These phenomena allow cryptographic keys to be shared securely over hundreds of kilometres, quantum computers to solve classically intractable problems and quantum sensors to make measurements of unprecedented precision. These technologies are still under development, but already pose challenges: for example, we can confidently anticipate that future quantum computers will be able to crack most of the encryption techniques currently used to secure communications and data. More speculatively, it has been suggested that quantum phenomena might play a role in processes such as the functions of biological systems, which if confirmed would raise the prospect of unanticipated new technologies.
Selection of GESDA Best Reads and key reports
Many countries, companies, and research collaborations have produced roadmaps outlining the technological milestones on the way to mature quantum technologies. For example, the European Quantum Flagship’s Strategic Research Agenda offers a good overview of field including milestones.1 The UK’s roadmap lists concrete applications.2 The US National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science addresses policy issues related to education, workforce and the collaborations between academia, the government and the quantum industry.3 The Oida Quantum Photonics Roadmap provides a synthetic table of possible applications.4