quantum computing

October 4, 2021
Posted by George I. Seffers
Quantum computing advances in the coming years are expected to offer benefits while also posting a threat to national security. Guidance offered by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute of Standards and Technology is designed to mitigate that threat. Credit: graphicINmotion/Shutterstock

Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in partnership with the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), released a road map to help organizations protect their data and systems and to reduce risks related to the advancement of quantum computing technology.  

September 13, 2021
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Dmitry Pushin, from the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing and a professor in the Canadian university’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, says that recent breakthroughs during an international research collaboration at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) will “open the door to future technologies,” such as quantum-related capabilities. Pushin is pictured at NIST’s Center for Neutron Research in Maryland. Credit: University of Waterloo/NIST

Scientists participating in an international research effort at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, have discovered a previously unknown component of silicon crystals and unveiled new information about a subatomic particle. In doing so, the researchers of the multi-year experiment have yielded details about the “long-theorized fifth force of nature.” The findings may enable additional breakthroughs in quantum technologies, the University of Waterloo announced in a September 10 statement.

August 26, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Vladimir Putin has said that whichever country controls artificial intelligence will rule the world, but experts now question who will be the first to master quantum-enabled artificial intelligence. Credit: By Pavel Chagochkin/Shutterstock

As China, Russia, the United States and others race to gain an advantage with artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, quantum-enabled AI may be the next evolution, according to a panel of experts at the August 16-19 AFCEA TechNet conference in Augusta, Georgia.

The panel of women experts included moderator Carrie McLeish, director of federal capture, SANS Institute; Maj. Gen. Johanna Clyborne, ARNG, deputy commanding general, ARNG U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence; Arlene Espinal, vice president, Analytics, Automation, AI and Innovation Capabilities Office, ManTech; and Gokila Dorai, assistant professor, School of Computer and Cyber Sciences.

June 15, 2021
By Julianne Simpson
Credit: Shutterstock/Yurchanka Siarhei

Quantum computing and cryptography are hot topics in the world of emerging technology. But how feasible are they on a large scale?

“Right now those things are energy intensive and expensive and time consuming,” said Bill Halal, founder of TechCast, during the virtual AFCEA/GMU C4I Center Symposium.

May 26, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Atlantic Council researchers emphasize that the technological revolution, which shows no sign of stopping, will reshape societies and geopolitics “in novel and even unanticipated ways.” Credit: Shutterstock/Yurchanka Siarhei

A new study from the Atlantic Council’s Commission on the Geopolitical Impacts of New Technologies and Data warned that the technological revolution is continuing at such speed and enormity that it is reshaping societies and geopolitics across the globe, and “in novel and even unanticipated ways.” Researchers recommend that the United States take immediate steps to create specific strategies, governance and leadership roles; develop capabilities for a digital economy, quantum computing, supply chain resiliency, biomedical protections and space-related solutions; and strengthen partnerships with allies.

May 6, 2021
Posted by George I. Seffers
NIST researchers entangled the beats of two mechanical drums—tiny aluminum membranes each made of about 1 trillion atoms—and precisely measured their linked quantum properties. Entangled pairs massive by quantum pairs might someday perform computations and transmit data in large-scale quantum networks. Credit: John Teufel/NIST

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have “entangled” two small mechanical drums and precisely measured their linked quantum properties. Similar entangled pairs may someday perform computations and transmit data in large-scale quantum networks.

The NIST team, which was led by physicist John Teufel, used microwave pulses to entice the two tiny aluminum drums into a quantum version of the Lindy Hop, with one partner bopping in a cool and calm pattern while the other was jiggling a bit more. Researchers analyzed radar-like signals to verify that the two drums’ steps formed an entangled pattern—a duet that would be impossible in the everyday classical world, according to a NIST press release.

April 1, 2021
By George I. Seffers
With the National Institute of Standards and Technology expected next year to select quantum-resistant algorithms for encryption and for digital signatures, an NSA official warns that departments and agencies should begin preparing now to protect national security systems in the quantum era. Credit: sakkmesterke/Shutterstock

The national security community needs to prepare now for the possibility that U.S. adversaries could develop and deploy quantum computers, which would render useless most conventional encryption algorithms, says Adrian Stanger, senior cryptographic authority, Cybersecurity Directorate, National Security Agency (NSA).

March 18, 2021
Posted by: Julianne Simpson
Sandia National Laboratories physicist Susan Clark leads the team that built the Quantum Scientific Computing Open User Testbed. The ion-based quantum computer was made for outside researchers to use.  Photo by Bret Latter

A new open-access quantum computing testbed from the Department of Energy is ready for the public. Scientists from Indiana University were the first team to begin using Sandia National Laboratories’ Quantum Scientific Computing Open User Testbed, or QSCOUT.

QSCOUT is rare because it is a free, open-access testbed made with trapped ion technology. The platform gives users an uncommon amount of control in their research.

