Prof. David Awschalom discusses how quantum technology could lead to breakthroughs in communication, encryption and medicine, and how he’s helping train the next generation of quantum engineers.
David Awschalom is one of the world’s leading scientists studying the growing field of quantum engineering, turning what was once in the realm of science fiction into reality—which could offer revolutionary breakthroughs in communications, digital encryption, sensor technology and even medicine. Studying the smallest elements in the universe is challenging on a number of levels, since quantum particles defy the laws of traditional physics. “The behavior of these tiny pieces is unlike anything we see in our world,” Awschalom said. “If I pull a wagon, you know how it’s going to move. But at the atomic world, things don’t work that way. Wagons can go through walls; wagons can be entangled and share information that is hard to separate.” On this episode of Big Brains, Awschalom shares how these unusual rules are leading to new technologies, why government and business are so interested in these breakthroughs, and how he’s helping to train a new generation of quantum engineers. Subscribe to Big Brains on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and rate and review the podcast.