This has important implications for computing: most of the energy computers currently use is to run ventilators to cool down the heat produced by electrical resistance in the circuits.
With quantum computing, you deliver information to electrons instead of microchips.
While the likes of Google and IBM are researching how to manipulate enough electrons to create quantum computers that are more powerful than classical computers, one big obstacle is that these computers are very fragile with respect to surrounding “Noise”.
Whereas classical computers can cope with interference, quantum computers end up producing intolerable numbers of errors because of shaky support frames, stray electrical fields or air molecules hitting the processor even if you hold it in a high vacuum.
It might take between ten and 30 years before scientists become sufficiently good at manipulating electrons to make quantum computing possible, but they open up exciting possibilities.
To give just one other example, quantum computing has the potential to make artificial intelligence a reality.
In short, the predictions of Thouless, Haldane and Kosterlitz have the potential to help revolutionise 21st-century computer technology.