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Quantum Entanglement Set to Revolutionize Sensing Technology

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  • Aug 10, 2021

A quantum microscope has been developed by the researchers at the University of Queensland that could reveal biological structures that would be otherwise invisible to see. This paves the way for its future applications in biotechnology, and could also extend far beyond areas ranging from navigation to medical imaging. It is based on the scientific phenomenon called quantum entanglement, an effect described by Einstein as a spooky interactions in the distance. According to professor Warwick Bowen of UQ's Quantum Optics Laboratory and the ARC Center of Excellence for Engineering Quantum Systems (EQUS), it was the first entanglement based sensor with performance beyond the best existing technology and this breakthrough could unleash all sorts of new technologies, from better navigation systems to better MRI machines. Entanglement is considered to be at the heart of a quantum revolution. Researchers believe that the sensors based on entanglement effect can replace existing non-quantum technologies. It is the first proof of the paradigm shift potential of entanglement for sensing. Australia's Quantum Technology Roadmap sees quantum sensors sparking a new wave of technological innovation in engineering, healthcare, transportation and resources. The key achievement for the team's quantum microscope was its ability to catapult over a “hard barrier” in traditional light-based microscopy.

The light-based microscopes use bright lasers that are billions of times brighter than the sun. According to Professor Bowen, it proves to be a major obstacle as fragile biological systems like a human cell can survive in them only for a very short duration of time. The quantum entanglement approach in microscope provides a 35% better clarity without destroying the cell enabling scientists to see tiny biological structures that would otherwise be invisible. The advantages of it are obvious ranging from a better understanding of living systems to technologies for improved diagnostics.

Professor Bowen believes there are potentially limitless opportunities for quantum entanglement in technology and it could revolutionize computing, communication and sensing. A few decades ago, absolutely secure communication was demonstrated as the first evidence of an absolute quantum advantage over conventional technologies. Google also demonstrated the first evidence of absolute advantage of entanglement in computing by computing faster than any possible conventional computer two years ago.