doesn't beam radio waves. Instead, the physicists designed it to send and receive bits of information encoded in delicate photons of infrared light. It's a test of a budding technology known as quantum communications, which experts say could be far more secure than any existing info relay system. They've kept the satellite busy.
The first third of the 20th century saw the collapse of many absolutes. Albert Einstein's 1905 special relativity theory eliminated the notion of absolute time, while Kurt Gödel's 1931 incompleteness theorem questioned the notion of absolute mathematical truth. Most profoundly, however, quantum mechanics raised doubts on the notion of absolute objective reality. Is Schrödinger's cat dead or alive? Nearly 100 years after quantum mechanics was introduced, scientists still are not in full agreement on what it means.
To fill the fast-increasing number of openings in quantum, copying and pasting even the most expert knowledge of classical computers into the quantum world won't exactly cut it. System architects, software engineers, data analysts -- at first glance, the jobs that are hot in the quantum computing sector don't sound all that different from the tech roles we're already familiar with. Which deal with the classical computers we know well, from smartphones to supercomputers. But to fill the burgeoning opportunities in quantum, transferring even the most expert knowledge of classical computers into the quantum world just won't cut it. In this special feature, ZDNet examines technology's role in helping business leaders build tomorrow's workforce, and employees keep their skills up to date and grow their careers.
A new commercially available quantum-enhanced, cloud-hosted key generation platform is now available to deliver cryptographic keys derived from the output of a quantum computer and ensure data is protected at foundational level against evolving cyberattacks. The new service, Quantum Origin, uses the unpredictable nature of quantum mechanics to generate cryptographic keys seeded with verifiable quantum randomness from Quantinuum's H-Series quantum computers, Powered by Honeywell. It supports traditional algorithms, such as RSA or AES, as well as post-quantum cryptography algorithms currently being standardized by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). Cambridge Quantum said that Quantum Origin is the first commercial product built using a noisy, intermediate-scale quantum (NISQ) computer and has been built to secure the world's data from both current and advancing threats to current encryption. The cryptographic keys generated by Quantum Origin can be integrated into existing systems.
The European Commission plans to invest a billion euros in quantum computing as part of a larger initiative to strengthen Europe's competitiveness in the digital economy. The investment, about 1.1 billion, will be made through an effort called Quantum Flagship, akin to existing "flagship" projects in the European Union focused on graphene and on the human brain. It is expected to be partly funded by EU research and innovation programs. The aim is "to place Europe at the forefront of the second quantum revolution, bringing transformative advances to science, industry and society," said Nathalie Vandystadt, an EC spokesperson. Scheduled to launch in 2018, the quantum computing project will be described in more detail at the Quantum Europe Conference in Amsterdam next month.