Quantum Research at SCIENCE

Quantum technologies will revolutionise our lives in the coming years – in ways that can be difficult to comprehend. The Faculty of Science (UCPH SCIENCE) is home to some of the world’s most advanced quantum technology research environments, in four departments: Niels Bohr InstituteDepartment of Mathematical SciencesDepartment of Computer Science, Department of Biology and Department of Chemistry

The phenomenal computing capacity of quantum computing can have a major impact on everything from the green transition to the development of more efficient solar cells.

 

 

At SCIENCE, researchers work in groups with different aspects of quantum mechanics. 

The research takes place in four departments: 

Niels Bohr Institute

Center for Quantum Devices

Quantum Optomechanics – membrangruppen

Quantop

Department of Computer Science

Quantum for Life Centre

Programming Languages and Theory of Computation (PLTC)

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Quantum for Life Centre

Centre for the Mathematics of Quantum Theory (QMATH)

Analysis & Quantum

Department of Chemistry

Sauer Group

Stergios Piligkos

Jesper Bendix

Kurt V. Mikkelsen

Department of Biology

Computational and RNA Biology

Quantum technology’s enormous potential

Quantum technology covers three technologies: Quantum sensors, quantum communication and quantum computers, including quantum simulators.

  • Quantum sensors will help us to better utilise our resources.
  • Quantum communication will allow us to communicate without being hacked, and without communication codes being broken.
  • Quantum computers can deliver immense computing power, allowing very complex systems – such as biological or medical systems – to be simulated from the ground up.

UCPH SCIENCE has world-leading research facilities and expertise in these three areas of quantum technology.

The time frame for the development and use of the three quantum technologies varies. ‘Near-term’ quantum computers, and quantum simulators in particular, already have huge potential in the short and medium term for revolutionising and creating value for the green transition, health and cyber and information security.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quantum physics describes how nature behaves at the smallest scales. Atoms, electrons and photons – the smallest constituents of light – are some of the elements that researchers work with.

The history of quantum physics starts in the late 19th and early 20th century. Classical physics worked well at normal scales, but when you reached a sufficiently small scale, accepted facts began to crumble.

Superposition – in two places at the same time

On the smallest scales, nature behaves very differently than in classical physics. In the world of quantum physics, things can be in two places at once. The phenomena we observe can only be explained by the particles being able to be in superposition – as if they are in more than one position at the same time. Or as if an atom is in more than one energy state at the same time.

Quantum entanglement occurs when the states of two or more particles are described by a superposition, e.g. they can both be different distances from a specific location. Entanglement means that when you measure the location of one particle, you immediately fix the location of the other particle, even over long distances – and hence faster than the speed of light – the fastest possible speed at which a signal can spread according to Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Quantum technologies can radically change our world

Superposition and entangled states can be exploited for many different things, the best-known of which is currently the quantum computer. However, there are many other applications, e.g. quantum states can be used to produce ultra-precise measurements and create unbreakable encryption of information. Researchers are also in the process of laying the foundation for a quantum internet, which will offer enormous computing capacity by combining the power of several quantum computers. This quantum internet will need the unbreakable encryption mentioned, so it is crucial that encryption, networks and quantum computers are developed in step.

There are certain tasks that a quantum computer is most suitable for. These are tasks with high complexity, where you need to calculate many parallel outcomes at the same time. For example, it would be an insurmountable task for a conventional computer to keep track of all the electrons and chemical bonds in a molecule. If you could do that, you could predict chemical structures and processes with applications in medicine, that target specific patients. Conventional supercomputers are pushed to their limits today to perform weather simulations or other scientific simulations, such as of star formation, sea currents or pandemics. The hope is that the ability of quantum computers to handle large volumes of data and make parallel calculations can give us much faster and more accurate results.

It is still unclear exactly which changes quantum-related technologies will give rise to, but it is increasingly apparent that they will have profound impacts on society.