Quantum Computing at Caltech

If you think you understand quantum mechanics, then you don’t understand quantum mechanics.

~Prof Richard Feynman, Caltech

Quantum panel at Caltech Entrepreneurs Forum

The Caltech Entrepreneurs Forum offers a blend of tech + business on Saturday mornings, roughly once per month. The February 2019 session featured quantum computing enthusiasts from a variety of disciplines:

Purpose of the gathering: To wrestle with questions in the field of quantum computing.

Physicists and Film Makers

The moderator, Andy Tomat, began the session by asking if there were any physicists in the room. A few hands shot up (out of roughly 80 people in the room). After a few more questions, it became clear that the audience contained people from fields that one would not immediately connect with quantum computing. For example, I happened to be sitting next to a film-maker. He was attending the session because he enjoys science and he’s looking for the next big thing in realistic rendering.

Next, the moderator reviewed some QC terms, summarized in the chart below…

Classical vs Quantum Computing Terms


Dr. Maria Spiropulu, professor of physics at Caltech, gave the keynote. The presentation began with the obligatoray chart of Moore’s Law, but with a twist. The exponential curve was extended to include improvements likely to come from quantum computing.

Spiropulu’s talk covered quantum clocks, quantum keys, and a list of three-letter government agencies that are all active in the QC world.

The keynote ended with a description of the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QEDC), a partnership between the US government and SRI corporation that aims to expand U.S. leadership in quantum R & D.


The keynote speaker was joined by three panelists, and then the group took questions that the audience had submitted in advance. A few highlights from the panel:


Bottom line: This month’s Caltech Entrepreneurs Forum was a magnet for talent on the cutting edge of quantum. Looking forward to more.