Quantum Leap

How can the world create better medicines? More powerful solar cells? New batteries? The answers could come from a revolutionary research tool known as the quantum computer. It can seem like magic—harnessing the power of quantum physics to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges. But there are unmitigated risks too, as the technology continues to develop. What would a quantum-led future hold? 


Play Button Pause Button
0:00 0:00
  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Podcast Host and Producer
Episode Guests
  • Shohini Ghose
    Quantum Physicist and Professor, Physics and Computer Science, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Marissa Guistina
    Quantum Electronics Engineer and Research Scientist, Google
  • Kate Weber
    Public Policy Lead, Quantum Computing, Google

Show Notes

Quantum computing could solve the world’s toughest challenges. The technology is still in its infancy, but some experts suggest it will change the course of scientific research, in areas such as chemical and biological engineering, climate change responses, and financial forecasting. But the quantum revolution isn’t around the corner, and there are many threats to neutralize. So, how could this technology alter society, and will that ever come to pass?


From CFR


Lucas Ashbaugh, “The Quantum Race the United States Can’t Afford To Lose,” Net Politics


Robert Morgus and Justin Sherman, “What Policymakers Need to Know About Quantum Computing,” Net Politics


Read More


Stephen Chen, “China launches world’s fastest programmable quantum computers,” South China Morning Post


Cade Metz, “Yale Professors Race Google and IBM to the First Quantum Computer,” New York Times


Susan Decker and Christopher Yasiejko, “Forget the Trade War. China Wants to Win Computing Arms Race,” Bloomberg


Patrick Caughill, “World’s Leading Physicist Says Quantum Computers Are ‘Tools of Destruction, Not Creation’,” Futurism


Shlomi Dolev, “The quantum computing apocalypse is imminent,” TechCrunch


Sophie Bushwick, “New Encryption System Protects Data from Quantum Computers,” Scientific American


Kevin Allison, “Why quantum computing could be a geopolitical time bomb,” GZERO Media


Watch and Listen


The Race For Quantum Supremacy,” Vice News


Demonstrating Quantum Supremacy,” Google


Google’s Plan To Create The World’s First Quantum Computer,” Simply Tech


How do quantum computers work?,” Interesting Engineering


Quantum Computers Explained – Limits of Human Technology,” Kurzgesagt


Global Governance

In 2022, several colossal events dominated the headlines, most prominently the war in Ukraine and the worldwide inflation that it helped spark. But beyond Ukraine, events with global implications continued to unfold. In this episode, Why It Matters checks in with three CFR fellows and CFR President Richard Haass to understand the least-covered stories of 2022 and to take a peek at what could await the world in 2023.

Technology and Innovation

For years, the world thought of the internet as a borderless zone that brought people from around the world together. But as governments pursue very different regulatory paths, the monolithic internet is breaking apart. Now, where there had been one, there are at least three internets: one led by the United States, one by China, and one by the European Union.

International Organizations

The 2022 FIFA World Cup has kicked off in Qatar, and billions of fans worldwide are tuning in to the world’s most popular live event. And yet as in years past, the Qatar Cup is transpiring under the shadow of controversy.

Top Stories on CFR


China has so far been able to feed its 1.4 billion people, but climate change and a dependence on imports could pose challenges.


The main battle tanks that the United States and Germany have agreed to provide Ukraine will help its forces punch through Russian fortifications and retake lost territory.

Sub-Saharan Africa

PEPFAR’s twentieth anniversary should prompt reflection on some inconvenient truths for U.S.-Africa relations.