Rump Session

Will Quantum Always Remain Basic Research or is it Ready to Power Great Products?

Moderator:  Chris Cole, II-VI Incorporated, USA

Pro-Quantum Team Captain: Mekena Metcalf, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA; Co-Captain: Andrew Lord, British Telecom, UK

Anti-Quantum Team Captain: Peter Winzer, Nubis Communications, USA; Co-Captain: Glenn Wellbrock, Verizon, USA


Quantum has received widespread publicity as a solution to otherwise insurmountable technical problems in areas of networking, computing, cryptography and others. The Rump Session will debate whether Quantum products in any of these areas will become real in the near future. Quantum has been a boon to the research community and start-ups, receiving generous grants and major venture funding, respectively.  But is it ready to for mainstream industry to add it to its technology toolbox? Same metrics that are used to judge any useful product will be applied to potential Quantum products, including relative performance, R&D cost and development time, unit cost, energy use, testability, yield and manufacturability. This is not a debate about basic Science, on which there is broad agreement, but rather about feasibility and practicality for commercial applications.


  • The Session is introduced by the Moderator, who facilitates a wide ranging discussion.
  • Next are introductory presentations by the opposing Team Captains.
  • This is followed by alternating presentations by opposing Team Co-Captains and Provocateurs
  • Each presentations is followed by vigorous audience participation
  • Presentations and audience participation are each 50% of Session time
  • The audience is encouraged to ask tough questions, make insightful comments, offer different perspectives, challenge the Teams and each other, and be entertained.
  • Long-winded comments and corporate pitches will be cut-off.