Milburn Interview

Another interview from the Science Watch special topic on quantum computing interview series: Gerard Milburn. Most interestingly is Milburn's comments on linear optics quantum computing funding:

SW: How has the field of quantum computing changed in the past decade? Where do you hope to see it go in the next?

No matter what technology is ultimately used for quantum computing, optics will necessarily be used for short- and long-distance communication both within and between quantum computers (as is currently the case for conventional computing).

I was thus somewhat puzzled to learn that the US government had recently stopped funding research on optical quantum information processing. We certainly will continue to develop optical quantum information processing. At some point the solid-state QC community will need to return to quantum optical interconnects.

I had heard that the latest round of grants from the x-ARPA's didn't include linear optics quantum computing. (Though one could argue that some of the funding for systems that produce or detect single photons is really linear optics research in a bad disguise.) I wonder what the reasons for this were? Oh well, hopefully Australian and the UK, among others, will keep the candle alive.

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He is eliding optical interconnects with optical QIP. Optical QIP research doesn't make much sense, and if they want funding they should be more honest about the eventual applications.

What? How are Alice and Bob going to communicate across the cosmos after we leave this rock?