Bar-Ilan News

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  • Members of the QUEST Center, Prof. Avi Peer and Dr. Emanuele Dalla Torre meet in Jerusalem with the head of the European Quantum Flagship initiative, Prof. Jürgen Mlynek

    Bar-Ilan University to Open Center for Quantum Technology

    Date: 2017-04-26 Hour: 9:52

    Within the scientific community, quantum technology is considered “the next revolution after nanotechnology”. The Chinese Central Government has funded the development of a satellite that transmits secret information with the aid of this technology. The European Community is supporting the development of this technology through a one billion Euro “Flagship” program. And in Israel, the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education has decided to invest tens of millions of dollars in quantum technology within its upcoming five-year plan. Earlier today the program was officially presented by the Council for Higher Education to representatives of Israeli universities and major private companies at the Israel Academy of Sciences.

    Quantum theory is so revolutionary that even Albert Einstein himself had problems appreciating it. His well-known statement that “God does not play dice” expresses his opposition to this theory. Today, more than 100 years after its discovery, we know that quantum theory is right, and describes the microscopic properties of any material. The main challenge is to transform the theoretical and experimental knowledge that has been accumulated in academia into useful technology.

    Bar-Ilan University is leading the national effort in the field of quantum science, and will soon open a center that deals with quantum technology. The center, named “Quantum Entanglement in Science and Technology (QUEST)”, will be inaugurated on June 11-13, at a kickoff event that will be attended by leading scientists from Israel and abroad (Germany, Denmark, US). The QUEST center at Bar-Ilan University will focus on the understanding of the basic science associated with the effect of entanglement, as well as on using theoretical knowledge to develop new and groundbreaking technology. The center will host tens of researchers under the supervision of seven senior scientists, and will foster collaborations with private and public industries in Israel. Their common work is expected to pave the way to a significant advancement in quantum science and technology, with applications that include secure quantum networks, cryptography, quantum computation, bio-medical sensors, and additional areas.

    Quantum mechanics was discovered at the beginning of the 20th century.  This revolutionary theory describes the behavior of nature at microscopic scales. In particular, quantum mechanics helped scientists to understand the motion of the smallest (stable) particle, the electron and was the basis of the (first) quantum revolution that the world underwent in the last century. For instance, the quantum effect of “tunneling” determines the efficiency of the transistor, which is the key ingredient of any computer or smartphone. The laser industry is based on the quantum mechanical interaction between matter and photons, the elementary particle of light.

    The property that will be addressed by the Bar-Ilan center is quantum entanglement, according to which two electrons or photons can be “entangled” together and hold information about each other. In the last years, it has become clear that it is possible to create entanglement at distances of hundreds, or even thousands, of kilometers. The application of quantum effects at these distances is expected to deliver the second wave of the quantum technology revolution.