WitsQ: the Wits quantum initiative, is a strategic initiative of the University to be a driver of quantum technologies, making Wits the leading quantum institute on the continent. The vision is to strategically promote and advance Quantum Technology at Wits, with a focus on the research, innovation, business, education and outreach, and ethics of quantum technologies, creating a collaborative forum that includes the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, health and business. The Initiative will grow a vibrant and productive quantum community at Wits, engage with relevant national and international entities across sectors, and provide a forum for experts and non-experts to interact.
Quantum mechanics is a theory that has been in existence for over a century, with the first quantum revolution giving birth to disruptive technologies such as the laser and the transistor, both at the very heart of our digital world. Despite being a venerable topic, quantum mechanics is experiencing a resurgence of late, spurring new technologies based on quantum entanglement, that spooky action at a distance so abhorred by Einstein. This has given rise to a “second quantum revolution”, promising new disruptive technologies. By harnessing the quantum world, we open an exciting future that is developing before our eyes: seeing smaller, better and with less light for enhanced medical imaging (quantum ghost imaging), networks that are fundamentally secure and unbreakable taking cybersecurity beyond its man-made limitations (quantum secure communication) and exponentially faster computers (quantum computing) to solve assumed “unsolvable” problems, from finance to drug design. Quantum technologies are closely integrated with artificial intelligence and machine learning, and considered a core security component of devices that will fuel the fourth industrial revolution. WitsQ sees the university as the main driver of South Africa’s Quantum Technology Initiative (SA QuTI), launched in March 2021 to move South Africa into the quantum future.