Category Archives: Quantum Physics

Solving mysteries of the universe after measuring gravity in the quantum world – Tech Explorist

Gravity is best described as a curvature of space-time. Hence, it remains resistant to unifications with quantum theory. At microscopic scales, gravitational interaction is fundamentally weak and becomes prominent. It means that what happens to gravity in the microscopic regime where quantum effects dominate remains unknown, and whether quantum coherent effects of gravity become apparent remains unknown.

Thanks to new studies, scientists have successfully unraveled the mysterious forces of the universe. They figured out how to measure gravity on a microscopic level.

Using a new technique, they detected a weak gravitational pull on a tiny particle.

Their study could lead to new ways to find the elusive quantum gravity theory.

For this study, scientists used levitating magnets to detect gravity on microscopic particles small enough to border the quantum realm. The results could help experts find the missing puzzle piece in our picture of reality.

Lead author Tim Fuchs, from the University of Southampton, said,For a century, scientists have tried and failed to understand how gravity and quantum mechanics work together.

Now that we have successfully measured gravitational signals at a negligible mass ever recorded, we are one step closer to finally realizing how it works in tandem.

From here, we will start scaling the source down using this technique until we reach the quantum world on both sides.

By understanding quantum gravity, we could solve some of the mysteries of our universe like how it began, what happens inside black holes, or uniting all forces into one big theory.

Scientists used a sophisticated setup involving superconducting devices, known as traps, with magnetic fields, sensitive detectors, and advanced vibration isolation.

It measured a weak pull, just 30aN, on a tiny particle 0.43mg in size by levitating it in freezing temperatures a hundredth of a degree above absolute zero about minus-273 degrees Celsius.

The results open the door for future experiments between even smaller objects and forces, said Professor of Physics Hendrik Ulbricht, also at the University of Southampton.

He added:We are pushing the boundaries of science that could lead to discoveries about gravity and the quantum world.

Our new technique that uses frigid temperatures and devices to isolate the vibration of the particle will likely prove the way forward for measuring quantum gravity.

Unravelling these mysteries will help us unlock more secrets about the universes fabric, from the tiniest particles to the grandest cosmic structures.

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Solving mysteries of the universe after measuring gravity in the quantum world - Tech Explorist

Why quantum technology may hold the key to alternative energy – Observer Research Foundation

With conventional energy sources like fossil fuels depleting fast, not to mention their adverse effects on the environment, the world has been in desperate need of alternative means to address our ever-growing energy needs. Attempts include solar, wind, geothermal and hydro-energy, nuclear fusion reactors, hydrogen energy and sodium-ion batteries, to name a few. While all these have certainly been laudable efforts, most have faced severe challenges and as a result, have achieved low to moderate success. The search for a viable substitute to fossil fuels goes on, once again putting human ingenuity to the test. The answer may come, however, from the unlikeliest of places, the quantum nature of reality itself.

Having been established more than a century ago, quantum theory remains a subject of much discussion and debate within the physics community itself. This is partly owing to the non-intuitive nature of the subject since it is extremely difficult for us to visualise how the world functions on such a microscopic scale. It turns out that the universe is quite peculiar at the quantum scale, and seems to defy conventional logic. In short, quantum theory is just strange. Consequently, despite being the most successful and accurate theory to date, it is nowhere near complete, and there are fundamental questions which remain unanswered.

With conventional energy sources like fossil fuels depleting fast, not to mention their adverse effects on the environment, the world has been in desperate need of alternative means to address our ever-growing energy needs.

This long pursuit to understand how nature works on a fundamental level led us down an unexpected path, something which we could not have foreseen, and is now begging us to ask an important questionIs it possible to utilise the quantum nature of matter itself to create an alternative source of energy? Ongoing research in the field seems to suggest that the answer to this question is a resounding yes. Recent work on quantum batteries and quantum engines indicates that quantum technology may indeed hold the key to the future of energy generation, and we have barely even scratched the surface.

While they seemed to be a distant reality for the time being, a research group comprising scientists from the University of Tokyo and the Beijing Computational Research Centre has made a recent breakthrough which could make quantum batteries a practical reality sooner than expected. Conventional chemical batteries rely on materials like lithium to store charge. Quantum batteries, on the other hand, use individual particles like photons to store energy.

Solar panels notoriously lose efficiency due to thermal losses, but leveraging ICO could mitigate these losses, leading to significantly enhanced energy output.

The essential idea the group used is a purely quantum phenomenon known as Indefinite Causal Order (ICO) which modifies our usual notion of the flow of time. The macroscopic world follows the rule of causality, if event 1 precedes event 2, the reverse cannot happen. This, however, is not necessarily the case when it comes to the quantum world. ICO implies that event 1 leading to event 2, and event 2 leading to event 1, can take place simultaneously via the principle of superposition. This led to the unexpected result that a lower-power charger could provide higher energies with greater efficiency compared to a higher-power charger using the same apparatus.

The implications of this breakthrough extend far beyond portable devices. ICO's ability to manipulate heat transfer within quantum systems could revolutionise solar energy capture. Solar panels notoriously lose efficiency due to thermal losses, but leveraging ICO could mitigate these losses, leading to significantly enhanced energy output.

