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We kick off “Atoms to Galaxies” by looking at the smallest constituents of nature. The world is made up of atoms but they behave according to strange and alien laws. In everyday life objects have definite properties and behave predictably but this ceases to be the case at the quantum scale. Our experts will explore the meaning behind this behaviour and how it can be harnessed for new technologies.
Is the whole universe quantum?
Professor Vlatko Vedral (Professor of Quantum Physics)
Quantum mechanics is often said to be a theory of microscopic things: molecules, atoms, subatomic particles. Most physicists, though, think it applies to everything. Over the past few years, experimentalists have seen quantum effects in a growing number of large systems, including the quintessential quantum effect: entanglement. The ultimate question is whether the whole universe (including gravity) can be quantum. Vlatko will explore this question and argue that the quantum universe has fascinating implications on how we should understand fundamental concepts such as space, time and matter.
Quantum Computing: The world’s most incredible machines
Professor Winfried Hensinger (Professor of Quantum Technologies, University of Sussex)
Computers built with quantum technology may fundamentally change what a computer is able to accomplish. Many problems are so complicated that even the fastest supercomputer would currently take millions of years to provide an answer. Optimising financial transactions, machine learning, creating new medicines, and breaking codes are just some of the problems a quantum computer could revolutionise. Winfried will give an overview of his group's work on constructing a practical quantum computer utilising trapped charged atoms.