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The parts that make up a computer chip have gotten small … really small … so small that the classical rules of physics no longer apply. This poses a challenge and an opportunity.

While we reach the limits of what can be done with existing technology, the first of a new generation of computers has started to hit the market. Quantum computers take advantage of quantum mechanics to accomplish tasks previously considered impossible. Some uses are nefarious such breaking the encryption used to secure online transactions. Others may be potentially lifesaving as with providing the capacity to predict the effects of new medicines.

There are still some problems including size, identifying the best types of machines, and (most importantly) that we don’t yet know what we are doing.

Presenter: Dr. Austin Roberts (Mathematics)

Location: Building 3, Room 102

Note: Students wishing to register for Science Seminar may take it for credit as Ge Sc 190/1 (items 6080 and 6082 respectively).