Figure 1: Charging quantum batteries in indefinite causal order. In the classical world, if you tried to charge a battery using two chargers, you would have to do so in sequence, limiting the available options to just two possible orders. However, leveraging the novel quantum effect called ICO opens the possibility to charge quantum batteries in a distinctively unconventional way. Here, multiple chargers arranged in different orders can exist simultaneously, forming a quantum superposition. Source: Chen et al (2023).

Though quantum engines are a more ambitious undertaking than batteries, the recent work by researchers at the University of Kaiserslautern, Germany, suggests they may hold massive potential in the future. While conventional engines use the Carnot cycle to convert heat or thermal energy into mechanical work, this particular quantum engine works on the energy differences which arise as a result of the statistical properties of quantum particles.

The bosons pile up in the lowest energy state, while the fermions keep ascending and stacking on top of each other, thereby increasing the energy of the system.

According to quantum mechanics, nature consists of two kinds of particles: bosons and fermions. While any energy state can accommodate an infinitely large number of bosons, it can only hold one fermion at a given point in time, meaning that no two fermions can occupy the same state. This is the foundation of the famous Pauli Exclusion Principle.

Although this effect is not important at room temperature, it becomes increasingly dominant as we cool the particles down to absolute zero temperatures (-273o Celsius or 0 Kelvin). The bosons pile up in the lowest energy state, while the fermions keep ascending and stacking on top of each other, thereby increasing the energy of the system. Therefore, at very low temperatures, fermions possess much more energy than bosons.

Figure 2: Blue balls indicate bosons and red and green balls indicate fermions. Green and red balls correspond to two spin states (spin up and spin down). Bosons pile up at the ground state while fermions keep ascending in energy. Source: S. Will (2011).

In the early 2000s, it was discovered that it is possible toconvert a gas of fermions into bosons and vice-versa using magnetic fields. When this process is performed cyclically, the energy difference between fermions and bosons can in principle be converted into mechanical energy, similar to how a conventional engine works. The main difference here is that instead of using heat, the driving force in quantum engines turns out to be the difference in the fundamental nature of the quantum particles themselves.

While the experiment was a proof-of-concept demonstration, there is no denying the possibilities it presents. While quantum engines seem poised to be a viable source of energy for powering quantum computers and quantum sensors in the future, it is entirely within the realm of possibility that they may be able to power something even bigger down the road.

There have been numerous technological advancements in the field of alternative and renewable energy lately. However, most, if not all of them, are critically dependent on limited resources, which are bound to run out eventually. For instance, nuclear fusion, despite being one of the cleanest sources of energy, is still completely reliant on scarce materials like tritium. The severe shortage in the supply of semiconductors recently had an adverse impact on the manufacture of electric vehicles in 2023, an industry which is already set to contend with a lithium supply crunch in the future. And while green hydrogen seems like an exciting prospect, it is too expensive and inefficient to be economically viable at the moment, and it remains to be seen whether this will change in the future.

The severe shortage in the supply of semiconductors recently had an adverse impact on the manufacture of electric vehicles in 2023, an industry which is already set to contend with a lithium supply crunch in the future.

In this context, quantum technology may offer a way out since it is not directly dependent on any external resource, rather it relies on the nature of matter itself to generate energy. Though the aforementioned developments are just small steps in the right direction, and it may take years before quantum technology becomes a viable source of energy creation, the potential here is immense. Quantum batteries could, for instance, offer a reliable replacement for lithium-ion batteries in the future. Given the environmental cost of lithium mining, not to mention its increasing scarcity, the world is in dire need of an alternative and quantum technology can do just that.

India continues to invest sizeable resources into alternative energy as part of its 2070 net zero goals, the National Green Hydrogen Mission constituting a recent example. What has not really been explored so far is quantum energy generation. With the National Quantum Mission having been announced in the 2023 budget, the groundwork has already been laid out. Including quantum energy generation under the ambit of the NQM would be a good way to kickstart Indias endeavour into this novel and exciting field, one which has the potential to completely transform the landscape of energy production as we know it. The future of energy generation may lie in the microscopic domain of quantum mechanics.

Prateek Tripathiis a Research Assistant Centre For Security Strategy and Technology at the Observer Research Foundation

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Why quantum technology may hold the key to alternative energy - Observer Research Foundation

Blocking out the noise: An interview with a quantum computing expert – McKinsey

February 29, 2024by Henning Soller

Quantum computing, which uses the principles of quantum mechanics to solve extremely complex problems, has recently seen significant advances that are making the technology much more practical. The possibility of surpassing todays computing limitations has become increasingly relevant given the exponentially growing need of resources for generative AI. Realizing solutions to otherwise unsolvable problems has generated interest from companies and significant funding for quantum computing companies.

While pursuing his PhD in physics, Thau Peronnin was part of the quantum-electronics group at cole normale suprieure, building the academic foundations for quantum computers. He cofounded Alice & Bob in 2020 to continue that work. The company has raised more than 30 million to date and is home to 80 physicists and engineers working to build the worlds first universal fault-tolerant quantum computer.

McKinsey partner Henning Soller sat down with Peronnin to learn his perspective on the value quantum computers can provide and how companies can prepare for their arrival.

