Home Views & Opinions Focus on quantum technology around the world

Focus on quantum technology around the world


Quantum technology is based on the ability to precisely control individual quantum systems in order to make use of the phenomena described above. There are applications in secure communications, highly sensitive measurement methods and in creating computing power that far exceeds today’s supercomputers.
Quantum technology is an emerging field of physics and engineering, which relies on the principles of quantum physics. It is about creating practical applications – such as quantum computing, quantum sensors, quantum cryptography, quantum simulation, quantum metrology and quantum imaging – based on properties of quantum mechanics, especially quantum entanglement, quantum superposition and quantum tunneling.
Quantum computers are the ultimate quantum network, and are devices that can store and process quantum data (as opposed to binary data) with links that can transfer quantum information between ‘quantum bits’ or ‘qubits’. If successfully developed, quantum computers are predicted to be able to perform certain algorithms significantly faster than even the largest classical computer available today.
Quantum computers are expected to have a number of important uses in computing fields such as optimization and machine learning. They are perhaps best known for their expected ability to carry out ‘Shor’s Algorithm’, which can be used to factorise large numbers, an important process in the securing of data transmissions.
Quantum nanoscience is the basic research area at the intersection of nanoscale science and quantum science that creates the understanding that enables development of nanotechnologies. It uses quantum mechanics to explore and utilize coherent quantum effects in engineered nanostructures. This may eventually lead to the design of new types of nanodevices and nanoscopic scale materials, where functionality and structure of quantum nanodevices are described through quantum phenomena such as superposition and entanglement. With the growing work toward realization of quantum computing, quantum has taken on new meaning that describes the effects at this scale. Current quantum refers to the quantum mechanical phenomena of superposition, entanglement and quantum coherence that are engineered instead of naturally-occurring phenomena.
Quantum secure communication are methods which are expected to be ‘quantum safe’ in the advent of a quantum computing systems that could break current cryptography systems. One significant component of a quantum secure communication systems is expected to be Quantum key distribution, or ‘QKD’: a method of transmitting information using entangled light in a way that makes any interception of the transmission obvious to the user. Another technology in this field is the quantum random number generator used to protect data. This produces truly random number without following the procedure of the computing algorithms that merely imitate randomness.
Quantum computers promise to revolutionize the currently expensive, difficult and lengthy process of drug discovery and development, by expanding the search for new chemicals to treat some of the world’s most deadly diseases, speeding up the creation of new drugs and cutting the costs of their development.
Quantum computers provide powerful tools for studying complex systems such as human physiology and the impact of drugs on biological systems and in living organisms. We believe that quantum computing will have numerous uses in pharmaceutical R&D, especially in the early phases of drug discovery and development.
Quantum mechanics (QM) is an essential tool in CADD research. High-throughput in silico screening of ligand binding (such as docking or QSAR) can significant reduce the time required for compound discovery and optimization. However, these rapid methods often lack the accuracy in exploring the binding mechanism details.
Beyond improved disease screening and highly targeted, needle-free treatments, quantum mechanics holds the potential to provide us with more information about human biology. Using quantum computers, we can more quickly sequence DNA and solve other Big Data problems in health care.
There are many devices available today which are fundamentally reliant on the effects of quantum mechanics. These include: laser systems, transistors and semi-conductor devices and other devices, such as MRI imagers. These devices are often referred to belonging to the ‘first quantum revolution’; the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) grouped these devices as ‘quantum 1.0’, that is devices which rely on the effects of quantum mechanics. Quantum technologies are often described as the ‘second quantum revolution’ or ‘quantum 2.0’. These are generally regarded as a class of device that actively create, manipulate and read out quantum states of matter, often using the quantum effects of superposition and entanglement.
Quantum sensors can also improve the MRI machine itself by allowing for ultra-precise measurements. A novel type of quantum-based MRI could be used to look at single molecules or groups of molecules instead of the entire body, giving doctors a far more accurate picture. Hypres is an example of a company that is working to retrofit MRI machines to be more sensitive – and to work faster-by harnessing the super current phenomenon known as the Josephson effect.
Other quantum-based techniques are also being developed to treat diseases. For example, gold nanoparticles can be “programmed” to build up only in tumor cells, allowing for precise imaging as well as laser destruction of the tumor, without harming healthy cells.
The field of quantum computing is growing rapidly as many of today’s leading computing groups, universities, colleges, and all the leading IT vendors are researching the topic… Systems in which information obeys the laws of quantum mechanics could far exceed the performance of any conventional computer.
Particles that are mere nanometers in size are at the forefront of scientific research today. They come in many different shapes: rods, spheres, cubes, vesicles, S-shaped worms and even donut-like rings. What makes them worthy of scientific study is that, being so tiny, they exhibit quantum mechanical properties not possible with larger objects.
QDs are either used as active sensor elements in high-resolution cellular imaging, where the fluorescence properties of the quantum dots are changed upon reaction with the analyte, or in passive label probes where selective receptor molecules such as antibodies have been conjugated to the surface of the dots.
