The key physical technological advances of this century will be due to quantum technologies. These technologies exploit the curious properties of wave-particle duality and entanglement—quantum phenomena with no classical analogue.
Thus quantum technologies can perform a wide range of tasks that are impossible with classical technology, such as absolutely secure messaging, exponentially fast computation, super-resolution sensing, exponentially large capacity communication, and minimal disturbance measurement.
In other words, for information processing, information transmission, and measurement, quantum technology is simply faster, more powerful, and better.
We plan to place a longer, and nicer, introduction to the basics of Quantum Technology here. In the interim, you may find the following links useful:
A very nice podcast by the incomparable Robyn Williams on Quantum Computing. (Begins about 30 minutes through and runs to end with chats with Michelle Simmons and Andrew White).
Duncan McKimm has written a very nice article at ABC Science on "Quantum entanglement". Particularly recommended for newcomers.
If you have a technical optics background, you may find "Quantum information and Optics" a useful introduction. [Australian Optical Society News 16, Issue 1, March (2002)]..
www.quantumoptics.net is the premier collection of of quantum and atom optics research groups around the world.