December 4, 2020
By George I. Seffers
With U.S. adversaries expected to be using quantum computing technologies in the next several years, officials at the Defense Information Systems Agency are exploring quantum-resistant technologies.Credit: metamorworks/Shutterstock

Because U.S. adversaries likely will be able to use quantum computers within the next several years, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) officials are beginning to explore quantum-resistant technologies and the role the agency might play in developing or deploying those technologies.

November 16, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/ZinetroN

As researchers in multiple disciplines explore the untapped potential of quantum technologies, some distinct patterns of usage are emerging. With fully useful capabilities still several years off, experts are weighing the breakthroughs that may come. One key point is that the advanced applications that will come with quantum computing will define the state of the art in future years.

June 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
DARPA’s Optimization with Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (ONISQ) program intends to leapfrog current computing technology by combining classical and quantum computing capabilities to tackle a widespread class of problems known as combinatorial optimization problems, which have national security, commercial and global implications. Credit: Yurchanka Siarhei and Boex Design/Shutterstock. Edited by Chris D’Elia​

In the future, anyone trying to figure out how to use limited resources may reap the benefits of computers that are a hybrid of quantum and classical systems.

Such hybrid computers might prove especially efficient and effective at solving certain kinds of problems, such as strategic asset deployment, global supply chains, battlefield logistics, package delivery, the best path for electronics on a computer chip and network node placement. Research also could impact machine learning and coding theory.

June 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Advances in quantum information science will allow the military a different approach to communications and networking. Credit: Shutterstock

Across the U.S. Air Force’s research arm, scientists are developing quantum information science capabilities in four key areas of interest to the service: timing; sensing; communications and networking; and computing. Experts at the Air Force Research Laboratory, known as AFRL, are also investigating the development of enabling technologies, which will springboard the use of quantum capabilities in the four areas.

June 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Atoms in a glass cell probed by lasers can act as a microwave receiver in a completely different way than traditional metal antennas, one of many discoveries made by researchers at the CCDC Army Research Laboratory (ARL). Experiments with quantum technologies there may open the door to new battlefield devices that provide soldiers with key advantages against adversaries. Credit: ARL photo

The U.S. Army soldier proceeds methodically, picking his way through dense vegetative growth as he traverses a battlefield that geologically is ages old, but technologically is years in the future. With the enemy rendering satellite-borne GPS signals ineffective, the soldier resorts to his internal position-location unit that pinpoints his spot to the meter. His external sensor suite alerts him to the presence of enemy air and ground forces, but they are far enough away to be of no consequence yet. That raises suspicions in his mind, as they seem to have left the soldier’s area strangely undefended—even unattended.

March 31, 2020
By Jerry Dotson, VP, Public Sector, Avaya
Credit: Shutterstock/Yurchanka Siarhei

Quantum computers will revolutionize information technology, ushering in an era where certain types of calculations will be performed with almost unimaginable speed. Practical applications will include healthcare disciplines such as molecular biology and drug discovery; big data mining; financial services such as portfolio analysis and fraud detection; and artificial intelligence and machine learning.

July 1, 2019
By George I. Seffers
The NSF’s Quantum Leap initiative includes a number of programs aimed at advancing the quantum technology research and helping the United States maintain a competitive edge over other nations.  Nicolle R. Fuller/ NSF

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is investing in a number of research institutes designed to advance quantum technologies in four broad areas: computation, communication, sensing and simulation. The institutes will foster multidisciplinary approaches to specific scientific, technological, educational, and workforce development goals in quantum technology, which could revolutionize computer and information systems.

May 2, 2019
 

International Business Machines Corp., Yorktown Heights, New York, has been awarded a $7,500,000 other transaction agreement for experimental purposes to provide an IBM Q access license. This agreement provides for remote access to the IBM Q System, a quantum computer with approximately 20 to 50 qubits. Work will be performed in Yorktown Heights, New York, and is expected to be complete by April 30, 2022. Fiscal year 2019 research and development funds in the amount of $5,000,000 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Research Laboratory, Rome, New York, is the contracting activity (FA8750-19-9-0334).

January 7, 2019
Posted by George I. Seffers
Research at Sandia National Laboratories may help shape the future of quantum computing. Credit: TheDigitalArtist/Pixabay

Four newly announced projects led by Sandia National Laboratories aim to advance quantum computing technology, according to an announcement from the laboratories.

The efforts include: a quantum computing testbed with accessible components on which industrial, academic and government researchers can run their own algorithms; a suite of test programs to measure the performance of quantum hardware; classical software to ensure reliable operation of quantum computing testbeds and coax the most utility from them; and high-level quantum algorithms that explore connections with theoretical physics, classical optimization and machine learning.

August 9, 2018
By Jane Melia
Solving the key and policy management challenge may be the hardest part of an encryption deployment. Credit: Tumisu/Pixabay

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget released a report this spring showing the abysmal state of cybersecurity in the federal government. Three-quarters of the agencies assessed were found to be “at risk” or “at high risk,” highlighting the need for a cyber overhaul. The report also noted that many agencies lacked “standardized cybersecurity processes and IT capabilities,” which affected their ability to “gain visibility and effectively combat threats.” 

