Application-Oriented Research on Quantum Optics
The discovery of quantum mechanics is one of humankind’s most momentous achievements. It provides access to the world of molecules, atoms and subatomic building blocks, and also to the macroscopic world of stars and galaxies. The technological and societal development of our civilization is inconceivable without applications from quantum physics: Billions of electronic transistors permeate our lives at home and at work, in the form of computers, smartphones or the control systems of modern cars and inconspicuous kitchen appliances. Countless photons and optical fibers interlink our globe right into its farthest corners. Quantum physics lies at the heart of many modern technologies. The first generation of quantum technologies forms the basis of semiconductor and laser technology, for example.
Based on the manipulation of individual quantum systems, scientists have been working on a second generation of quantum technologies for several years now. They call it the »second quantum revolution«, and it will lead to disruptive changes in science, business and society.
Quantum physics is now shifting its focus to a radically new paradigm: whereas the work so far has used properties of collective quantum systems, it is now possible to prepare, control and use individual quantum states. "Schrödinger’s cat" has evolved from a thought experiment to an exciting reality with practical applications.
In quantum imaging in particular, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, with its institutes and partners from science and industry, is exceedingly well placed to pro-actively shape this revolution.
The Lighthouse Project QUILT bundles the outstanding scientific expertise, technology platforms and considerable market knowledge of six Fraunhofer institutes with the scientific excellence of global leaders in quantum technology such as the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPG MPL).
Working in very close collaboration with the world’s best research groups in the field of quantum imaging, the mission of the QUILT consortium is:
- To make original scientific contributions to three research domains in quantum imaging and support the ambition of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft to be one of the formative pioneers in this future-oriented field by means of five excellent lighthouse experiments.
- To network and adapt the outstanding technology platforms of its partners in order to become the technological leader in four key quantum technologies and transfer these technologies into key quantum solutions which are suitable for direct exploitation.
- To establish these quantum technologies as an interdisciplinary field of excellence in the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and anchor them in a lively and open-framework group of researchers.
- To make the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft the most important player in applied quantum optics research, ensure it has a strong presence in all important funding initiatives, open up new fields of application, and use quantum technologies to develop innovative solutions for global industries.