July 31, 2023

The United States’ Quantum Talent Shortage Is a National Security Vulnerability

A critical technology area promises to transform nearly every industry dependent on speed and processing power, from agriculture and financial services to health care and defense: quantum information science and technology, or QIST. QIST is an interdisciplinary field studying how to apply the laws of quantum physics to various forms of information processing, including computation and messaging. Quantum technologies’ promising but unknown potential has led the Biden administration to rank U.S. leadership in this area among its highest priorities, but the United States currently lacks access to the talent required to maintain competitiveness. The United States’ QIST talent shortage is a national security risk—and the White House has no solid plan to fill critical vacancies.

The United States has QIST advantages but can only maximize them by first prioritizing the development of a robust, diverse, and agile quantum workforce.

QIST encompasses three primary subfields. Quantum computing studies how superposition and entanglement—two properties inherent in quantum bits, or qubits—can store data and solve problems too complex for current computers. Quantum communication exploits the properties of qubits to encode information and transfer data between distant locations, achieving a level of security not possible by current communication networks. Quantum sensing uses the sensitivity of quantum states to measure physical properties like temperature, magnetic field, and rotation with unparalleled precision.

Read the full article from Foreign Policy.

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