On this page you’ll find information about quantum nanoscience, including associated educational opportunities, what our scientists are working on in this area, and the effect their work has.
What Is Quantum Science?
Quantum science focuses on the properties of matter on the atomic scale, where the wave-like nature of particles becomes apparent. Here, scientists study behaviours, including tunnelling, superposition, and entanglement to understand the nature of materials, how information can be processed on the quantum level, and how to harness these effects for new technologies.
Many current technologies rely on some degree of “quantumness” to operate, including solar cells, superconducting magnets for medical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), lasers, CCD cameras, and light-emitting diodes (LEDs), among others.
The next generation of technologies based on quantum physics (and its offspring, quantum chemistry and quantum biology) will dominate the landscape, with:
- quantum computation solving intensely complex chemical and biological questions,
- quantum cryptography providing unhackable secure communication for e-commerce and ever-expanding cloud data storage over quantum networks,
- and quantum-enabled solar cells.
The research and work involving nanotechnology takes place on the nanoscale (somewhere between 1 and 100 nanometers).
To help understand just how small the nanoscale is:
- there are 1 million nanometers in 1 millimeter,
- and one standard sheet of printing paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick.
The fact that the nanoscale deals in quantities 1000 times smaller than the thickness of a sheet of paper highlights a natural difficulty in this microscopic area of science, but at such a small scale, there is also great potential for applications.