Henning Soller: Whats the inherent advantage of a quantum computer? Where will its impact be most felt?

Thau Peronnin: Quantum will always be paired with classical computing to shape or prepare the data because quantum is only good at a handful of things. But these handful of things happen to have use cases everywhere.

Take AI, for example. On one hand, some believe Moores Law, which describes the scaling of compute power, has been slowing down and may plateau at some point. On the other hand, the scale of the infrastructure required to train generative AI models has basically reached global scale; it costs tens to hundreds of millions of dollars to train novel models. But were still falling very short of AI achieving human-level intelligence. Well need a profound disruption in computing to push it forward. This is what quantum could bring.

People are throwing around a lot of numbers in the hundreds of billions of dollars for the market potential for quantum. What all those numbers have in common is that they are unreasonably large. But they do indicate that there is a great potential for disruption through quantum. You must remember, though, that quantum is not the end goal. The end goal is to change the scale at which we can compute, which can drive better engineering and thereby increase value creation. This is what all the different types of computefrom telecommunications to AIhave been doing for the past 60 years. Quantum offers new breadth in that momentum of generating growth.

Where will that growth happen? Its a trade-off for companies and industries between how tech savvy and aware they are of what quantum offers and the potential quantum has for them. For example, since the 90s, financial institutions have understood the level of compute that can generate value for them, even though its not very transformative for humankind. In comparison, you have industries for which it could completely change the engineeringfrom pharmaceuticals to battery design in automotive. The problems that are most suited to quantum all boil down to material chemistry and biology.

Henning Soller: When do you think quantum computing will become a reality?

Thau Peronnin: I believe the signaling milestone for the beginning of quantum is happening now: a machine has been able to escape decoherence. That is, a logical qubit system is correcting its errors and is thereby demonstrating how quantum computing can become a reality. This means that we are now able to build machines that behave as promised. Next, we need to scale them up.

Error correction and managing decoherence will be key aspects from both a technology and a software perspective going forward. We can make major advancements with respect to the underlying technology, but we can also improve the algorithms and possibly even leverage decoherence.

The question is when the hardware will meet the requirements of real-world use cases and generate real-world value. For this, we need to increase the number of qubits, but right now, theres also a trend of innovating to reduce the required number of qubits. I believe these two trends will converge somewhere between 2027 and 2030.

Henning Soller: What can companies do at this stage to prepare for quantum computers?

Thau Peronnin: Quantum is all about first-mover advantage. If you take, for example, the automotive industry, the first company to be able to leverage novel hardware will be the first one to secure IP [intellectual property] on novel battery design. Once you start looking at quantum that way, you see that its going to cost maybe a few million dollars over several years to ramp up a decent team of four to six people internally so a company can expand as soon as its ready to move.

But its important not to get lost in proofs of concept. Companies should start by doing value calculations and prioritizing use cases. Then companies can carefully consider the trade-off and cost between being too early or too late in quantum.

Thau Peronnin is CEO and cofounder of Alice & Bob. Henning Soller is a partner in McKinseys Frankfurt office.

Comments and opinions expressed by interviewees are their own and do not represent or reflect the opinions, policies, or positions of McKinsey & Company or have its endorsement.

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Blocking out the noise: An interview with a quantum computing expert - McKinsey

New test could help detect effects of quantum gravity – Advanced Science News

Gaining an understanding of quantum gravity could help scientists uncover some of the Universe's deepest mysteries.

A new experimental technique to measure extremely weak gravitational forces with remarkable precision has recently emerged. The scientists behind the development believe it could one day help probe quantum effects in gravity a holy grail in modern theoretical physics.

By understanding quantum gravity, we could solve some of the mysteries of our Universe like how it began, what happens inside black holes, or uniting all forces into one big theory, Tim Fuchs, a physicist at Leiden University and one of the authors of the study, explained in a press release.

Although gravity is perhaps one of the most easily observed of all the fundamental forces, it has remained resistant to quantization, which is the incorporation of quantum theory that occurs on microscopic scales.

Quantum gravitational effects are too miniscule to be observed or be of relevance in most interactions of large bodies, such as stars and planets. However, they are expected to become visible when matter reaches intense densities and temperatures, orders of magnitude higher than anything we can achieve in a lab.

Since, the method proposed by the authors of the study emerges as a pivotal avenue for experimental exploration, potentially leading to a comprehensive theory of quantum gravity an imperative for unraveling the Universes deepest mysteries.

These extreme conditions make quantum gravity very difficult to study experimentally. The energies of particles in accelerators are too low for quantum-gravitational effects to manifest in their collisions, and astronomical observations have also not yet provided any information about these effects.

But in their recent study, Fuchs and his colleagues propose a sensitive experiment that will allow them to delve into how slight deviations in the behavior of gravitating bodies might deviate from predictions made by Einsteins theory of relativity, which describe gravity in classical terms. These deviations from classical behavior might encode previously unseen quantum effects in gravitational interactions.

For a century, scientists have tried and failed to understand how gravity and quantum mechanics work together, said Fuchs. Now we have successfully measured gravitational signals at the smallest mass ever recorded, it means we are one step closer to finally realizing how it works in tandem.

