Scientist and entrepreneur Dr Graeme Malcolm has led a productive career in photonics and laser technology, responsible for the growth of three successful photonics companies. Graeme is co-founder and CEO of M Squared, which develops and manufactures solid-state lasers and photonics applications.
Graeme’s work with M Squared currently focuses on some of the greatest challenges in science, technology and society. These include remote sensing for security, counter-terrorism and civil infrastructure challenges, photonics technologies that help scientists develop techniques to diagnose and treat diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, systems to monitor climate change and food production from the Earth’s orbit and new ways to enhance cell science through microscopy.
Most recently, M Squared have started working with the UK Quantum Technology Hubs and have successfully produced some of the UK’s first commercial quantum technologies including atom interferometry equipment and a single-pixel camera – a hybrid technology combining quantum sensing with infrared imaging.
Graeme devotes himself to supporting the UK’s scientific base. He was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen for his services to science and innovation and a Swan Medal from the Institute of Physics for his outstanding contributions to the application of physics in a commercial context.
Quantum technology: Building the gateway to a new world
Quantum physics is a gradually emerging area of technology that will transform digital computing, information and communications technology, medical science and care, navigation, security and financial markets and could transform life in ways we cannot yet even imagine.
Graeme will introduce both the science and the business of quantum technology and offer insights from his own experience working in this emerging field of groundbreaking technology.
Scientists such as Albert Einstein and his contemporaries first promulgated quantum theory in the early 20th Century. Particles could be in two states at once, and two separate particles separated by a great distance can seemingly sense something about their counterpart’s condition, a situation known as quantum entanglement. Einstein nicknamed this ‘spooky action at a distance’ and, being the basis for our most advanced understanding of physics, it has considerable consequences for technology of all kinds, including communications and information technology. It is highly counterintuitive, running against Newtonian understandings of the universe’s natural laws, which were previously considered to follow the observable way in which matter behaves.
Only in the past two decades have many of these theories entered the realms of established science, thanks to huge leaps forward in scientific understanding and experimentation. Much of this advancement is down to laser technology.
Lasers and photonics instruments undergird manufacturing techniques, computer processors and hard drives, medical scanning instruments, chemical and gravity sensing instruments, imaging tools, time measurement and other tools. They are also used to help us build a scientific understanding of cells and organic tissues, the basic nature of physical matter and gravity.
If quantum science is now providing the foundations for the advancement of our scientific understanding of the world, where could this lead? And, how will the limits and boundaries of technology change? Graeme will explain, in simple terms, the nature of this new understanding of physics and how quantum computers and other new technologies could take huge leaps forward thanks to our new understanding.