Australia’s vision for quantum

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8 April 2022

The Australian Government is progressing key measures to grow Australia’s quantum industry and support the adoption and commercialisation of innovative quantum technologies.

The National Quantum Strategy will outline Australia’s vision for the quantum industry. Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Cathy Foley will guide the strategy with other experts.

Australia has many world-leading quantum research capabilities. Growing the quantum technology industry has the potential to add $4 billion and 16,000 new jobs to the economy by 2040.

What quantum can do

Quantum is an emerging technology with the potential to improve our lives:

  • Quantum computers could store and process data in ways that will allow us to draw new insights from massive datasets.
  • Quantum sensors could enable faster and more accurate civil engineering projects, allowing us to save time on infrastructure activities like roadworks.
  • Quantum enabled rapid drug discovery could become possible.
  • Quantum encryption could help protect our government, businesses and society.

How quantum technology works

Our current digital electronics are powered by tiny electrical switches called transistors. The processing power of a computer depends on how many transistors it has. Modern transistors are very small but there is currently a limit to how small we can make them.

Quantum technologies will take us beyond these limits by allowing us to control tiny quantum particles. This means that we can build ‘qubits’, the building blocks of quantum computers.

Why Australia is investing in quantum

Quantum technologies are critical for our future.

That’s why the Australian Government is investing millions in growing the quantum industry.

So much of what we do relies on computers. Even simple tasks require a lot of processing power.

We are reaching the processing limits of our current classical computers for solving these everyday problems.

Quantum technologies will take us beyond current limits.

Thanks to nanotechnology, we have learned to see and control tiny quantum particles.

This means that we can build ‘qubits’, which are the building blocks of quantum computers.

Quantum computers can solve some problems much faster. For example, if you asked a classical computer to find a needle in a haystack. It would look at every piece of hay to ask: 'needle or hay?'

A quantum computer would look at all the hay pieces at the same time to find the needle.

Back in 2019, a quantum computer performed a maths calculation in 200 seconds. The same calculation could take between 3 days and up to 10,000 years on a supercomputer!

Quantum computers are showing promise in solving certain types of problems, like traffic and weather forecasting.

As these technologies develop, we will find more and more uses for them that will improve our lives for the better.

We will see more accurate sensors, communications that are virtually un-hackable, and computers that are more powerful than any we have seen before!

Thanks to quantum technology, we will see a future with;

Simulations on virtual humans, supporting faster drug trials.

Detection of disease at very small scales.

Simulations of catastrophic weather events to help us prepare.

Mapping with extreme precision through barriers and at vast distances.

A quantum internet and better cybersecurity.

Modelling renewable energy systems such as solar and wind.

And much, much more!

Australia’s vision for the quantum industry will be set out in the National Quantum Strategy.

Find out more by visiting industry.gov.au/quantum

 

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