Why is the recent buzz about quantum technology so important?

In the past two days, quantum science and technology has become a hot topic of discussion.

In the afternoon of October 16, the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee held its twenty-fourth collective study, the theme of “quantum technology research and application prospects”. From big data to artificial intelligence, blockchain, to quantum science and technology, in recent years, the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee has repeatedly on the frontier technology issues related to collective learning, these technologies are extremely forward-looking, to now are hot.

So what is quantum technology? How awesome is Quantum Technology? What kind of “science fiction-like technology” will be used in your life? How to accelerate growth in quantum technology?

What is Quantum Technology?

To understand quantum technology, but also from quantum mechanics.

Quantum mechanics originated in the early 20th century, many scientists – Planck, Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, Schrödinger and other fascinated by it, it is the study of the material world microscopic particles of the laws of motion of the branch of physics, if the existence of a physical quantity of the smallest indivisible basic unit, then this physical quantity is quantum.

We’ve all heard of Schrödinger’s cat: there’s a cat in a box, and in the macroscopic world it’s either alive or dead. But in the quantum world, it can be both alive and dead at the same time in a superposition. This experiment is only through the macroscopic perspective of the cat to explain to us the superposition of the microscopic world state, this is a quantum mechanical story, let many people guess can not understand, people often use a half-joking phrase to describe “quantum mechanics”: “in the face of things indecision, quantum mechanics. “

However, ridicule after ridicule, “quantum mechanics” is today one of the most rigorously verified physical theory, so far, all the experimental data are unable to overturn the “quantum mechanics”.

The establishment of quantum mechanics more than 100 years, gave birth to many major inventions – atomic bombs, lasers, transistors, nuclear magnetic resonance, global positioning system, etc., changed the face of the world.

Quantum information technology is the latest development of quantum mechanics, representing the emerging “second quantum revolution”. In quantum information technology, the representative is quantum communication and quantum computing.

How awesome is Quantum Technology?

Google has said that its research and development of quantum computer success in 3 minutes and 20 seconds time, complete the traditional computer takes 10,000 years to deal with the problem, and claimed to be the world’s first time to achieve “quantum hegemony”; Tsinghua University Vice President, academician Xue Qikun of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the current global data generated a year need ten billion terabytes of storage capacity to complete, while the future of quantum storage devices, may only need the size of a nail can store hundreds of years of human information data ……

And more phenomena in the quantum realm have yet to be scientifically explained: superconductors, completely shielded from magnetic fields; superfluids, with zero internal friction; time crystals, classical space-time symmetry breaking; reflection imaging without light; the Casimir effect, which can change gravity to repulsion through light; single-atom enzyme catalysis, behind the phenomenon of quantum tunneling, and so on. It can be said that quantum technology is the limit of human scientific knowledge, will make your imagination all start to look scarce ……

Why is it so important to accelerate the development of quantum technology?

In recent years, the development of quantum science and technology has advanced by leaps and bounds, becoming the frontier of a new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation. Accelerate the development of quantum science and technology, to promote high-quality development and safeguard national security has a very important role.

Xue Qikun said, quantum science and technology in the future not only make our computers to improve the computing power, faster communication, as well as sensing technology more sensitive, more and more accurate information, these aspects will be greatly improved. On the future of digital technology, quantum technology to play a truly revolutionary support role, the other technologies are progressive development.

What kind of developments are countries making in the field of quantum technology?

At this stage, the international competition in the field of quantum science and technology has become increasingly fierce, and many countries have launched strategic plans for quantum science and technology.

Recently, the European Union intends to invest 8 billion euros to support a new generation of supercomputing technology, quantum computing is one of the important content; the United States has been supporting the development of quantum science and technology, the latest trend is in October 7, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy opened the National Quantum Coordination Office of the official website, at the same time released the Quantum Frontier Report; Germany recently announced a quantum computer program, is expected to be put into use in 2021; Japan as a global science and technology powerhouse is also not willing to lag behind, in order to achieve the quantum field backlash, will vigorously train “quantum talent”.

After more than three decades of efforts, China has risen to become an important force on the international quantum scientific research map, and has taken the lead or entered the first camp in a number of strategic directions. In recent years, China has repeatedly set world records for the number of quantum bit entanglement; launch the world’s first quantum experimental satellite “ink”, to achieve thousands of miles of entanglement, star-to-star transmission of confidentiality, stealth transfer of state of the three major scientific objectives; open the world’s first quantum confidential communication trunk line “Beijing-Shanghai trunk line”. ” to achieve the world’s first confidential intercontinental quantum communication.

How to accelerate development in the field of quantum technology?

Top-level design and policy support. Adhere to the innovation of self-confidence, dare to gnaw the hard bones, to ensure funding in the field of quantum science and technology, while driving the local, enterprises, society to increase investment.

Talent team is the key. Yu Haifeng, scientific research leader of superconducting quantum at the Beijing Quantum Institute, said: “In the field of quantum science and technology, on the one hand, we need leading talents who are good at co-ordination; on the other hand, we need young talents who dare to break into the ‘no man’s land’.”

The development of quantum science and technology also needs to promote the deep integration of industry, academia and research and collaborative innovation. Yu Haifeng said: “For example, superconducting quantum computing, to some extent has entered the scientific engineering, a single university laboratory or institute of laboratories is not very suitable for development, need a larger team in the integration of materials science, micro-nanometer processing, low-temperature microwave engineering, software, electronics instrumentation, need to collaborate on research, so that enterprises to participate, Google and IBM’s success is a classic example of this. We also need to collaborate with the best companies on the development of quantum computers.”

Breakthroughs in key core technologies. The development of quantum science and technology depends on breakthroughs in basic theoretical research, and the formation of disruptive technologies is a process of thick and thin. We should increase the research on key core technologies, brave difficulties and obstacles, climb scientific peaks, and achieve another batch of high-level original results in the field of quantum science and technology.

Summary of experience. To systematically summarize the successful experience of the development of quantum science and technology in China, drawing on the beneficial practices of foreign countries, to find the entry point for the development of quantum science and technology in China and breakthroughs, seize the quantum science and technology international competition high ground, to build new advantages.

In the future, quantum science and technology will completely change our lives and bring huge dividends to society, just like 10 years ago, we wouldn’t have thought that today’s mobile phones would have so many functions and bring so many possibilities to life, let’s wait and see!