Artist’s impression of UQ’s new quantum microscope in action. Credit: The University of Queensland
Topics: Biology, Biotechnology, Instrumentation, Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Optics
In a major scientific leap, University of Queensland researchers have created a quantum microscope that can reveal biological structures that would otherwise be impossible to see.
This paves the way for applications in biotechnology, and could extend far beyond this into areas ranging from navigation to medical imaging.
The microscope is powered by the science of quantum entanglement, an effect Einstein described as “spooky interactions at a distance.”
Professor Warwick Bowen, from UQ’s Quantum Optics Lab and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS), said it was the first entanglement-based sensor with performance beyond the best possible existing technology.
“This breakthrough will spark all sorts of new technologies — from better navigation systems to better MRI machines, you name it,” Professor Bowen said.
“Entanglement is thought to lie at the heart of a quantum revolution. We’ve finally demonstrated that sensors that use it can supersede existing, non-quantum technology.
“This is exciting — it’s the first proof of the paradigm-changing potential of entanglement for sensing.”
Major Scientific Leap: Quantum Microscope Created That Can See the Impossible, University of Queensland