BQIT:18 - Day Three

Bristol awoke in a thick fog on Friday morning, but by the time the first session was in full swing, we were back under the glorious BQIT sunshine, looking down on the harbourside from our venue, MShed.

Kicking off the day was Val Zwiller of TU Delft & KTH Stockholm, giving a history and outlook for superconducting nanowire single photon detectors (SNSPDS), with an emphasis on the importance of time resolution - photon purity will appear much reduced if measured without appropriate time resolution! QET Labs' Dondu Sahin followed up with Bristol's plans for near unity efficiency, ring-coupled SNSPDs, which have the added bonus of precise wavelength tunability, and Anthony Laing (also from QET Labs), with his talk on photonic simulations of molecular quantum dynamics.

In the next session, "Quantum Communications and Networks", Xiao Yuan presented University of Oxford's latest quantum algorithm "imaginary time variational quantum simulation", which pr…

BQIT:18 - Day Two

The second day of the Bristol Quantum Information Technologies Workshop was yet another day of
golden sunshine and intriguing discussions. Talks ranged from industry perspectives and future funding to solid state systems and quantum dots, as well as a poster session generously sponsored by KETS covering broad directions of academic research.

The morning proceedings began with talks on industry activity over the past year. Andrew Collins from the University of Bristol's Quantum Technology and Enterprise Centre (QTEC) spoke about some of the highs and lows of quantum startups, busting some myths and ending with a call for people to take part in the upcoming Quantum Start Up Week this July. Next was Zurich Instruments' Jelena Trbovic, highlighting how their amplifiers and arbitrary waveform generators can be used for fast characterising and control of superconducting qubits. And before breaking for coffee, Luke Dandy & Cris Quintana from Airbus discussed the ongoing QDOS pro…

BQIT:18 - Day One

In accordance with the precedent set last year, the Bristol Quantum Information Technologies Workshop kicked off today at the M Shed with the start of what is forecast to be three days of glorious sunshine. The weather was matched by optimism in the days talks, which were spread over sessions in quantum communications, quantum theory, quantum photonics and quantum enhanced measurement and control.

QET Labs director John Rarity opened the conference and gave the first talk "next generation communication networks", summarising QET Labs’ activity in the area. Chip scale QKD pioneered by KETS - a recent Bristol spin-out - was a highlight, as well as plans for a sub £1M QKD satellite mission. Next up, Christoph Marquardt of the Max Planck Institute of the Science of Light reviewed the state of QKD around the world, and outlined their plans to build global hybrid QKD networks, utilising satellites, drones, and fiber links.

After a quick coffee break basking in the Bristol sunshin…

Science for a Successful Nation 2018

The outreach team were once again invited out of the lab and on an early morning training to London to present the latest and greatest in quantum engineering. After an early morning start, and accidental seat reservation in the quiet carriage, we arrived at the Royal Society to take part EPSRC's Science for a Successful Nation 2018.

The event aims to showcase EPSRC's investments and demonstrate their social, cultural and economic impacts. Bristol University was well represented with stands from the Bristol Robotics Laboratory and the Jean Golding Institute.

In amongst the exhibits were students from the Quantum Engineering CDT and QETLabs demonstrating the importance of data encryption in a connected society. By showing how readily data can be intercepted on network, it is easily seen that we need to invest in data security to ensure it's remains secure in the near future.

The event was well attended by EPSRC representatives and industrial partners. There were sessions thr…

Outreach Training Day

New students means new opportunities to get out of the lab and teaching the public about the weird world of quantum technology. But first, we need to show everyone what demos we have available. This afternoon, we invited the whole group to see what our engagement cupboard has to offer.

Seasoned veterans through to those new to public engagement joined us to get hands on with our demos. Everything from hand held busking demos to more technical demos was on offer to have a play with. Everyone pitched in to find out what is on offer.

Quantum Comic Strips (Quantum PhoComics): The New QET Labs Engagement Project

QET Labs recently added new activities to their highly developed public engagement culture. Among them is Quantum In Conversation, part of the QET Lab’s award wining engagement initiative, Quantum in The Crowd ( Quantum In Conversation now reaches out to the children and young people of all educational backgrounds to engage with quantum research in the visual/narrative forms through the ‘Quantum PhoComics’ project.

The project stemmed from the on-going collaboration between QET Labs and their Research Engagement Supervisor, artist and historian Dr Milica Prokic. In November Milica teamed up with QET PhD researchers, Henry Semenenko and Alex Moylett, to deliver a quantum inspired comic strips workshops to young Bristolians.

The first workshop in the series, hosted by the Knowle West Media Centre, included presentations and demos by the researchers, followed by an art session where the initial sketches and storylin…

Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition

The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition is one of the largest events in the outreach calendar and is attended by thousands. Scientists from all over the UK are invited to display their cutting-edge research during the week-long event. After a competitive application process, the Centre for Quantum Photonics was invited to explain the weird and wonderful world of quantum computing, as one of only 22 exhibits.

Our exhibit took the public on journey to discover how we control light, why we want to use it to create more powerful computers and how the strange world of quantum mechanics will get us there. The first part of the display illustrated how our technology relies on the same physical processes as superfast broadband, confining light using total internal reflection.

We then demonstrated how quantum mechanics can explore problems in unfamiliar ways. By using a Galton box, we showed how quantum particles will take different routes to those we'd normally expect. By using these …