Could the Pacific Northwest become ‘Quantum Valley’?

California’s Silicon Valley may rule the roost for internet startups, and Kendall Square in the Boston area may set the pace for the biotech industry, but could the Pacific Northwest leap into the lead for quantum computing?

Experts who are exploring one of the computing world’s hottest frontiers say there’s a chance that Seattle could become the heart of a “Quantum Valley” — but it could take years for the promise of quantum computing to pay off.

“I’d say we’re on the order of a decade plus before we start to see this start to really materialize,” said Louis Terminello, associate laboratory director for physical and computational sciences at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Terminello is among the authors of a recent commentary calling for increased public investment to solidify the Pacific Northwest as home of the nation’s top regional cluster for research and development in quantum information science — in short, Quantum Valley.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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