U.S. Special Envoy for Science Assigned to Build U.S.-America Ties with Quantum Technology

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Singapore – Discover new drugs faster, develop better batteries for electric vehicles, and unlock the secrets of the deep sea with powerful sensors.

These are just some of the possibilities of quantum technology that have captured the public imagination, said Dr. Purineha Narang, a US special envoy for science, during a May 21-25 visit to Singapore.

Quantum technology is an emerging and complex field that harnesses the physics of subatomic particles, the building blocks of atoms, including protons, electrons, quarks and photons. Quantum mechanics applies to how particles behave at the atomic and subatomic level.

One of the best-known innovations in the field is the quantum computer, which has massive computational power far beyond today’s supercomputers.

Dr. Narang is one of seven U.S. Special Envoys for Science in 2023 and the first research fellow since the COVID-19 pandemic. Their role includes informing the U.S. Department of State, government agencies, and the scientific community about opportunities for science and technology cooperation, particularly for problems facing the world.

The 33-year-old is a professor of physical sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the first person to be appointed a special envoy for quantum science and technology. His six other scientists are experts in areas such as marine conservation, zoonotic diseases, and nature-based solutions to combat climate change.

“Many of the problems we are trying to solve today are in predicting new energy materials for batteries and new types of pharmaceuticals. Many of these problems are fundamentally quantum in nature.” she said.

During his visit, Dr. Narang met with officials from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University. She hopes the meeting will eventually lead to quantum-related research partnerships between institutions and startups from both countries.

“I have certainly seen different aspects of the quantum ecosystem represented here. There is a lot of research going on in photonics, materials and device design. This is an area where we expect

He also visited Japan and South Korea in a similar capacity in early May.

In 2022, Singapore will step up its investment in quantum computing with efforts aimed at fostering talent development and providing better access to early technologies.

The National Quantum Computing Hub will host Singapore’s first quantum computer, allowing businesses and government agencies to directly access and test it.

Quantum computers can be used to enhance artificial intelligence, plan global logistics and supply chains more efficiently, make weather forecasts more accurate, and more.

Developing quantum talent is a priority for Dr. Narang, she said, and experts do not need to have PhDs.

“PhDs are valuable, but there are plenty of jobs in the quantum ecosystem for people with undergraduate and masters degrees. Everyone is waiting to join this field with a PhD in physics or engineering. As a result, this technology growth will not grow as fast as we would like it to.

He said it would be possible to incorporate elements of quantum engineering into various undergraduate courses without creating a new major. For example, computer science students can be introduced to quantum algorithms, and chemists can think about the application of quantum computing to predict new molecules.

“There are even online games like Quantum Chess, which is the quantum version of Go (the board game)… There are also games that introduce people to the Go field from an early age. is that there is a “quantum native”, just as there is a ”

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