In their study, the authors used a superconducting magnetic trap to study the subtle attraction between masses used to create a sort of artificial gravitational field and a test mass used as a probe.

The 0.43 milligram test mass is a neodymium-iron-boron magnet that levitated over a superconductor made of tantalum. This lack of physical support makes the test mass extremely sensitive to any external influence.

The gravitational field under study was generated by three 2.45 kg masses, evenly spaced on a wheel, which was placed on the side of the magnet. The wheels rotation changes their distance to the test mass, altering the magnitude of the gravitational attraction between them.

To suppress all mechanical and thermal noise, the experimental apparatus was suspended on a multi-stage spring system and chilled to temperatures near absolute zero (-273.15 degrees Celsius).

In their experiment, the team were able to measure a minute displacement of the test mass, which allowed them to determine tiny changes in the gravitational attraction between the source masses and the test mass. This was on the order of tens of attoNewtons 18 orders of magnitude lower compared to Earths gravitational pull on a 1 kg mass.

While initial measurements didnt reveal deviations from classical gravitational theory, the researchers anticipate that by reducing noise, as well as the source mass to the scale of the test mass, they will be able to probe the variations in the gravitational field so small that quantum effects in gravity will become noticeable. From here we will start scaling the source down using this technique until we reach the quantum world on both sides, Fuchs said.

We are pushing the boundaries of science that could lead to new discoveries about gravity and the quantum world, concluded Hendrik Ulbricht, a professor of physics at Hendrik Ulbricht and a coauthor of the study.

Our new technique that uses extremely cold temperatures and devices to isolate vibration of the particle will likely prove the way forward for measuring quantum gravity, he continued. Unraveling these mysteries will help us unlock more secrets about the Universes very fabric, from the tiniest particles to the grandest cosmic structures.

Reference: Tjerk H. Oosterkamp, et al, Measuring gravity with milligram levitated masses, Science Advances (2024). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.adk2949

Feature image credit: merlinlightpainting on Pixabay

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New test could help detect effects of quantum gravity - Advanced Science News

New Technique Detects Gravity in the Quantum Realm – AZoQuantum

Researchers have made strides in understanding the universes fundamental forces by developing a method to measure gravity on a microscopic scale.

This advancement brings us closer to unraveling how gravity operates in the quantum world.

The mechanisms of gravity, first described by Isaac Newton, have long puzzled scientists when applied to the minuscule realm of quantum physics.

Einstein, too, grappled with the concept of quantum gravity, stating in his theory of general relativity that no feasible experiment could demonstrate a quantum form of gravity.

But now, physicists at the University of Southampton, collaborating with European scientists, have successfully detected a weak gravitational pull on a tiny particle using a new technique.

They claim it could pave the way to finding the elusive quantum gravity theory.

The experiment, published in the Science Advances journal, used levitating magnets to detect gravity on microscopic particles small enough to border the quantum realm.

The results could help experts find the missing puzzle piece in our picture of reality. For a century, scientists have tried and failed to understand how gravity and quantum mechanics work together.

Tim Fuchs, Study Lead Author, University of Southampton

Fuchs adds, Now we have successfully measured gravitational signals at a smallest mass ever recorded, it means we are one step closer to finally realizing how it works in tandem. From here we will start scaling the source down using this technique until we reach the quantum world on both sides. By understanding quantum gravity, we could solve some of the mysteries of our universe like how it began, what happens inside black holes, or uniting all forces into one big theory.

Science still lacks a complete understanding of the laws governing the quantum realm. However, there is a consensus that particles and forces behave distinctly at the microscopic level compared to larger-scale objects.

Researchers from the University of Southampton collaborated on the experiment with scientists from Leiden University in the Netherlands and the Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies in Italy. The project received funding from the EU Horizon Europe EIC Pathfinder grant (QuCoM).

Their study used a sophisticated setup involving superconducting devices, known as traps, with magnetic fields, sensitive detectors, and advanced vibration isolation.

It measured a weak pull, just 30 attonewtons (aN), on a tiny particle 0.43 milligrams in size by levitating it in freezing temperatures a hundredth of a degree above absolute zero about 273 C.

The results open the door for future experiments involving even smaller objects and forces, noted Professor of Physics Hendrik Ulbricht, also at the University of Southampton.

We are pushing the boundaries of science that could lead to new discoveries about gravity and the quantum world. Our new technique that uses extremely cold temperatures and devices to isolate vibration of the particle will likely prove the way forward for measuring quantum gravity.

Unraveling these mysteries will help us unlock more secrets about the universe's very fabric, from the tiniest particles to the grandest cosmic structures.

Tim Fuchs, Study Lead Author, University of Southampton

Fuchs, M. T., et al. (2024) Measuring gravity with milligram levitated masses. Science Advances. doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.adk2949

Source: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/

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New Technique Detects Gravity in the Quantum Realm - AZoQuantum

Gravity measured in the quantum realm for the first time ever – Earth.com

Scientists have edged closer to deciphering the universes enigmatic forces by pioneering a method to measure gravity in the microscopic quantum world. This advancement challenges long-standing puzzles in physics, where the gravitational force, first identified by Isaac Newton, remains elusive within the quantum realm.