July 1, 2018
By Justin Sherman and Inés Jordan-Zoob
The Uran-9 unmanned ground combat vehicle took part in the 2018 Moscow Victory Day Parade on Red Square earlier this year. Credit: Dianov Boris/Shutterstock.com

The cyber realm has redefined the meaning of warfare itself. Conflict in cyberspace is constant, low-cost and uninhibited by traditional definitions of territory and country. Now, governments, militaries and private research groups from America to South Korea are taking cyber capabilities one step further, using developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning to create autonomous weapons that will soon be deployed into battle.

Machine learning already has been used in both cyber and kinetic weapons, from autonomously firing gun turrets to human-superior social engineering attacks. While these advances are noteworthy, these machines are neither entirely intelligent nor autonomous.

June 20, 2018
By Jane Melia
Cybersecurity trends so far this year include a stern reminder that the threat of nation-sponsored cyber attacks cannot be ignored. Credit: TheDigitalArtist/Pixabay

With the arrival of June, we’re at the halfway point of an already busy year for the cybersecurity industry. With each passing year, our sector continues to demonstrate its evolving approach to fighting cyber threats, as cyber crime itself continues to evolve.

As both business and government move forward with digital transformation initiatives to improve processes and efficiency, the overall security attack surface continues to expand with more potential points of access for criminals to exploit. However, our industry is tackling these challenges head-on, with numerous innovative solutions continuing to come to market.

June 1, 2018
By Jane Melia
Credit: Den Schrodinger/Shutterstock

The potential geopolitical consequences of quantum communications will result in clear asymmetries in both knowledge and confidentiality of information. Countries whose data can be protected through quantum communication techniques will have a significant information advantage, a situation that would have important, albeit hard to predict, effects on geopolitical developments.

May 1, 2018
By Henry S. Kenyon
Researchers with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a communications system that uses quantum principles to detect low frequency magnetic waves. The technology promises to enable first responders and warfighters to communicate underground and in buildings and mariners to communicate underwater.

A quantum physics-based technology developed by National Institute of Standards and Technology researchers may enable first responders, warfighters and mariners to communicate and navigate in areas where radio and satellite-based communications are limited or nonexistent. The capability would allow military and emergency personnel to stay connected in urban canyons, under rubble, inside buildings, underground or even underwater.

April 11, 2018
By George I. Seffers
NIST researchers have developed a prototypical method for generating verifiably random numbers for quantum encryption. Credit: K. Irvine/NIST

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a method for generating numbers guaranteed to be random by quantum mechanics. Generating truly random numbers is one of the major challenges for quantum-based encryption and could mark a major leap in cybersecurity.

April 2, 2018
By Bob Gourley and Jane Melia
Without truly random encryption, the Internet of Things will not be effectively secured. Credit: geralt/Pixabay

The Internet of Things (IoT) has security issues. The fundamental weakness is that it adds to the number of devices behind a network firewall that can be compromised. Not only do we need to safeguard our computers and smartphones, now we must worry about protecting our homes, vehicles, appliances, wearables and other IoT devices.

August 15, 2017
 

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, has been awarded a $9,000,000 modification (P00001) to contract W911NF-17-C-0050 for basic research in quantum computing. Work will be performed in Los Angeles, California, with an estimated completion date of June 8, 2019. Fiscal 2017 operations and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $8,777,000 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, is the contracting activity.

May 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. government is racing to identify technologies that will resist the threat from quantum computers, which will render today’s encryption obsolete.

April 24, 2017
 

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has awarded a research contract in support of the Quantum Enhanced Optimization (QEO) program to an international team led by the University of Southern California. With the award, IARPA, which is within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, embarked on a multi-year research effort to develop special-purpose algorithms and hardware that harness quantum effects to surpass conventional computing.

April 13, 2017
By Jane Melia

While we are all still in the early stages of a networked, always-on Internet of Things world, this is the precise time to develop crucial and effective cybersecurity solutions to combat growing threats. The developing ecosystem needs new ideas for bold government actions, particularly to reduce the risks of quantum computers.

Quantum Threats Looming

December 21, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

Calling all codebreakers. The National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, needs the public's help to head off what officials say is a looming threat to information security: quantum computers.

It is believed that futuristic quantum computers significantly will outperform the supercomputers of today, an advancement that potentially could break encryption codes used to protect privacy in digital systems. The agency needs methods and strategies from the world’s cryptographers.

August 1, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Scientists at the Joint Quantum Institute have created a crystal structure that boosts the interaction between tiny bursts of light and individual electrons, an advance that could be a significant step toward establishing quantum networks in the future.

If all goes well with its most recent five-year review, the Joint Quantum Institute will receive a renewal of research dollars next month to continue exploring quantum mechanics and quantum phenomena. The fundamental science could one day lead to revolutionary sensors, electronic devices and computers.

“We’re really pushing the edge of what you can do with technologies,” says Gretchen Campbell, who in April was appointed co-director of the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI). “At the theoretical level, of course, there’s the need to push the frontiers of knowledge.”