Science Students Visit D-Wave

Science Students Visit D-Wave
Guide Colin Enderud speaks to Silvia, Anjali and Manpreet about quantum superposition at D-Wave systems in Burnaby

On Tuesday, September 24, Mr. Riendl and YHS students Silvia, Manpreet, and Anjali, boarded the YHS van and drove over to D-Wave Systems headquarters in Burnaby.

D-Wave is a pioneer in quantum computing and research, with clients that range from Google to Nasa! D-Wave is also ranked 4th worldwide (behind IBM, Hewlett Packard, and Fujitsu) in terms of its computer patent potential. This is an incredible feat considering D-Wave is a small company based out of Burnaby, BC.

The company was having an open house of the facility. Along with the awesome mexican food we were served, we also were able to tour the facility and take a look at the quantum computers from our tour guide Colin!

We got to hear speeches from Geordie Rose, Founder of D-wave, and Vern Brownell, CEO (bios here). They told us all about the capabilities of quantum computers and quantum physics (they even discussed the possibility of a parallel universe…hmm) and how these technologies are far superior than technology that’s commonly used today. This is because quantum computers are able to process complex algorithms and problems in less steps than regular computers. Quantum computers can do this because a quantum computer has qubits instead of just bits, which are found in regular computers. Bits can only be ‘1’ or ‘0’ at any given time, but a quantum qubit can be ‘1’ and ‘0’ at the same time! This is what give quantum computers their special properties. That’s a super-duper simplified explanation of how it works, but that’s about the extent that people without a degree in physics understand this strange phenomenon. Even the famous scientist and Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman said “if you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics”.

We had an amazing experience at D-Wave and we’d like to thank Colin for answering all our questions and giving us a tour. We’d also like to especially thank Mr. Riendl for making the entire experience possible! For a series of photos from our tour, check out this link.

From: Silvia, Manpreet, and Anjali

Category: Senior School
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