Roundtable organizers said they hope to identify a group of researchers who can collaborate on quantum physics advances that can be applied to a range of national security and military needs.
Display of credible combat power is the way that the United States deters potential enemies, said Will Bundy, the college’s associate provost for warfighting research and development and the conference co-coordinator.
“What that requires of us is that we have networks and computing capability superior to our adversaries. Right now, we have to think hard about that,” he told roundtable members.
Bundy said that the National Defense Strategy calls for the United States to lead in what has become a major-power competition among nations – a competition being driven by the accelerating adoption of technology.
Cmdr. Michael Riordan, who teaches in the college’s Ethics and Emerging Military Technology program, was co-coordinator of the event.
Kate Timmerman, executive director of Chicago Quantum Exchange, told the group that this is an exciting time for work on quantum science.
“Everyone in the room understands where we are with the opportunity,” Timmerman said. “There have been some significant technological advances that allow us to not only better understand the fundamental principles of quantum physics but also to harness the principles for a variety of applications.”
Her nearly two-year-old organization -- which includes the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the U.S. Department of Energy’s?Argonne National Laboratory?and?Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory -- is dedicated to breaking down institutional barriers on quantum science.
Naval War College officials asked the guests to talk about current projects, demonstrated progress, applications, future planning and what might have the potential for disruptive change.
D-Wave Government President Rene Copeland told a story about how British online supermarket Ocado used his company’s quantum computing power to calculate how to best program 1,100 robots moving several meters per second to fill incoming grocery orders.
“You think about the routing of the robots in the grocery example,” Copeland said. “You could make an argument that that could be modified for a number of logistics problems that might be suitable for something the Navy is doing.”
Other speakers addressed their research and prospects for delivering quantum-based technology.
Bundy said this roundtable will be followed by invitations to join a research network that will collaborate on adopting quantum technology for dual use in business and defense.
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