The University of Birmingham is a key partner in three quantum technology projects awarded funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The funding is part of a 31 million investment to demonstrate how quantum technologies could solve some of the greatest mysteries in fundamental physics.
The projects are supported through the Quantum Technologies for Fundamental Physics programme, delivered by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of UKRIs Strategic Priorities Fund.
This is a new programme which aims to demonstrate how the application of quantum technologies will advance the understanding of fundamental physics questions. It is supported by the Quantum Technology Hubs comprising the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme
The three projects awarded funding are:
Searching for variations of fundamental constants of nature
QSNET is a multi-disciplinary consortium which aims to search for spatial and temporal variations of fundamental constants of nature, using a network of quantum clocks. Led by Dr Giovanni Barontini, from the University of Birmingham, and partnered with the National Physical Laboratory; Imperial College London; University of Sussex; Max Planck Institut fuer Kernphysik; Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt; Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica; University of Delaware; University of Tokyo and the Observatoire de Paris. The project, which has received 3.7 million in funding, is also linked to three of the Quantum Technology Hubs in the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme.
QSNET proposes to build a national network of advanced atomic, molecular and highly-charged ion clocks. The network will achieve unprecedented sensitivities in testing variations of the fine structure constant and the electron-to-proton mass ratio. These are two of the parameters of the Standard Model of particle physics, which is the pillar of our understanding of the Universe, but that famously fails to describe 95% of its content: the so-called dark matter and dark energy. QSNET will test the fundamental assumption that the constants of the Standard Model are immutable, as this could be the key in solving the dark matter/dark energy enigma.
Investigating dark matter and detecting gravitational waves
The Atom Interferometer Observatory and Network (AION) is a consortium project comprising Imperial College London, Kings College London, the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, the University of Liverpool and the University of Birmingham.
This interdisciplinary team of academics will develop the science and technology to build and reap the scientific rewards from the first large-scale atom interferometer in the UK. This programme of research will enable a ground-breaking search for ultra-light dark matter and pave the way for the exploration of gravitational waves in a previously inaccessible frequency range, opening a new window on the mergers of massive black holes and novel physics in the early universe.
The University of Birmingham team, led by Dr Michael Holynski, Prof Kai Bongs, Dr Mehdi Langlois, Dr Samuel Lellouch, Sam Hedges and Dr Yeshpal Singh will bring their atom interferometry expertise to AION and focus on realising new levels of large momentum transfer to enable the exquisite sensitivity required to achieve the scientific goals of the project, while also providing leadership on the realisation of economic impact.
The AION project, which has been awarded 7.2 million in funding, will be linked to the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme through the UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Timing, led by the University of Birmingham, and project work will be undertaken at the Hubs Technology Transfer Centre. This will be an opportunity for matter-wave interferometry and strontium optical clocks technology to be developed with industry through to commercialisation.
Quantum-enhanced interferometry for new physics
The Quantum Interferometry (QI) collaboration aims to search for dark matter and for quantum aspects of space-time with quantum technologies. The international QI consortium, led by Cardiff, includes the Universities of Birmingham, Glasgow, Strathclyde, and Warwick in the UK, MIT, Caltech, NIST, and Fermilab in the US, DESY and AEI Hannover in Germany.
QI will build four table-top experiments (two of them in Birmingham) to search for dark matter in the galactic halo, improve 100-m scale ALPS light-shining-through-the-wall experiment at DESY with novel single photon detectors, search for quantisation of space-time, and test models of semiclassical gravity. These experiments will allow us to explore new parameter spaces of photon dark matter interaction, and seek answers to the long-standing research question: How can gravity be united with the other fundamental forces?
The project is linked to two UK National Quantum Hubs and will apply state-of-the-art technologies, including optical cavities, quantum states of light, transition-edge sensors, and extreme-performance optical coatings, to a broad class of fundamental physics problems. Dr Vincent Boyer, Dr Haixing Miao and Dr Denis Martynov will be leading the 4 million-funded project from the University of Birmingham.Visit QI Labs for more information.
