Quantum Revolution 2.0 - Technology and Social Change

Increased scientific knowledge has always had a significant effect on technical, social, and economic advances, just as it has always entailed enormous ideological revolutions. 

The natural sciences are, in reality, the primary engine of our contemporary wealth. 

The persistent quest of information leads to scientific advancement, which, when coupled with the dynamism of free-market competition, leads to equally consistent technical advancement. 

The one gives humanity with ever-increasing insights into the structure and processes of nature, while the second provides us with almost unlimited opportunities for individual activities, economic growth, and quality-of-life improvements. 

Here are a few instances from the past: 

• During the Renaissance, new technical breakthroughs such as papermaking, printing, mechanical clocks, navigation tools/shipping, building, and so on ushered in unparalleled wealth for Europeans. 

• The fruits of Newtonian physics found a spectacular technical expression in the shape of steam engines and heat machines, based on the new theory of heat, during the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries. 

• Transportation and manufacturing were transformed by railway and industrial equipment. 

• In the late 1800s, Faraday and Maxwell's electromagnetic field theory led immediately to city electricity, modern telecommunications, and electrical devices for a significant portion of the rural population. 

• The technological revolution of the twentieth century roughly corresponds to the first generation of quantum technologies and has brought us lasers, computers, imaging devices, and much more (including, unfortunately, the atomic bomb), resulting in a first wave of political and economic globalization. 

Digitization, with its ever-faster information processing and transmission, industrial integration with information and communication technology, and, of course, the internet, has ushered in a new era of political and economic globalization. 

Something new will emerge from the impending second quantum revolution. 

It will radically transform communication, engagement, and manufacturing once again. 

The Quantum Revolution 2.0, like all other technological revolutions, will usher in yet another significant shift in our way of life and society. 

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

You may also want to read more about Quantum Computing here.

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