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Kings College London | Wheatstone Lecture 2021

The Wheatstone Lecture this year is on 24th February 2021 delivered by  Sir Peter Knight FRS , Imperial College, London & National Physical Laboratory. His lecture is entitled: What’s Quantum Technology?

We live in a quantum enabled world, with devices powered by quantum mechanics affecting our everyday world (lasers, telecoms semiconductor chips and much more). But we are now poised to exploit a hitherto largely unexplored technology capability enabled by some of the stranger aspects of quantum physics: quantum coherence and entanglement. These new capabilities include novel sensing, timing, imaging and of course computing. I will describe these new quantum coherence capabilities and plans to develop the next generation of quantum technologies.

The UK through a mix of government and industry funding has committed more than £1Bn over 10 years to a coordinated programme in quantum technology. Six years into this programme I will describe here how we got there, and our goals for the future. I will describe how the programme arose and the activities it supported and influenced to deliver these new capabilities, building on a first phase of almost £480M investment across several UK government agencies.

The UK programme now enters its second phase, with a further substantial investment by UK government and global industries in the UK making a total of over £1Bn. I will describe our plans (and what is going on in this exciting area outside of the UK) for ensuring the advanced quantum science and demonstrator platforms in imaging, sensing, communications and computing developed over the past five years will drive the formation of the QT sector and embed quantum tech in a broad range of industries.

The lecture will be held online. A Teams link will be sent before the event.

  • 16:30 – Welcome from Head of Department
  • 16:40 – What’s Quantum Technology?
  • 17:25 – Q&A session

Sir Peter Knight is a Senior Research Investigator at Imperial College. He retired in 2010 as Deputy Rector (Research) at Imperial but remains an Emeritus Professor. He was knighted in 2005 for his work in optical physics.

Sir Peter was the 2004 President of the Optical Society of America and a past President of the Institute of Physics. He is Editor of Contemporary Physics, Chair of the UK National Quantum Technology Programme Strategy Advisory Board, chairs the Quantum Metrology Institute at the National Physical Laboratory, was until 2010 chair of the UK Defence Scientific Advisory Council and remains a UK Government science advisor. His research centres on quantum optics and quantum technology. He has won the Thomas Young Medal and the Glazebrook Medal of the Institute of Physics, the Ives Medal and the Walther Medal and Prize of the OSA, the Faraday Medal of the IET and the Royal Medal of the Royal Society.

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