Professor Kai Bongs, Principal Investigator at the UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Timing, led by the University of Birmingham, says: The UK Governments investment in these projects enables us to draw together experts in quantum physics research to explore some of the key mysteries of our universe. These projects will allow us to build on the momentum already generated through the Quantum Technology Hubs and build a pipeline feeding novel technologies into the future multi-bn Quantum Technology economy.
Science Minister Amanda Solloway said:As we build back better from the pandemic, its critical that we throw our weight behind new transformative technologies, such as quantum, that could help to unearth new scientific discoveries and cement the UKs status as a science superpower.
Todays funding will enable Birminghams most ambitious quantum researchers to use the precision of atomic clocks to help solve important unanswered questions about our universe, such as detecting dark matter and understanding the 95% of unaccounted energy content of the universe.
Announcing the awards, Professor Mark Thomson, Executive Chair of the Science and Technology Facilities Council, said: "STFC is proud to support these projects that utilise cutting-edge quantum technologies for novel and exciting research into fundamental physics.
Majorscientific discoveries often arise from the application of new technologies and techniques. With the application of emerging quantum technologies, I believe we have an opportunity to change the way we search for answers to some of the biggest mysteries of the universe.These include exploring what dark matter is made of, finding the absolute mass of neutrinos and establishing how quantum mechanics fits with Einsteins theory of relativity.
I believe strongly that this exciting new research programme will enable the UK to take the lead in a new way of exploring profound questions in fundamental physics.
For media enquiries please contact Beck Lockwood, Press Office, University of Birmingham, tel: +44 (0)781 3343348.
About the UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Timing
The UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Timing (led by the University of Birmingham) brings together experts from Physics and Engineering from the Universities of Birmingham, Glasgow, Imperial, Nottingham, Southampton, Strathclyde and Sussex, NPL, the British Geological Survey and over 70 industry partners. The Hub has over 100 projects, valued at approximately 100 million, and has 17 patent applications.
The UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Timing is part of the National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP), which was established in 2014 and has EPSRC, IUK, STFC, MOD, NPL, BEIS, and GCHQ as partners. Four Quantum Technology Hubs were set up at the outset, each focussing on specific application areas with anticipated societal and economic impact. The Commercialising Quantum Technologies Challenge (funded by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund) is part of the NQTP and was launched to accelerate the development of quantum enabled products and services, removing barriers to productivity and competitiveness. The NQTP is set to invest 1B of public and private sector funds over its ten-year lifetime.
About the University of Birmingham
The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the worlds top 100 institutions. Its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers, teachers and more than 6,500 international students from over 150 countries.
About the Strategic Priorities Fund
The Strategic Priorities Fund is an 830 million investment in multi- and interdisciplinary research across 34 themes.It is funded through the governments National Productivity Investment Fund and managed by UK Research and Innovation.
The fund aims to:
About the National Quantum Technologies Programme
The National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP) was established in 2014 by the partners (EPSRC, STFC, IUK, Dstl, MoD, NPL, BEIS, GCHQ, NCSC2) to make the UK a global leader in the development and commercialisation of quantum technologies. World class research and dynamic innovation, as the Governments R&D Roadmap stresses, are part of an interconnected system. The NQTPs achievements to-date have been enabled by the coherent approach which brings this interconnected system together. NQTP has ambition to grow and evolve research and technology development activities within the programme to continue to ensure that the UK has a balanced portfolio, is flexible and open, so that promising quantum technologies continue to emerge.
The NQTP is set to invest 1billion of public and private sector funds over its ten-year lifetime.
