The long cherished goal of applying the strange properties of quantum mechanics to the macroscopic world we inhabit has been brought closer by a series of recent developments. The exciting progress was made in the important field of quantum optics and discussed recently at a high level conference organised by the European Science Foundation in collaboration with the Fonds zur Frderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung in sterreich (FWF) and the Leopold-Franzens-Universitt Innsbruck (LFUI).
Quantum optics is fundamental to the whole field of quantum science, because it deals with the interactions between light and matter at the elementary level that determine ultimately how atoms and molecules behave. A thorough understanding of quantum optics in its broadest sense has the potential to lead to new (quantum) technologies that will help define the 21st century, according to Professor Jrg Schmiedmayer, who chaired the ESF conference.
Quantum science has great potential to revolutionise the worlds of computing and communications, enabling massive increases in processing power, data storage densities, and data transfer rates. Although most of the applications are still many years away, dramatic progress has been made laying the groundwork for projects at the laboratory level that demonstrate the concepts on a small scale. A gratifying aspect of the conference, according to Schmiedmayer, was the exceptionally high standard of contributions made, and excitement generated, by young researchers, who will be the standard bearers for the field over the important two decades to come. "The hot topic sessions, where mostly young researches presented their results, were definitively among the highlights of the conference," said Schmiedmayer. "At these very new science was discussed, science that was not even envisioned three years ago. Many results had not yet been presented elsewhere before."
Significant progress was noted for example in quantum communication,
|Contact: Hans Chrisoph Ngerl|
European Science Foundation