When you hear the word “quantum,” does your mind jump immediately to science fiction? Well, our everyday reality is quickly catching up to what was make-believe! Quantum information science studies matter and energy at the most basic level. Researchers in the field aim to uncover the properties and behaviors of the very building blocks of nature.
Quantum information science (QIS) is an emerging field that spans computation, communication, precision measurement, and fundamental quantum mechanics. Quantum discoveries have been incorporated into our foundational understanding of materials, chemistry, biology, and astronomy. QIS is viewed through three main areas:
- Quantum Computing
- Quantum Communication
- Quantum Sensing
Senses are essential for animals and humans to survive! Whether it’s touching, smelling, seeing, or hearing, we all use different senses to communicate and detect what is happening in our surroundings. Computers and machines can also sense their environment and activities happening around them, though they do not use ears and noses, but rather sensors. Scientists have been using sensors that measure things like matter and energy for a long time. One can detect the smallest unit of energy with Quantum sensors’ with unprecedented precision that traditional sensors simply do not possess. Whether it’s a photon or an electron, a quantum sensor, ideally, is designed to pick up the smallest, discrete building block or unit of energy or measurement. These quanta of measurement, however, are very sensitive to any external influences such as light, heat, and magnetic fields. Due to this sensitivity, experts are able to measure tiny changes, hence their ability to be extremely precise! The tricky part is isolating the quanta from the environmental influences that scientists don’t want to measure. So, how do we isolate these quanta to perform desired measurements? What exactly do experts use quantum sensors for and how? Join C2ST and our expert to learn more!
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