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Is the age of computation yet to begin?


Is the age of computation yet to begin?

The theory of classical universal computation was laid down in 1936, was
implemented within a decade, became commercial within another decade,
and dominated the world's economy half a century later. This success story
relied on progress in technology. As computers become faster they had to
become smaller. The history of computer technology has involved a
sequence of changes from one type of physical realisation to another - from
gears to relays to valves to transistors to integrated circuits and so on. The
unavoidable step to the quantum level will be one in this sequence; but it
promises something more exciting as well. For the first time since the
invention of the general purpose computer, a change in underlying hardware can give computers qualitatively new functionality. Quantum theory
is already important in the design of microelectronic components. Soon
it will be necessary to harness quantum theory, rather than simply take it
into account. I will describe our quest to understand quantum theory, our
efforts to develop quantum technology to support quantum computation,
and our surprise and excitement once we discovered that nature already
employs coherent quantum phenomena in biological systems. There is so
much potential in this fundamentally new way of harnessing nature that
it appears as though the age of computation has not yet even begun!

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The European Future Technologies Conference and Exhibition

Informatics, Computer technology, Quantum technology

Artur Ekert (lecturer)


4 May, 2011

NIIF Intézet

9 May, 2011

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