Albert Einstein, in his theory of general relativity, professed the difficulty of demonstrating gravitys quantum version, a sentiment echoed by scientists for centuries. However, the team from the University of Southampton, in collaboration with European scientists, has made a significant breakthrough.

Utilizing a novel technique involving levitating magnets, the researchers have detected a faint gravitational pull on a minuscule particle, venturing into sizes that blur the lines with the quantum domain.

Published in the Science Advances journal, this experiment represents a potential pathway toward uncovering the theory of quantum gravity a goal that has evaded the scientific community for over a hundred years.

Tim Fuchs, the lead author and a physicist at the University of Southampton, expressed the significance of this achievement.

For a century, scientists have tried and failed to understand how gravity and quantum mechanics work together. Now, by successfully measuring gravitational signals at the smallest mass ever recorded, we are one step closer to finally realizing how it operates in tandem.

This experiment marks a milestone in measuring gravity at unprecedented scales and lays the groundwork for future explorations into the quantum realm. The quest for quantum gravity holds the key to answering fundamental questions about our universe.

From understanding the origins of the cosmos to unraveling the mysteries of black holes and unifying all known forces under a single theoretical framework, the implications are profound.

The experiment, a collaboration between Southampton, Leiden University in the Netherlands, and the Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies in Italy, was supported by the EU Horizon Europe EIC Pathfinder grant (QuCoM).

It employed an intricate array of superconducting devices, magnetic fields, sensitive detectors, and advanced vibration isolation techniques. Remarkably, the study measured a gravitational pull of just 30aN on a particle weighing 0.43mg, levitated at temperatures just a fraction above absolute zero.

Professor Hendrik Ulbricht, a physicist at the University of Southampton, highlighted the future potential of this research.

We are pushing the boundaries of science that could lead to new discoveries about gravity and the quantum world. Our technique, which utilizes extremely cold temperatures and devices to isolate particle vibration, will likely pave the way for measuring quantum gravity, Ulbricht concluded.

In summary, this exciting breakthrough marks a pivotal advancement in our quest to understand the universe at its most fundamental level.

By developing a novel technique to measure gravitational forces on microscopic particles, this impressive team of brilliant scientists challenged the boundaries of our current knowledge and forged a new path for exploring the elusive realm of quantum gravity.

As we stand on the brink of these discoveries, the potential to unravel the mysteries of the cosmos, from the origins of the universe to the inner workings of black holes, becomes increasingly tangible.

This research bring us one step closer to unifying the forces of nature under a single theory while exemplifying the relentless pursuit of knowledge that drives humanity forward.

The full study was published in the journal Science Advances.

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Gravity measured in the quantum realm for the first time ever - Earth.com

The advancement of quantum technology in Ireland – Innovation News Network

In November 2023, the Irish governments Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science released Quantum 2030: A National Quantum Technologies Strategy for Ireland, Putting Ireland in a Quantum Super Position. This document outlines Irelands quantum strategy and plans to become an internationally competitive hub for quantum technology and advancement by 2030.

Quantum has various potential applications in the medical, internet, security, finance, and other sectors. Because of this, many countries are throwing their hats into the ring to increase their quantum research, and both government and private investments fund the immense work that goes into this endeavour. Quantum 2030 is Irelands first official strategy to address quantum technologies.

This does not mean, however, that Ireland has had nothing to do with quantum until now. Indeed, Ireland has developed a multitude of quantum assets, talents, and support frameworks, including university courses and research centres such as C-QuEST at University College Dublin and Tyndall National Institute at University College Cork, as well as government funds such as the Disruptive Technology Innovation Fund, the National Advisory Forum for Quantum Technology, and the continued presence of large technology and quantum technology firms that are investing heavily in quantum.

Ireland is no stranger to quantum, and Quantum 2030 will only enhance that as it emphasises mechanisms for growing quantum talent. The quantum technology strategy can build on the expertise of two leading Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centres: IPIC Bringing Photonics to Life, led by Tyndall National Institute, and CONNECT for Future Networks and Communications, led by Trinity College Dublin. Combining photonics with optical communications and networking expertise, whilst challenging, will result in unique advantages for developing innovative quantum technologies and solutions in Ireland. All of this, combined with local and international industry collaboration, will ensure that Ireland has an ecosystem of quantum development that will drive innovation.

Quantum 2030 focuses on five pillars of quantum technology, with the first four being vital individual aspects of quantum development and the fifth enveloping the other four. These pillars are:

This pillar consists of heavily investing in new research in quantum computing technology. This will act as the core of the Quantum 2030 plan, as new and existing research projects receive funding to ensure that results are achieved, driving Irelands quantum value further.

Of course, to continue the development of quantum research, there needs to be the talent to fulfil those needs. While Ireland is already host to many excellent minds, both grassroots and from across the seas, Quantum 2030 will see further growth in these numbers and enhance inclusion, diversity, and equality in Irelands quantum field.

While Irelands strategy primarily concerns itself, there is much to be gained from looking globally. As such, Ireland will work more tightly knit as a country and work more closely with various other countries regarding investment and fostering talent.

