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Quantum technology

Professor Simon Cornish from the Department of Physics has secured funding to lead an international collaboration on “Developing Molecular Quantum Technologies”.

The project has received £1.6m of funding and is one of 12 recently announced by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) that enables leading UK researchers to work with international collaborators to develop the technologies of tomorrow.

Quantum technology

The announcement comes as researchers all around the globe are racing to develop ‘Quantum Technologies’. These seek to harness the strange and powerful properties of the quantum world to deliver a new generation of devices, such as quantum computers, whose performance surpasses what is possible with conventional technology. The quantum properties that enable these technological advances are very fragile and so many different physical systems are being investigated to find the most robust and scalable platform.

The project

Professor Cornish and his collaborators are experts in the study of molecules cooled to within a millionth of a degree of absolute zero where the quantum mechanical behaviour is no longer obscured. Many Quantum Technologies seek to use atoms cooled to such ultracold temperatures.

However, molecules are much richer and therefore offer numerous advantages. In particular, their rich internal structure and long-range interactions make them ideal building blocks of a new generation of quantum computers and quantum simulators. These devices will be able to solve problems out of reach of even the most powerful classical supercomputers. The collaboration seeks to overcome the scientific and technical challenges that lie between current state-of-the-art experiments and these exciting applications.

Alongside Durham, the academic partners in the collaboration are:

  • Imperial College London
  • University of Oxford
  • Harvard University, USA
  • JILA at the University of Colorado Boulder, USA

Find out more

Learn more about the funding and project

Learn more about studying Physics at Durham University

Learn more about the UKRI programme