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The national program for quantum computing is essential for Israel to remain at the forefront of science and technology

This is what Prof. Nadav Katz, head of the Research Institute for Quantum Information at the Hebrew University, says in an interview, following the words of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu according to which the government intends to establish a system that will deal with the field of quantum computing, of a similar magnitude to investing in cyber. In academia, the investment has been felt for years, but applied science will now gain its own momentum, adds Prof. Katz

Quantum computing. Illustration: shutterstock
Quantum computing. Illustration: shutterstock By BeeBright

"The national program for quantum computing is essential for Israel to remain at the forefront of science and technology." Says Prof. Nadav Katz, head of the Research Institute for Quantum Information at the Hebrew University, following the words of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu according to which the government intends to establish a system that will deal with the field of quantum computing, of a similar magnitude to investing in cyber. "In academia, the investment has been felt for years, but applied science will now gain its own momentum," adds Prof. Katz.

"Quantum theory has been the mainstay of physics for about a hundred years. This is a theory that allows us to understand the essence of matter and the basic interactions within it, in the concept that a combination of waves and particles and the understanding of the interactions between light and matter. The basic understanding of quantum theory has fundamental scientific importance, but it also has enormous technological importance, for example through our understanding of materials such as semiconductors, and of course lasers and electro-optics, which at their root are based on quantum engineering."

"In fact, it can be said that our basic insights at the quantum level have given us enormous tools that have enabled most of the technological revolution we are in the midst of. Now we are talking about the second quantum revolution during which we will take advantage of additional features of quantum theory. There are resources there that we have only just begun to scratch that are not yet utilized in theory and its application."

"Quantum information cannot be fully replicated because every measurement of a quantum system changes the situation and if you measure quantum information you add noise to it, so eavesdropping on quantum information will be discovered. If I send individual photons in an optical fiber and someone tries to eavesdrop, he can be discovered, unlike classical communication, where you can eavesdrop without being discovered. Today you can already buy the first quantum communication systems in the world and in Israel. There are developments on this topic at the Hebrew University."

"Another use is in quantum quantum sensing systems for the construction of sensitive sensors. The quantum systems are the most sensitive systems we have in engineering and nature and can be used as sensors of time, acceleration, magnetic and electric fields. It has medical importance. All the control and control systems also have atomic clocks which are essentially quantum technology. And perhaps the most disruptive topic - simulation and quantum computation. We are working on it in my lab and other groups around the world, to try quantum systems isolated enough, separate enough that a new type of computer can be built with them.
The essential property that second-generation quantum systems exploit is a property of complex systems that have more than one particle in a process known as entanglement. This property of entanglement allows the quantum system to simultaneously exist in multiple arrays of states the size of the system. By combining sophisticated algorithms, it will be possible to solve certain problems that are thought to be unsolvable on ordinary computers, for example the simulation of protein systems and solid state that will enable the engineering of drugs and other substances, as well as the algorithmic field of optimization and encryption problems. Years predict that all classical encryptions, including RSA, will not be immune to a quantum computer that can solve them. This is theoretically true. From an engineering point of view it is still a long way off.

What is the reason for the national plan?

The theory has been known since the nineties and they also started working on quantum communication systems, but in recent years there have been breakthroughs. Several critical hardware systems have been identified that are capable, at least in the interim, of providing the quantum capabilities of isolation, protection against noise, and the ability to receive and interleave the quantum components at the required level. Such systems are atomic and ionic systems that can be captured using magnets and optical lasers to isolate the particles and transform their internal levels into qubits (basic quantum computing units). Today there are hardware systems capable of advancing the revolution. A combination of photonics and lasers enables the development of communication systems, and superconducting systems are currently being developed that are considered the strongest candidates for building the logical core or processor of these computers, as well as a variety of quantum sensing systems such as those used to detect defects in diamonds that are now being used to develop special quantum sensors. This is a very wide range of implementations for a beautiful theoretical idea.

What is the security aspect of this?

