The first quantum revolution was really based on the understanding of quantum physics and that lead to inventions like the transistor and the laser. So basically what forms today’s information technology.
Now in the second quantum revolution, we can control individual quantum systems and we can exploit the properties of those in a new way. Of course big words, but I’m sure this will be a second technical revolution.
You probably think this is science fiction, but it is much more science than fiction. We will see the fruits of the second quantum revolution maybe 20–30 years from now. There is a very counterintuitive fact that electrons can be at two places at the same time.
There is this cartoon about a skier that goes downhill from a tree. And you see two tracks from the skies and they go on each side of the tree. For us, that´s a funny cartoon, but the electrons would not laugh. They wouldn’t understand what so funny about it they do this all the time.
There are four so-called pillars in the second quantum revolution where you divide things in quantum computing, quantum sensing, quantum communication and quantum simulation. So those are things where you can do things much better if you have this control of the quantum systems than what you can do with ordinary means.
Because it is so counter-intuitive that you can have this enormous amount of possibilities at the same time and we need to get some intuition for and we are slowly building that.
How to exploit this for practical problems? We are characterizing our first generation very small quantum computer. The goal of the project is to demonstrate a quantum computer with a hundred Qubits.
With such a processor we can address some interesting problems, problems that a supercomputer could not even address. This will be an enormous contribution to the industry because it is the same thing that is behind artificial intelligence and self-driving vehicles and the whole internet of things.
We have been building competence in superconducting circuits for many years and for the last twenty years we’ve also looked at quantum properties of these superconducting circuits. So we have a lot of knowledge. This can really deliver something new.
It is not an incremental change; it is really a game changer. It is a paradigm shift.