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What is World Quantum Day and why it is important for industry and public

Berenice Baker, Editor, Enter Quantum

April 14, 2023

3 Min Read
The World Quantum Day logo in purple.
World Quantum Day promotes public awareness and understanding of quantum science and technology.World Quantum Day

Today marks the second World Quantum Day, an annual celebration promoting public awareness and understanding of quantum science and technology around the world.

It is held on April 14 in recognition of Planck’s constant, the fundamental constant governing quantum physics. Rounded up, it is 4.14×10−15 eV s.

World Quantum Day was announced in 2021 and the first global celebration was held on April 14, 2022. It aims to engage the general public in the understanding and discussion of quantum science and technology, and how it can lead to future scientific and technological revolutions that can impact society.

What organizations are doing to mark the day:

  • The U.S. National Quantum Initiative, established by the National Quantum Initiative Act “to accelerate quantum research and development for the economic and national security of the United States,” has created a page about the day, sharing quantum information and the activities various federal agencies are participating in.

  • One of the five National Quantum Information Sciences (NQIS) centers, the Quantum System Accelerator has posted an article recapping its progress to date. This includes scientists at MIT and MIT Lincoln Laboratory taking inspiration from commercial electronics and investigating stacked qubit layers on microchips to help computers grow. It also made a record-setting quantum sensor that can be used to hunt dark matter and has harnessed machine learning to correct quantum errors in real time.

  • NIST, which is leading the U.S. government’s post-quantum cybersecurity efforts, asked Andrew Wilson, who leads NIST’s quantum physics division, to explain what quantum science is and why it matters. 

  • NASA uses quantum technologies every day, from atomic clocks to future quantum communications networks. It has released a video in which its space communications and navigation quantum experts discuss why quantum is critical to advancing space communications and exploration.

Related:Government Policy and Quantum Innovation

  • In the U.K., the Quantum Technology Innovation Network at Innovate UK KTN has released an updated version of its quantum landscape map. The map, which was initially launched in 2020, details existing businesses, publicly funded projects and research groups, U.K. national quantum enters and postgraduate training programs. 

Expert Analysis

Chris Smith, a senior associate at patent, trademark and design attorney firm Reddie & Grose, commented on the global upward trend of investment into quantum and some uses for the technology expected in the future.

“Quantum mechanics has already contributed to major advances in electronics, GPS navigation and computing, but global patent applications relating to quantum technology have rapidly increased year-on-year. From this increase, and knowing that a patent only lasts 20 years, we can infer that companies think commercialization is not too far away,” Smith said.

Smith said the number of international patent applications per year directed to quantum computing has increased from a handful in 2000 to more than 200 each year from 2019 to 2022, with most of this increase coming in the last decade. This is consistent with companies that have started to, or are intending to, commercialize quantum mechanical technology and are building patent portfolios to protect their market position.

“Interestingly, the most active area of technology seems to be in television,” said Smith. “Companies such as Samsung, LG, TCL and Shenzhen China Star are all filing significant numbers of patent applications directed to ‘quantum dots’ capable of efficiently producing light for use in a television display. tipped to replace conventional electro-optical television displays.

“Apple has also dabbled in quantum tech. They have previously secured a patent for smartphone cases that use quantum tunneling to eliminate the need for push buttons. Elsewhere, several patent applications have been filed in recent years directed to the use of quantum entanglement in encryption coding.”

About the Author(s)

Berenice Baker

Editor, Enter Quantum

Berenice is the editor of Enter Quantum, the companion website and exclusive content outlet for The Quantum Computing Summit. Enter Quantum informs quantum computing decision-makers and solutions creators with timely information, business applications and best practice to enable them to adopt the most effective quantum computing solution for their businesses. Berenice has a background in IT and 16 years’ experience as a technology journalist.

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