This pillar seeks to bring together academics and enterprises to work more closely, to innovate and stimulate both research and economic opportunities from said opportunities. This will work across Ireland and in international collaborations.

Moreover, bringing quantum technology to more light within society. This will lead to further interest in quantum and ensure that the future of quantum research has the best possible chance of remaining healthy and increasing academic and economic strength.

There are many facets of quantum technology; in Ireland in particular, there is a great strength in quantum computing and communication. Quantum computing offers distinct advantages over traditional computing in certain aspects, as it can calculate many more outcomes much quicker than conventional computing. This is due to the quantum state of their codes. While traditional computing can only work through a calculation as a series of 1s and 0s, quantum can do this, as well as have each number be a 1 and a 0 simultaneously, known as a superposition. This will allow quantum computers to solve specific problems much faster and on a greater scale, offering obvious benefits in weather predictions, healthcare, AI, and finance.

Quantum communication concerns the security of the data being transferred and ultimately developing a quantum internet. This will bring quantum encryption, data assets, and enhanced defences against cyber-attacks. This has obvious advantages in data security, which itself affects many fields, from finance to research, security, and personal applications.

There is also quantum sensing, the current best possible method of sensing various things, such as time, gravity, position, or magnetic fields. This technologys development will benefit medical technology, atmospheric monitoring, and GPS systems, among other aspects.

Due to Irelands already well-developed quantum industry and knowledge base, the tools to continue developing are already present. Ireland is set to become a cornerstone in the international quantum industry.

As a part of the European Commissions EuroQCI programme, the IrelandQCI (Ireland Quantum Communication Infrastructure) project is underway to build a national quantum communication infrastructure for Ireland. Using both Irish governmental funding from the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and EU funding (under the Digital Europe Programme), the 10m project seeks to upgrade conventional communications by integrating innovative and secure quantum devices and systems into traditional communication infrastructures.

The project will demonstrate quantum communications over ESB Telecoms and HEAnets communication networks by integrating innovative quantum technologies with classical networks. The knowledge gained from these demonstrations will be shared and ultimately help advance the countrys overall telecommunications sector and information security. There are several partners that are making this project a reality, led by Walton Institute at South East Technological University (SETU) in Waterford, the consortium includes Trinity College Dublin, University College Corks Tyndall National Institute, University College Dublin, Maynooth University, and the Irish Centre for High End Computing at University of Galway, all of which are members of CONNECT. HEAnet and ESB Telecoms are also key partners in the project, as the quantum communications network is being built across the dark fibre optic network of ESB Telecoms parallel to the existing HEAnet backbone between Dublin, Waterford, and Cork.

IrelandQCI is establishing an infrastructure for Quantum Key Distribution (QKD), a method of communication based on sharing encryption keys using quantum physics to boost security. QKDs will be distributed over the existing classical network, creating a quantum communication network which will significantly increase information security in Ireland.

Of leading the IrelandQCI project, the Director of Research at Walton Institute, SETU, Dr Deirdre Kilbane, said: Using the laws of quantum physics, we are creating a secure communication infrastructure that will benefit not only industry, academia and government, but wider Irish society. There are huge benefits to quantum networking in Ireland, for sectors such as healthcare, finance, and energy, all of which rely on knowing their data is secure. We are very proud to lead this ground-breaking project at Walton Institute at SETU, where our researchers are making a significant contribution to the growth and awareness of quantum technologies, positioning Ireland for future investment opportunities and collaboration on an international scale.

Director of CONNECT, TCD, Professor Dan Kilper said: By experimenting on the transmission of quantum signals on a public network between Dublin and Cork, IrelandQCI is laying the groundwork so that Ireland will be ready for the quantum Internet.

Managing Director of ESB Telecoms, Mr John Regan, said: In the ever-evolving telecommunication landscape, the emergence of quantum technology marks a pivotal evolutionary moment. As part of the IrelandQCI consortium, ESB Telecoms is proud to be at the forefront of this revolution. Our expertise in delivering high availability, low latency networks, positions us as a key player in building the quantum future. Leveraging our robust fibre infrastructure, we are poised to lead the charge in providing quantum-ready networks, ensuring resilient infrastructure for tomorrows demands. This collaboration reflects our unwavering commitment to innovation and our relentless pursuit of excellence in service delivery. It resonates with our vision of The Future. Connected, where connectivity is seamless, secure, and drives positive societal change through innovation and growth.

Director of PIXAPP, IPIC, Tyndall National Institute, Professor Peter OBrien, said: At Tyndall National Institute, we are currently installing a state-of-the-art micro-optical 3D printer capable of producing extremely complex optical structures with sub-micron precision. The new 3D printer is manufactured by Vanguard Automation in Germany and is being installed in Tyndalls photonics packaging and system integration facility. The new equipment will reduce optical power coupling losses in quantum photonic devices and the 3D printed micro-structures are capable of withstanding cryogenic temperatures, delivering the extremely high operating efficiencies required for quantum applications.

Innovation and R&D Manager HEAnet, Mr Eoin Kenny, said: HEAnet takes pride in its role as the networks operations centre for the IrelandQCI network. By constructing and operating a dedicated quantum communications research infrastructure, we are not only learning how to build and operate such a network but also providing the Irish research and education community with unprecedented access to cutting-edge quantum communications technologies. Our initial demonstrations focus on the exchange of security keys, employing the principles of quantum mechanics to guarantee interference-free communication. Securely transmitting keys across this quantum communications network marks the first stride towards our ultimate ambition the establishment of a quantum Internet.

