In the Schrödinger’s cat paradox, quantum theory predicts that a cat can be in limbo between being dead and alive.

This Quantum spookiness stunned many scientists – most notably Albert Einstein. Since its creation in the early twentieth century, many experiments have proved the validity of quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics also allows teleportation, like in Star Trek, however so far only with individual atoms.

Computers built with quantum technology (a quantum computer) would be much faster than today’s computers. For example, a quantum computer would be able to crack the encryption we use to send our credit details over the internet in a matter of hours, where our current super computers would take thousands of years! Quantum computers would also help us understand the world around us. They would, for example, help us to understanding of chemical reactions that would allow us to create new medicines. We have not yet made a practical quantum computer, but we in the process of builiding one.

We are aiming to develop quantum computers using atoms cooled to around -270°C to store the information in quantum bits or qubits.

Find out about what a quantum computer is, what are qubits, how quantum computers will be useful and what our group is doing to develop one of these quantum computers.