BQIT:18 - Day One

QET Labs' director John Rarity opens the 2018 BQIT workshop

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 sunshine on M Shed's lovely canal-facing balcony, Elham Kashefi, from the University of Edinburgh and CNRS Sorbone Universites, kicked off the quantum theory session, starting with her result: cloud quantum computing can only be secure with quantum communication. Whilst this is great news for the photon-focused Bristol scientists, it is perhaps not ideal for those building quantum computers! Further results highlighted what can be done, in the "de-photonised" case. Following up, Mio Murao from University of Tokyo demonstrated quantum algorithms to probe and understand unknown quantum systems, that is, how to use a quantum computer as a laboratory tool to understand unknown physical systems. Terry Rudolph from Imperial College London finished up the session with his talk "why I am optimistic about the silicon-photonic architecture for quantum computing", providing a refreshing take on one of the underdog platforms for quantum computing, and did a great job helping the audience forget that he was the only thing between them and their lunch.

Elham Kashefi gives her talk in the quantum theory session

BQIT delegates making the most of the sunshine on the M Shed balconies

Complementing Terry's theoretical picture of silicon quantum photonic architecture, Mark Thompson, professor at QET Labs, gave a rundown of silicon quantum photonics' array capabilities, with a boots-on-the-ground view of plethora of engineering challenges they are facing. Bristol graduate Jacques Carolan, now at MIT, then took the floor with a whistle stop tour of the impressive silicon photonic work at the institute. Highlights include MIT's mammoth universal linear optics chip, rock-steady, actively stabilised ring resonances and speed-of-light, classical machine learning applications. Andrea Fiore of the Eindhoven university of technology wrapped things up for the session, returning to some in-depth physics aimed at engineering deterministic control of atom-photon coupling - and one day a single photon source.

In the final session, Maria Chekhova demonstrated new sensing technologies from the Max Planck Institute of the Science of Light. Based on quantum control over pairs of nonlinear crystals, these non-linear interferometers produce a variety doubly-squeezed, loss-resistant coherent states, which are sensitive to phase in the Heisenberg limit. Radek Lapkiewicz gave the next talk: a historic tour through number of classic quantum optics experiments, originally performed by Leonard Mandel, as a means to elucidate novel quantum imaging techniques. Finally, Bristol graduate Alex Clark (now at Imperial College) finished the day's talks with "molecular quantum photonics". A talk about quantum phenomena in organic molecules - providing everything from fundamental physics research to (one day) integrated single photon sources.

To finish the day, we climbed aboard the Tower Belle for a sunset tour of Bristol's canals (with glass of champagne in hand), finishing at Glassboat for the first of two(!) conference dinners.

Bring on day two!

Further information on this year's workshop can be found on our website

For photos of BQIT:18 please visit our Flickr page

Videos of all of our talks from the workshop will be available on our Youtube channel

For information on upcoming events, or for more information and queries please email us at

This year's BQIT blogs were written by QET Labs and Quantum Engineering CDT students Jeremy Adcock and Alex Moylett.


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