Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is Quantum Information Science and why is it important?
The answer to that would take more space than allowed here and there are lots of institutions that have resources and information. On behalf of the Interagency Working Group on Workforce, Industry and Infrastructure, under the NSTC subcommittee on Quantum Information Science (QIS), the National Science Foundation invited 25 researchers and educators to come together in March 2020 to deliberate on defining a core set of key concepts for future QIS learners that could provide a starting point for further curricular and educator development activities. The group outlined 9 Core Concepts for QIS Learning.
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What are the 9 Core Concepts?
- Quantum information science (QIS) exploits quantum principles to transform how information is acquired, encoded, manipulated, and applied. Quantum information science encompasses quantum computing, quantum communication, and quantum sensing, and spurs other advances in science and technology.
- A quantum state is a mathematical representation of a physical system, such as an atom, and provides the basis for processing quantum information.
- Quantum applications are designed to carefully manipulate fragile quantum systems without observation to increase the probability that the final measurement will provide the intended result.
- The quantum bit, or qubit, is the fundamental unit of quantum information, and is encoded in a physical system, such as polarization states of light, energy states of an atom, or spin states of an electron.
- Entanglement, an inseparable relationship between multiple qubits, is a key property of quantum systems necessary for obtaining a quantum advantage in most QIS applications.
- For quantum information applications to be successfully completed, fragile quantum states must be preserved, or kept coherent.
- Quantum computers, which use qubits and quantum operations, will solve certain complex computational problems more efficiently than classical computers.
- Quantum communication uses entanglement or a transmission channel, such as optical fiber, to transfer quantum information between different locations.
- Quantum sensing uses quantum states to detect and measure physical properties with the highest precision allowed by quantum mechanics.
What is the National Quantum Initiative Program?
The U.S. National Quantum Initiative Program was signed into law January 2019. It was designed to invest in our future technology workforce pipelines by preparing our current students K-12. There was a recognition that national efforts were going to be necessary in order to maintain a role in quantum information, systems, and technology applications.
It is imperative that K-12 students be introduced to basics of quantum and develop an appreciation of how quantum is important to their lives and jobs. Quantum information science uses of the laws of quantum physics for storage, transmission, manipulation, or measurement of information and therefore it is the basis for our national security (data encryption, cryptography), communications (phones, satellites, TVs), medical fields (MRIs, scans), technology (semiconductors, LEDs), and much more. In order to develop a workforce pipeline, K-12 students must understand the importance of being quantum-smart and the “quantum-smart” pipeline must begin in grades K-12. Our goal is to facilitate the education of teachers and students so they are quantum literate.
Are there any resources or conferences to help teachers with understanding quantum information?
Due to the COVID restrictions the Quantum for All conference was moved to an online format. We hope to offer more sessions online as well as face-to-face sessions in the near future. To receive more information sign up on the website using the contact form.