HPE Blog, UK & Ireland

Quantum computing: Superposition or qubit too far?

Quantum computing is enigmatic, thrilling, and almost impenetrable from the outside. If you're not a scientist or a mathematician, it's easy to get swept up in the hype. But are these spooky phenomena and mystical properties obscuring us from asking the important questions?

In today's episode, we enter the multiverse of quantum computing. HPE Chief Technologist Tony Stranack helps to understand what makes this tech so radically different. We size up quantum supremacy and harnessing decoherence with Dr. Ray Beausoleil, Director of Large-Scale Integrated Photonics Lab at Hewlett Packard Labs. Plus, mathematician, computer scientist and post-quantum cryptographer Dr. Sarah McCarthy explains why we need to shake-up our security now, before it's too late!

Quantum computers vs classical computers: the cat is out of the box

Watch out supercomputers, there's a new powerhouse in town. With HPC machines now reaching exascale proportions, scientists and governments are concentrating their efforts into developing a stable, functional quantum computer. But... what does that actually entail?

From Alan Turing and John von Neumann, to Erwin Shrödinger and his elusive cat, Tony Stranack explains what makes quantum computers so powerful. We learn how shrinking silicon lead to mystifying phenomena, and how superposition and entanglement deliver double the power by just adding a single qubit.

Quantum supremacy: game-changer or tech for tech's sake?

Does a quantum computer exist? It sounds like a ridiculous question, but the answer is still up in the air. Dr. Ray Beausoleil explains why quantum supremacy alone is not a meaningful milestone. We learn how researchers are working to harness the four main principals of quantum mechanics, why there's still no killer application for quantum computers, and why it's so difficult to build a stable quantum machine.

Plus, Ray shares what he believes will be the biggest transformation in computing over the next 20 years. It's quantum... but not as we know it!

Nothing is safe: the bold frontier of post-quantum cryptography

Since scientists first started working with qubits, there have been whispers about the possible destruction of encryption as we know it. Now, with quantum computing advances on the horizon, we've reached a fever pitch!

The University of Waterloo's Dr. Sarah McCarthy explains why asymmetric encryption, particularly RSA, is under certain and quantifiable threat. We hear about her fascinating work with lattice-based cryptography, and learn what organisations need to do right now to get ready for the post-quantum world.

Key takeaways:

  • There's no need for FOMO about quantum computers. However, organisations need to understand post-quantum cryptography and their own level of threat.
  • Quantum supremacy is just an engineering milestone. The real computing revolution will be ascertained through its scientific and societal benefits.
  • Classical computing can't suppress quantum effects forever. Electrical engineers will need to understand and harness quantum phenomena to build the machines of the future.

Links and Resources:

Quantum computing for the very curious

A beginner's guide to quantum computing | Shohini Ghose TED Talk

What is Quantum Computing? | HPE

Ray Beausoleil Google Scholar

Sarah McCarthy Website

Institute for Quantum Computing | University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Cybersecurity in a Quantum World | Michele Mosca

Post-Quantum Cryptography | NIST

Hewlett Packard Labs

Michael Bird
Hewlett Packard Enterprise


Follow me on Twitter: @miclbrd
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About the Author


I'm a Digital Marketing Manager for UK and Ireland at HPE and I've been working in the IT industry for nearly 10 years. I'm fascinated by technology and the impact it has on organisations and us as individuals.

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