24th November 2017
Significant technological innovation, from India to Sussex

Are you confident that the UK government is putting enough effort and investment into the security of British business? Do you think other countries are leaps and bounds ahead, moving towards safe and successful futures? Switch2IT explores whether more could be done to strengthen our cyber security and infrastructure in order to make a significant difference.

Quantum computer for super science

At the start of this year, the brains at University of Sussex were instrumental in unveiling the inaugural blueprint to build a quantum computer – the world’s most powerful computer.

With the ability to take industry, science and commerce by storm, this giant computer has the potential to answer age-old questions and revolutionise problem-solving.

While scientists thought they would be using fibre optic connections to link individual computer modules, this ground-breaking invention uses connections that are 100,000 times faster. Created by electric fields, the connections allow the transport of charged atoms (ions) between modules.

Anna Webb, a PHD Student at University of Sussex, said: “In order to build a quantum computer, we used individual atoms as our basic building blocks so each individual atom is one bit of information.”

She goes on to explain how the international team has discovered that they can trap atoms in a vacuum system. This system holds a vacuum like that found in outer space and has the ability to trap individual atoms for extended periods.

Webb continues: “We use a single microwave horn, sitting outside our vacuum system, and this can blast the whole architecture with the microwaves we need, just like your microwave oven at home. And we think this might provide a path from just a couple, a few atoms in the lab, to the thousands needed for a full-scale quantum computer.”

Lead researcher Professor Winfried Hensinger, head of the Ion Quantum Technology Group at the University of Sussex and Director of the Sussex Centre for Quantum Technologies, commented: “For many years, people said that it was completely impossible to construct an actual quantum computer. With our work we have not only shown that it can be done but now we are delivering a nuts and bolts construction plan to build an actual large-scale machine.”

“The availability of a universal quantum computer may have a fundamental impact on society as a whole. Without doubt it is still challenging to build a large-scale machine, but now is the time to translate academic excellence into actual application building on the UK’s strengths in this ground-breaking technology. I am very excited to work with industry and government to make this happen.”

This makes the Switch2IT team wonder how technological innovations on such a huge scale could impact the way we use computers for business and improve the shortfalls human error presents with regard to IT security. It would be wonderful if a super computer such as this could not only pave the way to medical marvels but protect us better from hackers and cyber threats that are fast becoming daily headlines.

The road to national security

It seems that although we still wait for the likes of quantum computers to drag the UK’s data protection laws and cyber security from the depths of despair, investment in infrastructure brings hope on the other side of the world.

On Twitter, Akhilesh Yadav, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister posted with delight that an Indian Air Force exercise on the Agra-Lucknow expressway was a resounding success.

Witnessing more than 12 fighter and transport aircraft perform awe-inspiring landings on the expressway built by his government, which revealed the use of highways in emergency situations, Yadav tweeted: 

“Infrastructure is vital to UP’s prosperity and India’s security.  Proud that Agra-Lucknow Expressway is now a National strategic asset,”

This shows how joined up thinking, especially with regard to infrastructure and technology, could go a long way towards improving the lives of many. The result of India investing in their infrastructure and strategic assets is a positive step forward for individuals and businesses living in and trading with this part of Asia.

Now, if only the UK government could support more projects like the quantum computer, which is in fact part of their plan to develop quantum technologies towards industrial exploitation, and commit to greater investment in our infrastructure to facilitate economic growth…

Invest in business IT support for a thriving future

Talking of investing in our futures, this year Switch2IT has raised over £440 for 2nd Worthing Scouts. Committed to giving back to the Sussex community as much as we are dedicated to delivering excellent IT support for Sussex businesses, next year we will be supporting Friends of Sussex Hospices.

We provide a range of technical support services to businesses in Sussex and throughout the south, from Hampshire to Kent, including cost-effective IT support service contracts with which you will get the dedication of a skilled Switch2IT engineer and a package designed especially for your business size and budget. Call us on 0800 083 3416 to find out more.

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