Gheorghe Curelet-Balan Blog

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Waterloo’s Grand Quantum Valley.

It was a month ago, during the EinsteinFest, when the local newspaper The Record published its Annual Technology Spotlight. I was so impacted by EinsteinFest's Big Bang in our community that I missed to write about it. We learn that Waterloo is not only at the forefront research that is part of the end of century effect (as Mike Lazaridis characterized it) but it position itself to be ready to commercialize the breakthroughs in the field.

I learned more about some of the research efforts that are made in Waterloo in the exciting field of quantum computing, during EinsteinFest grand finale. Raymond Laflamme the head of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing (about which I talked in some of my previous posts) was available to anybody for questions (one more proof that Waterloo's academia descends from its ivory tower to illuminate the rest of us). I had the opportunity to talk with him about the Waterloo’s quantum computer. It looks like quantum computing is in a similar state as classical computing was 50 years ago. Big equipment is needed to keep the quantum particles in quantum state during the quantum computation. Breakthroughs are needed to scale down this equipment and keep more particles in quantum states for longer time.

During its EinsteinFest lecture Mike Lazaridis actually charted the philosophy behind the current quantum technology shift. The Waterloo Grand Quantum Valley (as University of Waterloo president David Johnston named it) is ready for the quantum revolution.


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