Quantum technology set to hit the streets within two years

YOU’VE heard of quantum mechanics, now meet the quantum engineers. After decades of being stuck in the lab, quantum science is about to emerge as a technology that will impact your everyday life. If ambitious plans succeed, by 2020 the UK could host the world’s most powerful quantum computer, a secure quantum network spanning the country, and numerous other quantum-powered industries.

This mission kicked off in 2013, when UK chancellor George Osborne announced a £270 million investment in quantum technologies. Researchers are now setting up hubs to focus on particular areas – computing, communications, sensing and imaging – and aim to deliver useful quantum devices within five years, starting in 2015.

These teams held their first annual meeting, Quantum UK, at the University of Oxford last month to discuss the five-year road map and potential hurdles to overcome – not least the perception that quantum is too weird to …

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