Quantum Reality Bytes: the Dawning Age of Quantum Information Technology
This talk will explore the strange and beautiful world of Quantum Mechanics – multiple realities, absolute uncertainty, quantum computation, quantum communication and quantum sensing. Amazingly, with rapidly improving abilities to control single atoms and photons, we are beginning to glimpse the true nature of quantum reality. And now a completely new class of technology based on these strange rules is being developed, with possibly far reaching implications. No maths required – just bring curiosity about the world and an open mind.
Quantum Mechanics is the corner-stone theory of the physical world, which began with the ideas of Max Planck over a century ago. In recent years new and surprising aspects about quantum mechanics, and reality itself, have been uncovered as experiments probe further into the quantum realm. While we do not (and possibly cannot!) fully comprehend the sublime strangeness of quantum mechanics, a growing movement around the world seeks to harness the awesome processing power of microscopic systems obeying quantum laws. This is an international race for the new millennium to design and build new technology based on the spooky aspects of quantum mechanics, with enormous potential for communication, computing and imaging applications. Already quantum sensing of biological processes is becoming a reality, and ultra-secure quantum communication systems are being rolled-out around the world. The far flung future of this new quantum technology is the construction of a full-scale quantum computer, potentially a leap forward in information processing far greater than the development of the modern computer.
(link) Speaker’s Bio
Below is the abstract to a paper containing technical details of the project Lloyd Hollenberg is on at Melbourne Uni.
Quantum measurement and orientation tracking of fluorescent nanodiamonds inside living cells
L P McGuinness, Y Yan, A Stacey, D A Simpson, L T Hall, D Maclaurin, S Prawer, P Mulvaney, J Wrachtrup, F Caruso, R E Scholten, L C L Hollenberg
School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.
Nature Nanotechnology (Impact Factor: 27.27). 01/2011; 6(6):358-63. DOI:10.1038/nnano.2011.64
Fluorescent particles are routinely used to probe biological processes. The quantum properties of single spins within fluorescent particles have been explored in the field of nanoscale magnetometry, but not yet in biological environments. Here, we demonstrate optically detected magnetic resonance of individual fluorescent nanodiamond nitrogen-vacancy centres inside living human HeLa cells, and measure their location, orientation, spin levels and spin coherence times with nanoscale precision. Quantum coherence was measured through Rabi and spin-echo sequences over long (>10 h) periods, and orientation was tracked with effective 1° angular precision over acquisition times of 89 ms. The quantum spin levels served as fingerprints, allowing individual centres with identical fluorescence to be identified and tracked simultaneously. Furthermore, monitoring decoherence rates in response to changes in the local environment may provide new information about intracellular processes. The experiments reported here demonstrate the viability of controlled single spin probes for nanomagnetometry in biological systems, opening up a host of new possibilities for quantum-based imaging in the life sciences.
Full paper is available at Nature.
The abstract of an earlier paper related to this project below
Quantum measurement in living cells: Fluorescent diamond nanocrystals for biology
ABSTRACT We have demonstrated optically detected magnetic resonance of individual fluorescent nanodiamond nitrogen-vacancy centres inside living human HeLa cells, and measured their spin levels and spin coherence times while tracking their location and orientation with nanoscale precision. Quantum coherence was measured through Rabi and spin-echo sequences over long (>10 h) periods, and orientation was tracked with 1° angular precision in 89 ms acquisition time. Individual centres were identified optically by their electron spin resonance spectrum, allowing simultaneous tracking of many otherwise identical flourescent particles. In addition, variation in the decoherence rates was linked to changes in the local environment inside the cells, representing a new non-destructive imaging modality for intracellular biology.
For more information see:
(Nano-) diamonds are a boy’s best friend: Professor Lloyd Hollenberg and his Eureka Prize
Catalyst (video) : Imperfect Diamonds
2013 Victoria Prize for Science & Innovation – physical sciences
Paper: Quantum measurement and orientation tracking of fluorescent nanodiamonds inside living cells