The Quantum Revolution Is Coming, and Chinese Scientists Are at the Forefront

The Quantum Revolution Is Coming, and Chinese Scientists Are at the Forefront 1

Decades ago, Pan Jian-Wei, a Chinese physicist returned home from Europe to help the researchers to research some of the most important and amazing technologies of the 21st century. This summer at a conference in Shanghai, Pan Jian-Wei and his team introduced some of their work which they have been describing as “REVOLUTION

Pan Jian-Wei and his team mainly talked about:

  1. The hacking – resistant communication network they are building across China.
  2. The sensors they are designing. These sensors can see through the smog.
  3. The prototype of a computer that will be capable enough to smash the computational power of any existing machine.

All the recent technologies under “Revolution” is based on Quantum technology. Quantum technology is an emerging field of creating practical applications that could transform information processing and configure big economic and national -security advantages to all the countries that dominate the technologies.

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Many different countries are supporting China for all the research. Beijing is investing billions into research and development and hence providing an opportunity to all the Chinese scientists to return home from western labs and work on all the innovative research that their county is planning on.

China’s drive has demanded more funds from the United States for Research and development to support China’s quantum Ambition. This call from china has triggered the concerns in the Trump administration that any sort of scientific collaboration with China may help in promoting people’s liberation army and hurting US interests.

Last year as per the market research firm Patinformatics, china had nearly twice as many patent filings as the United States for quantum technology. Pan, often known as “Father of Quantum”, by Chinese media is 49 years old and is working with 139 researchers in order to help oversees china’s program from his labs at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), in Shanghai and Hefei. Pan was appreciated for his efforts in 2017 via journal named Nature that addressed him among the “Top 10 people who mattered this year.” Not only this much Chinese President Mr. Xi Jinping often visits Pan’s lab as he has a very keen interest in Pan’s work. Pan is also working on setting a new national lab for quantum research in Anhui province.

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At the event in Shanghai, Pan explained the difference between the quantum particle and the bits that are used in today’s technology through numerous examples. He gave detailed information on how china is harnessing quantum bits or qubits to safeguard its communication from hacking. He along with his team is planning to launch a constellation of satellites and a nationwide fiber-optic network that use qubits to securely transmit information. On this, some of the western scientists say that the complete network can complicate US efforts to eavesdrop on China’s government or military communications.

Most of the Chinese researches who spoke at the event have spent years of studying overseas and the slide deck prepared by them was full of humorous references to western pop culture and events. These researchers have done their PhDs from universities such as Stanford and Cambridge. Most of the technologies they all are working can be used in both the commercial and defense departments.

Where on one hand few of the scientists kept their point regarding the quantum tech issues, Pan said that he has strongly believed that collaboration would only bring rewards and achievements in quantum science. For now, China is focusing on building a quantum computer. A fully functional quantum computer that has the ability to be transformative and is capable for greater calculation power that could identify new chemical compounds to treat intractable diseases and eliminate traffic snarls by predicting and managing the flow of vehicles. The only concern is that the machine can then eventually crack all the existing forms of encryption which in return is a cause of major worry for militaries, governments, and businesses that handle sensitive data.

The Chinese researchers have so far reported that they have a 12- quantum bit processor that uses superconducting technologies which are similar to Google’s and IBM’s. Lu Chaoyang, a young physicist said that the idea of developing a quantum computer came 40 years back and there is still a long way to go in order to design and develop a fully functional quantum computer. In the end, Lu quoted a line of “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, who spoke that “It’s important we set achievable goals for experiments so we can continuously progress.”

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By Varnit Yadav

I'm a Computer Science engineering student. Love to read, write and explore. Apart from being a nerd I'm also a fitness enthusiast.

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