As part of British Science Week 2020, the Quantum Communication Hub was asked to give a talk to students (aged 11-18) and parents, at the Annual Holgate Science Lecture at the National STEM Learning Centre, York. Hub Investigator, Dr Roger Colbeck, gave the talk which included an introduction to quantum communications and quantum cryptography.
After the talk, students and parents were able to visit some fantastic, interactive demos. David Canning and Laura Huddleston (of Heriot-Watt University) demonstrated the MacroPhoton, which is a teaching aid that introduces concepts of quantum secure key exchange between two communicating partners, while Dr Igor Konieczniak demonstrated Measurement Device Independent Quantum Key Distribution (MDI QKD), this demo enabled students to ‘help’ Alice and Bob send a secure message to one another. Students were incredibly interested and engaged and asked questions ranging from what the real life applications of QKD are to what entanglement actually is and how it works! A fantastic evening was had by all and students left inspired to continue learning about quantum physics. Some students even asked what they need to study at university to get into the field of quantum communications! We encourage those who wish to enter the field to study Physics, Electronic Engineering or Computer Science at University, taking cryptography modules were possible.