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QECDT at Research without Borders

8 June 2016

On the 9th May 2016, the Bristol Doctoral College hosted Research Without Borders at the @Bristol Science Centre with the QECDT joining over more than 100 PGRs presenting their work with posters and interactive displays.

The aim of the event was to celebrate student research that tackles 'Grand Challenge' issues of global and regional concern and also to showcase the best of PGR research to the wider academic community.

The QECDT students showcased the importance of quantum engineering and also the recent developments that had been made. The display, under the title of "Quantum engineering: Trailblazing the quantum revolution", consisted of a mixture of posters and props illustrating four major areas of research: quantum computing, quantum communications, quantum sensing and metrology, and enabling technologies.

There were posters explaining the current research of the QECDT students, which involved things such as quantum sensing and quantum dots.  Visitors could learn about and visually experience some of the basic concepts behind quantum computing through a bulk optic setup of Mach-Zehnder interferometer.  They could also inspect the state-of-the-art silicon quantum photonics chips which feature tens of hundreds of these interferometers and other similar quantum devices on a chip that is no bigger than half a centimetre by half a centimetre. Visitors could also play with different kinds of diffractive optical elements which create interesting patterns from the input light. Finally, to see some of these technologies in action, they could take a peek inside a commercially available quantum cryptography system from ID Quantique.  

The booth was extremely successful as students were able to speak to fellow students and university staff, together with a wide range of people from industry (including Oxford Instruments, National Instruments, and Bristol based technology companies dealing with electronics and classical security), as well as, medical doctors from Bristol Royal Infirmary. The conversations were on a breadth of topics, from learning about these new quantum technologies, discussing the applications and debating the philosophy of quantum.

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