Many of these partners are a part of other quantum projects, such as Trinity College Dublins SFI CoQREATE (Convergent Quantum REsearch Alliance in Telecommunications) project, an international collaboration working towards developing a quantum internet. This sees an alliance between the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the US. A quantum internet will provide enhanced interconnectivity between quantum computers, linking them for even greater computational power and laying the foundation for future quantum communications. There is also Tyndall National Institutes participation in the Quantum Flagship Initiative, via the Quantum Secure Networks Partnership (QSNP), which is dedicated to bringing new quantum technologies to the market. This initiative was established by the European Commission in 2018 with a budget of 1bn and a decades duration. Tyndall National Institutes participation sees work on advanced packaging solutions.

Collectively, these three projects intend to drive development in quantum technologies by combining the efforts of policy makers, academics, research institutes, and more. The goals are to create advanced quantum technology for quantum secure communication networks, to integrate quantum cryptography technology to telecommunication systems at all levels, and to take all the newly developed skills and technology and deliver them to European technology, such as government level systems, raising awareness and educating key stakeholders in the process.

The future is bright for Irelands quantum landscape.

For more on the IrelandQCI project visit: http://www.irelandqci.ie

This project has received funding from the European Unions DIGITAL Europe Programme under grant agreement No 101091520

Please note, this article will also appear in the seventeenth edition of ourquarterly publication.

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The advancement of quantum technology in Ireland - Innovation News Network

Ready for a quantum internet? Scientists just hit a key milestone in the race for an interconnected web of quantum … – Livescience.com

We're now one step closer to a "quantum internet" an interconnected web of quantum computers after scientists built a network of "quantum memories" at room temperature for the first time.

In their experiments, the scientists stored and retrieved two photonic qubits qubits made from photons (or light particles) at the quantum level, according to their paper published on Jan. 15 in the Nature journal, Quantum Information.

The breakthrough is significant because quantum memory is a foundational technology that will be a precursor to a quantum internet the next generation of the World Wide Web.

Quantum memory is the quantum version of binary computing memory. While data in classical computing is encoded in binary states of 1 or 0, quantum memory stores data as a quantum bit, or qubit, which can also be a superposition of 1 and 0. If observed, the superposition collapses and the qubit is as useful as a conventional bit.

Quantum computers with millions of qubits are expected to be vastly more powerful than today's fastest supercomputers because entangled qubits (intrinsically linked over space and time) can make many more calculations simultaneously.

Related: How could this new type of room-temperature qubit usher in the next phase of quantum computing?

As the name implies, the quantum internet is an internet infrastructure that relies on the laws of quantum mechanics to transmit data between quantum computers. But we need quantum memory for a quantum network to function. Because qubits adopt a superposition of 1 and 0, rather than either binary state as in classical computing, they can store and transmit more information with far greater density than conventional networks.

To get these fleets of quantum memories to work together at a quantum level, and in a room temperature state, is something that is essential for any quantum internet on any scale. To our knowledge, this feat has not been demonstrated before, and we expect to build on this research, said lead author Eden Figueroa, professor of physics and astronomy at Stony Brook University, in a statement.

Quantum networks built in recent years have needed to be cooled to absolute zero to operate, which limits their usefulness. But scientists from Stony Brook University developed a method to store two separate photons and most importantly successfully retrieve their quantum signature. They achieved this at room temperature by storing photons in a rubidium gas.

This makes it more viable than previous experiments in designing and deploying a quantum internet in the future. However, they could only store the photons in this experiment for a fraction of a second, while storing qubits at cryogenic temperatures normally means they can last for more than an hour.

The actual selling point of this was that they were able to take two independently stored photons, retrieve them at the same time, and interfere them, Daniel Oi, a professor in quantum physics at the University of Strathclyde, told Live Science. You get whats called a HOM dip, or a Hong-Ou-Mandel dip, which is a characteristic quantum signature indicating that these two photons were identical.

As well as being faster, quantum communications are inherently secure while classical communications can be intercepted or manipulated. This is because any attempts to intercept and read information transmitted across the quantum network equates to observation which would collapse the superposition of the qubits moving through the circuit.

This is an active field of research and a race is underway to develop the technologies that will help us build a quantum internet. In 2022, researchers in Switzerland stored a single photon using a similar method. That same year, China transmitted signals using quantum entanglement between two memory devices located 12.5 kilometers apart.

The next stage is to develop a method for detecting when a quantum signal is ready to be retrieved, without destroying the properties of the signal through direct observation. Achieving this would pave the way for quantum repeaters, which are devices that can extend the range of a quantum signal. This would be a key precursor to a large-scale quantum internet.

One of the holy grails of quantum memories is How do you detect that youve actually stored a photon, without destroying the quantum properties of that photon, and do it in a way that is efficient and reliable?, said Oi.

