Problems in Quantum Computing: Inspiration from Bell Labs

Wednesday, October 2, 2019 - 4:00pm
Event Type: 

Bell Labs is arguably the most famous industrial research organization in the world.  In its heyday – from about the 1940s to 1980s – it produced 9 Nobel prizes, 33,000 patents, and laid much of the foundation for the information revolution.  In Jon Gertner’s book about Bell Labs, “The Idea Factory”, he argues that Bell Labs management understood early on that the most important challenge wasn’t to find good ideas.  Any explosively emerging technology makes it too easy to invent new ideas.  Instead, the challenge is first to find the good problems – the most important, fundamental problems holding the technology back – and only then to come up with inventive ideas to solve these problems.  Quantum technologies currently stand poised between academia and industry, with the world watching to see if quantum can and will bring about the next technological revolution.  We discuss the biggest challenges to developing quantum into a truly revolutionary technology, including the major technical problems, as well as the structural challenges in today’s academic, industrial, and governmental institutions.

Dr. Raina Olsen, Aurora Quantum Technologies
Carlos Wexler