In an unlikely marriage of quantum physics and neuroscience, tiny particles called quantum dots have been used to control brain cells for the first time. Having such control over the brain could one day provide a non-invasive treatment for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, depression and epilepsy.
Having such control over the brain could one day provide a non-invasive treatment for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, depression and epilepsy. In the nearer term, quantum dots could be used to treat blindness by reactivating damaged retinal cells.
Quantum dots (QDs), nano-carriers for drugs, can help realize the targeting of drugs, and improve the bioavailability of drugs in biological fields. And, a QD nano-carrier system for drugs has the potential to realize early detection, monitoring, and localized treatments of specific disease sites..
Nanotechnology is an emerging field that may have potentials to make paradigm changes in the detection, treatment, and prevention of cancer. The development of biocompatible nanoparticles for molecular targeted diagnosis and treatment is an area of considerable interest. The basic rationale is that nanoparticles have unique structural and functional properties different from those of discrete molecules or bulk materials.
One of the most exciting advances in label technology is the development of quantum dots (QDs), a heterogeneous class of engineered nanoparticles with unique optical and chemical properties making them important nanoparticles with numerous potential applications ranging from medicine to energy. Used as in vitro and in vivo fluorophores, QDs are intensely studied in molecular, cellular, and in vivo imaging due to their novel optical and electronic properties. To be different from those reviews focusing on the basic mechanisms and development of QDs, this review focuses on recent application of QDs in cancer diagnosis, including early detection of primary tumor such as ovarian cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and pancreatic cancer, as well as regional lymph nodes and distant metastases.
Carbon dots (C-dots) synthesized from carbon nanopowder bind to calcified bones in vivo with high affinity and specificity…These unique properties indicate the potential applications of carbon nanopowder-derived C-dots as highly bone-specific bioimaging agents and drug carriers.
The potential cytotoxicity of cadmium selenide (CdSe) quantum dots (QDs) presents a barrier to their use in biomedical imaging or as diagnostic and therapeutic agents…This study reports the effects of SFN on CdSe QD-induced cytotoxicity in immortalised human hepatocytes and in the livers of mice.
Quantum dots switch neuronson, off. Light from electrons confined by quantum dots has been used to activate and control targeted brain neurons. The method demonstrates a noninvasive way to study how cells communicate and how specific cells may contribute to brain disorders.
Further, QDs can be engineered to be sensitive to energy of different wavelengths (ultraviolet to infrared), behaving more like small solar cells, producing energy in response to light. Within the eye, QDs have been used to improve imaging of the vitreous and for cell labeling in animal models.
QDs are useful tools for providing rapid and sensitive virus detection to facilitate early treatment and monitoring of viral disease. QDs-based rapid capture and imaging system involves a dual-stain imaging technique QDs are nanoscale semiconductor crystals with unique optical and electrical properties.
QDs have a wide absorption range, photoluminescence, multiplexed staining, long florescent lifetime and high resistance to photo bleaching. QDs are useful tools for providing rapid and sensitive virus detection to facilitate early treatment and monitoring of viral disease: QDs-based rapid capture and imaging system involves a dual-stain imaging technique. This technique is capable of capturing and detecting Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) at a high speed and is also extremely cost-effective; FRET-based QDs-DNA system is used for rapid, easy, and sensitive detection of Hepatitis B Virus-DNA.
Quantum dots can have antibacterial properties similar to nanoparticles and can kill bacteria in a dose-dependent manner. One mechanism by which quantum dots can kill bacteria is through impairing the functions of anti-oxidative system in the cells and down regulating the anti-oxidative genes. In addition, quantum dots can directly damage the cell wall. Quantum dots have been shown to be effective against both gram- positive and gram-negative bacteria.
One application of quantum dots in biology is as donor fluorophores in Förster resonance energy transfer, where the large extinction coefficient and spectral purity of these fluorophores make them superior to molecular fluorophores. It is also worth noting that the broad absorbance of QDs allows selective excitation of the QD donor and a minimum excitation of a dye acceptor in FRET-based studies. The applicability of the FRET model, which assumes that the Quantum Dot can be approximated as a point dipole, has recently been demonstrated.
The use of quantum dots for highly sensitive cellular imaging has seen major advances. The improved photo stability of quantum dots, for example, allows the acquisition of many consecutive focal-plane images that can be reconstructed into a high-resolution three-dimensional image. Another application that takes advantage of the extraordinary photo stability of quantum dot probes is the real-time tracking of molecules and cells over extended periods of time. Antibodies, streptavidin, peptides, DNA, nucleic acid aptamers, or small-molecule ligands can be used to target quantum dots to specific proteins on cells. Researchers were able to observe quantum dots in lymph nodes of mice for more than 4 months.
The final conclusion about quantum mechanics in the form of quantum field theory is that it works exceedingly well. It is the most widely applicable and generally accurate theory ever devised in any science. It is one of the greatest cultural artifacts created by human beings.
One of the great physist Neils Bohr qouted one of the great qoute “Those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it”.