Quantum Microscope Created That Can See the Impossible

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Quantum Microscope Artist's Impression

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Artist’s impression of UQ’s brand-new quantum microscopic lense in action. Credit: The University of Queensland

In a significant clinical leap, University of Queensland scientists have actually developed a quantum microscopic lense that can expose biological structures that would otherwise be difficult to see.

This leads the way for applications in biotechnology, and might extend far beyond this into locations varying from navigation to medical imaging.

The microscopic lense is powered by the science of quantum entanglement, a result Einstein referred to as “spooky interactions at a distance.”

Quantum Microscope Up Close

UQ’s quantum microscopic lense, all set to no in on formerly impossible-to-see biology. Credit: The University of Queensland

Professor Warwick Bowen, from UQ’s Quantum Optics Lab and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS), stated it was the very first entanglement-based sensing unit with efficiency beyond the very best possible existing innovation.

“This breakthrough will spark all sorts of new technologies — from better navigation systems to better MRI machines, you name it,” Professor Bowen stated.

“Entanglement is believed to lie at the heart of a quantum transformation. We’ve lastly shown that sensing units that utilize it can supersede existing, non-quantum innovation.

“This is exciting — it’s the first proof of the paradigm-changing potential of entanglement for sensing.”

Australia’s Quantum Technologies Roadmap sees quantum sensing units stimulating a new age of technological development in health care, engineering, transportation and resources.

A significant success of the group’s quantum microscopic lense was its capability to catapult over a ‘hard barrier’ in standard light-based microscopy.

“The best light microscopes use bright lasers that are billions of times brighter than the sun,” Professor Bowen stated.

“Fragile biological systems like a human cell can just endure a brief time in them and this is a significant obstruction.

“The quantum entanglement in our microscopic lense supplies 35 percent enhanced clearness without damaging the cell, enabling us to see minute biological structures that would otherwise be undetectable.

“The benefits are obvious — from a better understanding of living systems, to improved diagnostic technologies.”

Quantum Microscope UQ Researchers

UQ group scientists (counter-clockwise from bottom-left) Caxtere Casacio, Warwick Bowen, Lars Madsen and Waleed Muhammad lining up the quantum microscopic lense. Credit: The University of Queensland

Professor Bowen stated there were possibly limitless chances for quantum entanglement in innovation.

“Entanglement is set to revolutionize computing, communication, and sensing,” he stated. “Absolutely protected interaction was shown some years back as the very first presentation of outright quantum benefit over standard innovations.

“Computing faster than any possible standard computer system was shown by Google 2 years back, as the very first presentation of outright benefit in computing.

“The last piece in the puzzle was picking up, and we’ve now closed that space.

“This opens the door for some wide-ranging technological revolutions.”

Reference: “Quantum-enhanced nonlinear microscopy” by Catxere A. Casacio, Lars S. Madsen, Alex Terrasson, Muhammad Waleed, Kai Barnscheidt, Boris Hage, Michael A. Taylor and Warwick P. Bowen9 June 2021, Nature.
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-021-03528-w

The research study was supported by the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Australian Research Council.



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