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September 6, 2021

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‘Quantum in the Summer’ School 2021

The Quantum Communications Hub was proud to partially sponsor the ‘Quantum in the Summer’ School again during August 2021.

The summer school, which is hosted annually by the Quantum Engineering Technology Labs (QET Labs) at the University of Bristol, is a free week-long workshop for sixth form students aimed at inspiring a future generation of students to pursue a career in science. The 2021 event was the seventh summer school to take place, following the 2020 school which took place entirely virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Despite uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 in the run up to the event, Quantum in the Summer 2021 was able to take place face-to-face, with all appropriate public health guidelines adhered to. A group of 15 students chosen from a total of 54 applicants attended lectures, enjoyed lab tours, carried out experiments and took part in social activities at the University.

Students carrying out an experiment at Quantum in the Summer

Students carrying out a quantum experiment in the laboratory

Through lectures and workshops, students gained an understanding of a broad range of quantum topics including: History of Light, Introductory Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Superposition, Theory of Quantum Erasers, Entangled Quantum Systems, Theory of Hong-Ou-Mandel Interference, Quantum Cryptography, Quantum Metrology, Quantum Computation in Theory, and Principles of Integrated Photonics.

Alongside lectures, students gained hands-on experience with quantum experiments. Students built a quantum eraser and observed a number of demonstrations including of quantum computing in specialist quantum computing labs.

The programme wasn’t solely based on lectures and lab sessions; students attended a careers panel session with speakers from a variety of backgrounds, in a variety of roles, enabling them to gain insight into the many possible careers that quantum has to offer, including in academia, industry and start-ups.

Speaking about their experience of Quantum in the Summer 2021, one student said:

“I genuinely feel like I gained so much from talking to people in the field that I want to work in and has made me a lot more confident in pursuing physics.”

A parent of one participating student said:

“The course would have been a wonderful experience in normal times, but so much more so in a global pandemic when teenagers have missed out on so much. It really did make her Summer! I was also so impressed that your funding meant that all students, regardless of their parents’ wealth, could attend.”