Physicists Create 1st First Working Prototype of a 'Quantum Radar'

Sunday, May 17, 2020 - 12:04

Researchers have built the first working prototype of a 'Quantum Radar' that might eventually find a variety of applications in security and biomedical fields.

According to the Science Alert report, building better MRI scanners, for example, or giving doctors an alternative way of looking for particular types of cancer are some of the prototype applications.

"What we have demonstrated is a proof of concept for microwave quantum radar," says quantum physicist Shabir Barzanjeh, who conducted the work at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria.

"Using entanglement generated at a few thousandths of a degree above absolute zero, we have been able to detect low reflectivity objects at room temperature."

Quantum entanglement that strange but potentially hugely useful quantum phenomenon where two particles are inextricably linked across space and time could play a major role in future radar technology.

"The main message behind our research is that quantum radar or quantum microwave illumination is not only possible in theory but also in practice," says Barzanjeh.

"When benchmarked against classical low-power detectors in the same conditions we already see, at very low-signal photon numbers, that quantum-enhanced detection can be superior."

There's plenty of exciting potential here, though we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves just yet. Quantum entanglement remains an incredibly delicate process to manage, and entangling the photons initially requires a very precise and ultra-cold environment.

The research has been published in Science Advances.

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