- And So It Begins Quantum Physicists Create a New Universe With Its Own Rules - The Daily Galaxy --Great Discoveries Channel - February 18th, 2021
- Quantum Theory May Twist Cause And Effect Into Loops, With Effect Causing The Cause - ScienceAlert - February 18th, 2021
- Extracting information stored in 100,000 nuclear quantum bits - Advanced Science News - February 18th, 2021
- Light and a Single Electron Used to Detect Quantum Information Stored in 100,000 Nuclear Quantum Bits - SciTechDaily - February 18th, 2021
- IBM Adds Future Developer And Software Details To Its Quantum Roadmap - Forbes - February 18th, 2021
- Physics - A Superconducting Qubit that Protects Itself - Physics - February 18th, 2021
- Black Quantum Futurism receives the Knight Foundations new art and technology fellowship - WHYY - February 18th, 2021
- Resolving to read more in 2021 - Powell Tribune - February 18th, 2021
- Warp Drives Are No Longer Science Fiction - Applied Physics - Business Wire - February 18th, 2021
- RI local and star of 'Ghost Hunters' + 'Kindred Spirits' on her search for the paranormal - The Providence Journal - February 18th, 2021
- Quantum Theory Proposes That Cause and Effect Can Go In Loops - Universe Today - February 14th, 2021
- The search for dark matter gets a speed boost from quantum technology - The Conversation US - February 14th, 2021
- A Magnetic Twist to Graphene Could Offer a Dramatic Increase in Processing Speeds Compared to Electronics - SciTechDaily - February 14th, 2021
- Yale Quantum Institute Co-sponsored Event - Alternative Realities for the Living - Quantum Physics & Fiction - Yale News - February 14th, 2021
- In Violation of Einstein, Black Holes Might Have 'Hair' - Quanta Magazine - February 14th, 2021
- Scientists narrow down the 'weight' of dark matter trillions of trillions of times - Livescience.com - February 5th, 2021
- Switching Nanolight On and Off | Columbia News - Columbia University - February 5th, 2021
- Photoelectric effect of physics in technology - The National - February 5th, 2021
- Quantum Physics Story Helgoland to Be Adapted by Fremantles The Apartment, CAM Film (EXCLUSIVE) - Variety - February 2nd, 2021
- 29 Scientists Came Together in the "Most Intelligent Photo" Ever Taken - My Modern Met - February 2nd, 2021
- Silence your stoner friends with this video of a room entirely constructed out of mirrors - The A.V. Club - February 2nd, 2021
- Valuable contributor to society - The Tribune India - February 2nd, 2021
- A Zoom with a view: Wintersession offers a virtual journey from the kitchen to Hollywood - Princeton University - February 2nd, 2021
- IBMs top executive says, quantum computers will never reign supreme over classical ones - The Hindu - January 31st, 2021
- Tech 24 - Welcome to the quantum era - FRANCE 24 - January 31st, 2021
- Physicists Are Reinventing the Laser - Gizmodo - January 31st, 2021
- Record-Breaking Source for Single Photons Developed That Can Produce Billions of Quantum Particles per Second - SciTechDaily - January 31st, 2021
- How Universes Might Bubble Up and Collide - WIRED - January 31st, 2021
- Insiders say Comedy Central's top creative executives tokenized employees of color and fostered an environment - Business Insider India - January 31st, 2021
- Copperizing the Complexity of Superconductivity - Newswise - January 31st, 2021
- The Convergence of Internet of Things and Quantum Computing - BBN Times - January 31st, 2021
- Who You Really Are And Why It Matters | Practical Ethics - Practical Ethics - January 31st, 2021
- Improving LIDAR and GPS: Breaking Through the Resolution Barrier With Quantum-Limited Precision - SciTechDaily - January 18th, 2021
- Amy Noelle Parks Brings The Romance of Math and Science To YA - The Nerd Daily - January 18th, 2021
- Surprising Discovery of Unexpected Quantum Behavior in Insulators Suggests Existence of Entirely New Type of Particle - SciTechDaily - January 18th, 2021
- If Wormholes Are Lurking in Our Universe, This Is How We Could Find Them - ScienceAlert - January 18th, 2021
- New quantum technology projects to solve mysteries of the universe - Open Access Government - January 14th, 2021
- Wormholes may be lurking in the universe and new studies are proposing ways of finding them - The Conversation UK - January 14th, 2021
- University of Sheffield to lead multi-million pound project which could open up a new frontier in physics - University of Sheffield News - January 14th, 2021
