National push to engineer quantum machines

A seven-year investment by the Australian government in quantum engineering launches today.

Current technologies, from the iPhones through to solar cells, use only a very limited subset of quantum effects.

The $31.9 million Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS) will focus on building quantum machines for practical applications that use all of the weird effects of quantum physics.

The Centre will drive the development of an innovative and advanced quantum economy in Australia.

Centre Director Professor Andrew White said that the new capabilities enabled by the Centre’s research are utterly transformative.

Professor White said, “We don’t yet know the technologies we will need in future decades, any more than the folk who worked on semiconductors in the 50s could have anticipated iPhones or compact lasers.”

“But we do know that using all the properties of quantum mechanics enables compelling capabilities in areas from imaging to computing—the future of our technologies will be incredibly exciting.”

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the Turnbull Government’s $31.9 million investment into the Centre for Excellence would ensure Australian researchers can compete on the world stage in what is an emerging industry.

“With the Turnbull Government’s support this facility will help Australia continue to lead the way producing new quantum technologies,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Australian researchers will be at the forefront of developing real-life practical applications using quantum engineering such as improving medical imaging technology.”

The Centre will focus on three research themes: Quantum-enabled diagnostics and imaging, quantum engines and instruments, and designer quantum systems.

Professor White said, “Building any machine requires identifying the optimal materials for the machine’s functions, designing its eyes and ears to best sense the world around it, then correctly combining these components and tuning the engine that drives the machine.”

“Our three research programs will do this for quantum machines.”

The Centre is a collaboration between The University of Queensland, The University of Sydney, Macquarie University, The University of Western Australia, and The Australian National University.

Contact: Prof. Andrew White, Director, director@equs.org; Tara Roberson, Communications, t.roberson@uq.edu.au, +61 404 516 635

About EQUS: The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS) unites leading researchers from five Australian universities in building quantum machines that harness the full spectrum of quantum physics. Find out more at future.equs.org

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