Quantum computers promise ultra-powerful, high speed number crunching. They’ll help us to search vast databases and model biological molecules at an atomic level. They will crack the encryptions we rely on for banking and online security but also help us make new, unbreakable codes.
How close are we to building a quantum computer? Australian scientists are working on it.
Also at the national physics congress today: meet the man in charge of planning and designing the NBN; designing a cheaper high-precision clock for GPS, astronomy and space tracking; and fighting greenhouse gases and arc-welding fumes with super-heated thermal plasma.