Prof. Katz: "I think the systems are fascinating and important on other fronts, not just security. But quantum sensors and quantum clocks are at the heart of security systems for communication detection and protection. There is a need for quantum communication systems that will be completely protected from arsonists at the level of encryption and communication and at the level of cyber protection at a completely different level. This makes it possible to protect critical systems of control and control in the country without being eavesdropped or disrupting this communication."
"Of course, the security aspect is very important, but it has a civilian technological side and a deep and equally important basic science side. Not long ago, a national academic program began to operate following the recommendations of a national committee headed by Prof. Uri Sion, which issued a report that was accepted by the higher education systems, and this program, amounting to several hundred million shekels, will finance the more academic research."

"Now we are talking about the prime minister's backing for the national plan. The idea is to combine the forces of technology and industry similar to what is happening in Switzerland. We are not the first to announce quantum national programs. This already exists in leading countries in the world - specifically the USA, Germany, England, China, and the entire European Union has also announced a program of more than a billion euros on this topic that has already started.
In conclusion, Prof. Katz says: I do not work in the government, I do not know the details of the plan, but I know that consultations were held with several parties and I hope that the plan will be good and deep. It's a topic that is a shame not to be in it. We must invest in it now, otherwise we will be left behind. There is no option not to be very strong in this area."

6 תגובות

  1. Universities are not waiting for the nice government funding they are getting now.
    At the Technion, I named five quantum centers, each of which was donated and costs 50 million dollars. Whitbury, Schiller, Russell Berry, solid state.
    I think I forgot more.

    In Hebrew, which was strangled by the government, perhaps because of opinions, or capitalism, they began to commercialize themselves. Weizmann is a leader in the commercialization of basic and financial research. The Technion established a branch in New York - brings it money. The branch there awards a PhD on an industry-supported start-up. Doctoral students from all over the world and I think five from Israel also traveled there with ideas. The industry in New York, which was not known as a high-tech center in the past, continues to be funded - and you can't believe what a chain reaction the start-ups there are succeeding in. With funding of no more than $250000 per year.

    Beer Sheva, Bar-Ilan and Ariel - they also grew and grew. In Be'er Sheva there is a center for the development of semiconductor chips.
    Hebrew has leading theoretical researchers - now they are entering commercialization and acceleration programs.

    It warms the heart a little, in light of what you see happening on the Gaza border and in Syria. I think it stems from jealousy quite a bit.

  2. Investing state money is in the 90th minute. Nice to wake up.

    Once again I call on those with influence to run the research professor and the father of 18 professors who were his doctoral students Moti Segev from the Technion for the Wolf Prize first, and the Nobel Prize later. It will be difficult, because we said bad things about the Swedes.

    Professor Segev discovered in the past two years, of course decades of work, 2 breakthrough discoveries in photonics.
    They received a Nobel Prize for the invention of a high-resolution optical microscope. His 2 discoveries are each individually worth a prize.

    The highest laser award in the world was given to Professor Segev. Of all the achievements this year, his discoveries and that of a doctoral student Harari, who was another doctor, seem to me to be the most important in Israel and the world this year.
    In addition to being a research professor, he is also one of the two directors of the new Quantum Center at the Technion with the donation of the Schiller family, and an additional state center. and head of the multi-university I-core group, for excellence in photonics.

    Also worth mentioning is the very young professor Nathaniel Lindner from the Technion who is an expert in topological insulators, and applications in quantum computing - winner of the Krill Prize who is from the Wolf Foundation.

  3. I think that in this field it is still too early to invest state money.
    Let the giants break their heads and make breakthroughs, when Israel can enter the field in 20 years and take advantage of knowledge invested by others
    Examples? as much as you want Israel is strong on the subject of missiles and satellites, after the great powers invested a lot of sweat, money, blood and tears in this. The same in early computer development.

  4. it's clear. No need to explain.
    For you: with the help of a quantum computer, it will be possible to break the encryption of the communication between the terrorists within two minutes, and thus it will be possible to stop them before that. 😉

  5. It is not clear from the article how quantum computing will help in solving the arson kite problem.

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