December 9, 2018

BY SHAFAQ PARWEZsp-quantum1

Quantum – The Exhibition, is part of the Government of Canada’s Innovation150, which celebrates Canada’s technological advances in the past as well as future transformations. The exhibition, which ends on Dec. 31, was created by the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo.

The exhibition is scheduled to travel to different science centres across the country in 2017. It is the first of its kind in the world.

The main goal of the exhibition is to introduce people to new concepts of quantum mechanics and how these can be merged with the principles of information technology to revolutionize our daily lives.

From the cellphones we use to our health-care system, everything under the sun will be revolutionized. Canada is at the frontier of these technological advances. Quantum mechanics takes the most fundamental aspects of our lives and the teachings of the universe and “collides” them, thus producing massive forms of usable energy. The characteristics of waves, particles and light are used extensively to achieve this goal. The key is to control particles like atoms and their photons.

Held at THEMUSEUM in Kitchener, the opening ceremony was attended by notable personalities including Carl Zehr, the longest mayor in office in Kitchener, and Bardish Chagger, Minister for Small Business and Tourism and MP for Waterloo. There were a range of scientists at the exhibition as well.

A video message from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was telecast. He mentioned how important it is for Canada to transform our scientific technologies for the betterment of the world because “Canada has always been a nation of innovators.”

Stephen Hawking, a well-known cosmologist and physicist, also sent a video message for the exhibition.

“I am delighted to welcome you to the launch of Quantum – The Exhibition at THEMUSEUM,” he said.

He outlined the importance of quantum computers by saying: “Quantum computers are potentially more powerful than our computers.”

David Marskell, the CEO of THEMUSEUM, welcomed guests. He said, “Our board has five high-level strategies for the organization and a couple of them came together to monetize our creativity and diversify our revenue. Another one was to reach out into the community and work with the local talent like with universities and colleges such as Conestoga College.”

The exhibition opened after 18 months of hard work by the professors at the Institute for Quantum Computing, the federal government and THEMUSEUM.

The exhibition covers a total area of 5,000 sq. ft and includes various interactive displays to help visitors understand some of the basics of quantum computing.

Some of the key concepts represented by the models were those of bits and bytes. Our conventional computers use this form of storage to store information but lots of energy is wasted thus heating up the device. Also, there is a limit to the amount of storage available. Quantum computing aims at making it impossible to exhaust the storage capacity of your device. To its credit, the Institute of Quantum Computing has built the world’s largest quantum computer at 12 qubits.

Some of the most significant applications of quantum computing is in the field of cancer. With the help of this technology, it is now possible to detect cancer in its early stages. For those with diabetes, the good news it will be possible to measure blood sugar levels without having to take a single blood sample.

A model of time travel, the rabbit hole, was also on display to give visitors an idea of how it would feel to travel through time.
The one thing that stood out was the format of the exhibition. It was designed for the common person with not a single equation on display.

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