• Thu. Dec 7th, 2023

    Critical Thought

    Critical thoughts on quantum technologies

    New Quantum Innovations and the Trailblazing Scientists behind Them

    BySam Figg

    Nov 13, 2023
    New Quantum Innovations and the Trailblazing Scientists behind Them

    Quantum computing is revolutionizing the world of technology and opening up possibilities for solving complex problems at an unprecedented speed. Leading the way in this field is Professor Michelle Simmons, an acclaimed quantum physicist and the founder of Silicon Quantum Computing. With her groundbreaking work in atomic electronics, she has been awarded the prestigious Prime Minister’s Prize for Science.

    By developing the world’s first single atom transistor and successfully building an integrated circuit at the atomic scale, Professor Simmons has paved the way for quantum technologies with immense computing power. While classical computing may take years to solve complicated problems, quantum technologies could provide solutions within seconds.

    Professor Simmons has not only made significant scientific contributions but also played a crucial role in bringing the quantum field to the forefront in Australia. In 2017, she founded Silicon Quantum Computing, the country’s first quantum computing firm. This unique company manufactures quantum computing components at the atomic scale and has received ample support from the Australian government, with the Commonwealth owning a substantial equity stake and even appointing a board director.

    The collaborative nature of the quantum field in Australia is another distinguishing factor. Professor Simmons attributes her success to the fierce competition coupled with a strong spirit of collaboration within the Australian scientific community. This inclusive approach, bringing together government, industry, and universities, has drawn envy from overseas firms, particularly in the United States who are envious of the direct government backing.

    With her new accolade, Professor Simmons hopes to further advance the quantum industry in Australia, emphasizing the need to look forward and keep pace with the rapidly changing technological landscape. Her visionary mindset and determination to build a flourishing computing industry in Australia have placed the country in an excellent position to become a global leader in quantum technologies.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    1. What is quantum computing?

    Quantum computing is a field of study that leverages the principles of quantum mechanics to perform complex computations at an exponentially faster rate than classical computers. It utilizes quantum bits, or qubits, which can exist in multiple states simultaneously, leading to a significant increase in computational power.

    2. What is atomic electronics?

    Atomic electronics involves working with individual atoms to create electronic devices, such as transistors and integrated circuits. By manipulating and controlling atoms at the atomic scale, scientists like Professor Michelle Simmons are pushing the boundaries of traditional electronics and enabling the development of quantum technologies.

    3. How can quantum technologies benefit society?

    Quantum technologies have the potential to revolutionize various fields, including cryptography, drug discovery, optimization problems, and simulations. These technologies could provide solutions to complex problems that are currently infeasible with classical computing methods, leading to advancements in healthcare, energy, finance, and many other areas.


    Silicon Quantum Computing
    Prime Minister’s Office – Australia