Counting with physics: quantum computers in reality

feat. Frank Wilhelm-Mauch of Saarland University and Forschungszentrum Jülich | 11 Januar 2022

There are limits to the performance of even the most modern supercomputers, which science and technology will probably overcome with the help of quantum physics: With comparatively few quantum bits or qubits, it will then be possible to perform computing operations that the most powerful classical high-performance computers would not be able to cope with. This promises solutions for a number of practical problems in various fields of life and knowledge, likely releasing an enormous potential for development. The processes that will take place in these computers, i.e. how they will function, can only be described precisely in mathematical terms – quantum physics is not known for being particularly easy to perceive. All the more mysterious seems this new type of computing machine, which research groups all over the world are currently developing. In the race for success, international cooperation is just as important as aspiration to prestige and competitive pressure – and also the incentive provided by security concerns. Like any technological advance, quantum acceleration, in which the actual improvement achieved by quantum computers is expressed, is not free of risks for the digital society.

Prof. Dr. Frank Wilhelm-Mauch teaches and researches Theoretical Physics at Saarland University and is currently coordinating the development of a European quantum computer – the flagship project OpenSuperQ – at Forschungszentrum Jülich. In this episode of “Digitalgespräch”, the expert explains how the project came about and the goal it is pursuing, what distinguishes this novel technology and how a layperson can imagine computing with quantum systems. With hosts Marlene Görger and Petra Gehring, he discusses the tasks in which quantum computers promise great progress, how the practicality of quantum computing is developing at the interface between physics, computer science and engineering – and who could get access when and under what conditions.

Episode 15 of Digitalgespräch, feat. Frank Wilhelm-Mauch of Saarland University and Forschungszentrum Jülich, 11 Januar 2022
Further informationen:

Link to the website of the project OpenSuperQ :

all episodes of Digitalgespräch

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The podcast is in German. At the moment there is no English version or transcript available.