Episode 36: Quantum Computing: Space Science Meets Science Fiction, with Martin Laforest

For more info on the podcast, please see our About page.

Feature Guest: Martin Laforest

martin_laforestMartin Laforest joins Justin Trottier at The Star Spot to discuss the fascinating, complex and bizarre world of the quantum. After describing the Institute for Quantum Computing and the uniqueness of its home, the University of Waterloo and the technological industrial hub of Waterloo, Ontario, the two explore quantum information, cryptography, and the often counter-intuitive theoretical underpinnings of these technological breakthroughs.

 Justin then goes through his list of fanciful “science meets science fiction” topics, ranging from quantum teleportation and replication to what possible effect it would have on SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) if aliens have moved on to using quantum encoded signals in their communication.

Finally Laforest comments on how we can harness a topic like quantum computing – which has excited public interest but is inherently complicated – to drum up interest in science.

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Current in Space

As a special treat, given that we missed our last regularly scheduled episode, we’ve included an expanded Current in Space segment featuring:

* Jessica sharing new evidence that shows we might all be martians after all
* Benjamin describing new studies that make us rethink our conception of a bone dry moon
* Denise expaining how iron could get into necklace beads thousands of years before the iron age (hint: it came from outer space!)
* Justin discussing how our supermassive central black hole offers the galaxy’s least hospitable neighborhood for a recently discovered pulsar
* Julia telling us how crowfounding can get a space start-up off the ground (literally when you’re talking about a $1.5 million kickstarter-funded public space telescope project!)

About Martin Laforest

Martin Laforest is Senior Manager for Scientific Outreach at the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, where he networks with government, industry and academia on behalf of the university and its quantum computing programs. He leads the Undergraduate School on Experimental Quantum Information Processing and the Quantum Cryptography School for Young Students. A mathematics and physics graduate from McGill university, Laforest is a passionate proponent of science communication and recently presented at TEDx Waterloo 2013

Links

Institute for Quantum Computing Homepage

Quantum teleportation done between distant large objects

Single Quantum Dots (Video)

A Polarizing Experiment: Martin Laforest at TEDxWaterloo 2013 (Video)

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If you have interesting news and story ideas, as well as topics or potential interview guest, please send them to starspotpodcast@gmail.com

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