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Ready for a quantum internet? Scientists just hit a key milestone in the race for an interconnected web of quantum ... - Livescience.com

Scientists measure gravity in the quantum world – Tech Explorist

Scientists are making progress in understanding the mysterious forces of the universe by measuring gravity on a microscopic level.

For centuries, experts have grappled with how gravity, first discovered by Isaac Newton, operates in the tiny quantum world. Even Albert Einstein was puzzled by quantum gravity, and his theory of general relativity suggested that there was no realistic experiment capable of revealing a quantum version of gravity.

The recent breakthrough in measuring gravity on a microscopic level could potentially unlock a whole new level of knowledge about the workings of the quantum world. Physicists at the University of Southampton have been able to detect a weak gravitational pull on a tiny particle using a new technique.

The experiment was published in the Science Advances journal and used levitating magnets to detect gravity on microscopic particles, which are small enough to border on the quantum realm. The results could help experts find the missing puzzle piece in our picture of reality.

For a century, scientists have tried and failed to understand how gravity and quantum mechanics work together, said lead author Tim Fuchs from the University of Southampton. Now we have successfully measured gravitational signals at the smallest mass ever recorded, it means we are one step closer to finally realizing how it works in tandem. From here, we will start scaling the source down using this technique until we reach the quantum world on both sides. By understanding quantum gravity, we could solve some of the mysteries of our universe like how it began, what happens inside black holes, or uniting all forces into one big theory.

The rules of the quantum realm are still not fully understood by science. However, particles and forces at a microscopic scale are believed to interact differently than regular-sized objects.

In this context, academics from the University of Southampton, in collaboration with scientists from Leiden University in the Netherlands and the Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies in Italy, conducted an experiment to detect gravity on microscopic particles. Their study was funded by the EU Horizon Europe EIC Pathfinder grant (QuCoM).

It used a sophisticated setup involving superconducting devices known as traps, with magnetic fields, sensitive detectors, and advanced vibration isolation. The study measured a weak gravitational pull, just 30 attonewtons (aN), on a tiny particle 0.43 milligrams in size by levitating it in freezing temperatures a hundredth of a degree above absolute zero, which is about minus 273 degrees Celsius.

The results open the door for future experiments between even smaller objects and forces, said Professor of Physics Hendrik Ulbricht, also at the University of Southampton.

We are pushing the boundaries of science that could lead to new discoveries about gravity and the quantum world, he added. Our new technique that uses extremely cold temperatures and devices to isolate the vibration of the particle will likely prove the way forward for measuring quantum gravity. Unraveling these mysteries will help us unlock more secrets about the universes very fabric, from the tiniest particles to the grandest cosmic structures.

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Scientists measure gravity in the quantum world - Tech Explorist

Scientists closer to solving mysteries of universe after measuring gravity in quantum world – University of Southampton

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Published:26February2024

Scientists are a step closer to unravelling the mysterious forces of the universe after working out how to measure gravity on a microscopic level.

Experts have never fully understood how the force which was discovered by Isaac Newton works in the tiny quantum world.

Even Einstein was baffled by quantum gravity and, in his theory of general relativity, said there is no realistic experiment which could show a quantum version of gravity.

But now physicists at the University of Southampton, working with scientists in Europe, have successfully detected a weak gravitational pull on a tiny particle using a new technique.

They claim it could pave the way to finding the elusive quantum gravity theory.

The experiment, published in the Science Advances journal, used levitating magnets to detect gravity on microscopic particles small enough to boarder on the quantum realm.

Lead author Tim Fuchs, from the University of Southampton, said the results could help experts find the missing puzzle piece in our picture of reality.

He added: For a century, scientists have tried and failed to understand how gravity and quantum mechanics work together.

Now we have successfully measured gravitational signals at a smallest mass ever recorded, it means we are one step closer to finally realising how it works in tandem.

From here we will start scaling the source down using this technique until we reach the quantum world on both sides.

By understanding quantum gravity, we could solve some of the mysteries of our universe like how it began, what happens inside black holes, or uniting all forces into one big theory.

The rules of the quantum realm are still not fully understood by science but it is believed that particles and forces at a microscopic scale interact differently than regular-sized objects.

Academics from Southampton conducted the experiment with scientists at Leiden University in the Netherlands and the Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies in Italy, with funding from the EU Horizon Europe EIC Pathfinder grant (QuCoM).

Their study used a sophisticated setup involving superconducting devices, known as traps, with magnetic fields, sensitive detectors and advanced vibration isolation.

It measured a weak pull, just 30aN, on a tiny particle 0.43mg in size by levitating it in freezing temperatures a hundredth of a degree above absolute zero about minus-273 degrees Celsius.

The results open the door for future experiments between even smaller objects and forces, said Professor of Physics Hendrik Ulbrichtalso at the University of Southampton.

He added: We are pushing the boundaries of science that could lead to new discoveries about gravity and the quantum world.

Our new technique that uses extremely cold temperatures and devices to isolate vibration of the particle will likely prove the way forward for measuring quantum gravity.

Unravelling these mysteries will help us unlock more secrets about the universe's very fabric, from the tiniest particles to the grandest cosmic structures.

Read the study at doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.adk2949.

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Scientists closer to solving mysteries of universe after measuring gravity in quantum world - University of Southampton