Today, the European Commission launched its flagship initiative on quantum technologies. Three research groups from the Department of Physics at the University of Basel are involved. The aim of the 1 billion euro research and technology funding program is to develop radically new and powerful quantum technologies by exploiting various quantum effects.
Quantum physics describes the behavior of matter at a microscopic level and forms the basis for the great technological revolutions of the last few decades. Without an understanding of quantum physics, computer and communications technology, laser and medical imaging techniques would never have been developed.
Until now, however, these technologies have not yet exploited the full potential of quantum physics, which allows for radically new phenomena: particles can be in a superposition of several states at the same time, or two distant, “entangled” particles can form such a strong unit that their properties are no longer independent of each other.
On the way to the second quantum revolution
In recent years, physicists have been able to show how they can not only observe these astonishing phenomena but also specifically control them and use them for completely new kinds of technology. These second-generation quantum technologies promise extremely powerful computers, secure communications, quantum simulators for basic research and pharmaceutics, and highly accurate sensors for use in materials science, navigation and medical technology.
Switzerland and other European countries are leading the way in university research on quantum technology. To also be at the forefront of the technology transfer to industry, the European Union has launched the Quantum Technology Flagship, a 1 billion euro funding program over a 10-year period that will give European quantum technology the decisive push towards becoming a market leader. About 140 international consortia of university research groups and industry partners applied for the first three-year funding period, of which only 20 were successful.
Success for Basel quantum physics
Researchers at the University of Basel are heavily involved in three consortia in the area of quantum optics and quantum sensing:
The MACQSIMAL project, co-founded by Professor Philipp Treutlein, is developing quantum sensors based on miniaturized atomic vapor cells. This will enable the realization of compact atomic clocks, gyroscopes, magnetic field sensors, imaging methods for microwave and terahertz fields, and gas detectors.
The technology has application potential in areas such as autonomous navigation, non-invasive medical diagnosis and drug detection. The project is firmly anchored in north-western Switzerland; it is coordinated by the research and technology organization CSEM with centers in Neuchâtel and Muttenz, who closely collaborate with the University of Basel.
The ASTERIQS consortium, which the Basel research group led by Patrick Maletinsky helped to initiate, also deals with sensors. The research alliance looks at the quantum properties of ultra-pure diamonds, which are used as precise measurement systems for quantum sensors.
They can be used to perform high-resolution measurements of magnetic and electric fields or temperatures, all of which the Basel researchers are pursuing, with a focus on applications on the nanometer scale. The innovative technologies will find applications in a broad range of semiconductor electronics, from basic research to medical diagnostics. The Basel spin-off Qnami is also an associate partner of the project, and will focus on the commercial exploitation of its results.
The Quantum Internet Alliance (QIA) project aims to develop a quantum internet that can be used to network quantum computers to powerful clusters, and for secure communication over large distances. The theoretical physicist Professor Nicolas Sangouard is involved in this project. He has already proposed numerous concepts for the realization of quantum networks, in which individual photons transfer information between network nodes.
Result of a long-term strategy
The physicists’ success is the result of a long-term strategy. “For years now, the University of Basel has built a research focus in the area of quantum technologies, which has an excellent international reputation,” explains Treutlein, who is also the Dean of Research in the Faculty of Science. “This is also reflected in the successful acquisition of prestigious externally funded research projects, such as the Quantum Technologies Flagship.” The participating researchers, who belong to the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI), are highly motivated to put their research findings into practice.
Prof. Dr. Philipp Treutlein, University of Basel, Department of Physics, Tel. +41 61 207 37 66, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reto Caluori | Universität Basel
Spintronics: Researchers show how to make non-magnetic materials magnetic
06.08.2020 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Manifestation of quantum distance in flat band materials
05.08.2020 | Institute for Basic Science
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.
Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...
An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.
Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...
Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...
“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.
Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...
An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.
Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...
23.07.2020 | Event News
21.07.2020 | Event News
07.07.2020 | Event News
06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences
06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering
06.08.2020 | Life Sciences