- Raytheon UK part of team transforming the Royal Navy's technology, training and learning solutions - PRNewswire - January 14th, 2021
- Optical selection and sorting of nanoparticles according to quantum mechanical properties - Science Advances - January 14th, 2021
- The unhackable computers that could revolutionize the future - CNN - January 8th, 2021
- Birds Have a Mysterious 'Quantum Sense'. For The First Time, Scientists Saw It in Action - ScienceAlert - January 8th, 2021
- How understanding light has led to a hundred years of bright ideas - The Economist - January 8th, 2021
- Tokyo Institute of Technology: Quantum Mysteries: Probing an Unusual State in the Superconductor-Insulator Transition - India Education Diary - January 8th, 2021
- Quantum Nanodevice Can Be Both a Heat Engine and Refrigerator at the Same Time - SciTechDaily - January 8th, 2021
- Illumination at the limits of knowledge - The Economist - January 8th, 2021
- The top 20 most random things that happened in 2020: Nos. 16-20 - 104.3 The Fan - January 6th, 2021
- Detective Work in Theoretical Physics: Comprehensive Review of Physics of Interacting Particles - SciTechDaily - January 6th, 2021
- New Quantum-Based Distance Measurement Method for GPS and LIDAR - AZoQuantum - January 6th, 2021
- Raytheon Technologies Appoints Marie R. Sylla-Dixon as Chief Diversity Officer to Further Advance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives -... - January 6th, 2021
- Quantum Superposition Evidenced by Measuring Interaction of Light with Vibration - AZoQuantum - December 24th, 2020
- Superpositions The Cosmic Weirdness of Quantum Mechanics - The Daily Galaxy --Great Discoveries Channel - December 24th, 2020
- Here's Why Quantum Computing Will Not Break Cryptocurrencies - Forbes - December 24th, 2020
- Irish researchers reveal how Santa delivers toys to billions in one night - BreakingNews.ie - December 24th, 2020
- Eight ways Argonne advanced science in 2020 - Newswise - December 24th, 2020
- Scaling the heights of quantum computing to deliver real results - Chinadaily.com.cn - China Daily - December 24th, 2020
- MIT's quantum entangled atomic clock could still be ticking after billions of years - SYFY WIRE - December 24th, 2020
- Matter Deconstructed: The Observer Effect and Photography - PetaPixel - December 24th, 2020
- Everything you need to know about quantum physics (almost ... - December 21st, 2020
- Quantum mechanics - Wikipedia - December 21st, 2020
- Six Things Everyone Should Know About Quantum Physics - December 21st, 2020
- Counter-Intuitive Quantum Mechanics: State of Vibration That Exists Simultaneously at Two Different Times - SciTechDaily - December 21st, 2020
- A state of vibration that exists simultaneously at two different times - Tech Explorist - December 21st, 2020
- This Incredible Particle Only Arises in Two Dimensions - Popular Mechanics - December 21st, 2020
- Quantum Mechanics, the Mind-Body Problem and Negative Theology - Scientific American - December 17th, 2020
- Quantum Interference Phenomenon Identified That Occurs Through Time - SciTechDaily - December 17th, 2020
- 9 Most Confusing Sci-Fi Movies That Feel Like You Need a PhD in Quantum Physics - FandomWire - December 17th, 2020
- Expanding the Scope of Electronic-Structure Theory - Physics - December 17th, 2020
- Physicists attempt to unify all forces of nature and rectify Einstein's biggest failure - Livescience.com - December 17th, 2020
- Black dwarf supernovae: The last explosions in the Universe - SYFY WIRE - December 17th, 2020
- Orford 17-year-old is among brightest young minds in north west - Warrington Guardian - December 17th, 2020
- Meet the kaon - Symmetry magazine - November 10th, 2020
- There Are Places in the World Where Rules Are Less Important Than Kindness by Carlo Rovelli review - The Guardian - November 10th, 2020
- Digging into the 3D Quantum Hall Effect - Physics - November 10th, 2020
- Physicists Circumvent 178-Year Old Theory to Cancel Magnetic Fields - SciTechDaily - November 10th, 2020
- A Modem With a Tiny Mirror Cabinet Could Help Connect The Quantum Internet - ScienceAlert - November 8th, 2020
- Quantum Technology: Harnessing the Power of Quantum Mechanics - Analytics Insight - November 8th, 2020
- Will the Universe Remember Us after We're Gone? - Scientific American - November 8th, 2020
- Threat of Quantum Computing to Bitcoin Should be Taken Seriously, But theres Enough Time to Upgrade Current Security Systems, Experts Claim -... - November 8th, 2020