Stupid Qubit 002: Will Britain be first to build a really useful quantum computer?

Stupid Qubit – Quantum Computing for the Clueless/002

A Brexit special¹ of sorts, as we find out about NQIT, the UK’s Government-supported effort to create a quantum computer – specifically, how they’re hoping to make world-beating machines out of ions levitating in a vacuum. We speak to Star Trek fan Professor Winfried Hensinger at the University of Sussex about his proposed warp-speed machine, as well as Professor Simon Benjamin and Dr Vera Schäfer at the University of Oxford. They’re well under way with the UK’s Q20:20 engine, a near-term machine that aims to connect hundreds of qubits using particles of light.

We also find out why Microsoft wants to tie knots in spacetime with its topological qubits and what a no-deal Brexit could mean for our quantum ambitions [spoiler: it’s not good].


  • Quantum News – a puzzle solved; a new way to get round noise; forging perfect nanodiamonds; IBM Q heads to France; Details of how to get a FREE QUBIT in our great qubit giveaway!
  • The Stupid Qubit Adiabatic Award
  • Quantum Questions on simulated universes and the potential uses of neutrinos
  • A song about ion traps
  • Misplaced jingoism

¹more in the sense of ‘special needs’

There’s also a ‘visually enhanced’ version of the episode up on YouTube, here, for those who prefer their podcasts with trippy sound-reactive graphics and irritating scrolling captions.

Conceived, written, produced and presented by Jim Mortleman and Stuart Houghton ©2019

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