Researchers at the University of Glasgow have harnessed quantum physics to develop exquisitely-sensitive gravity detectors the size of a golf ball, cameras which see inside the human body with new precision, and new forms of secure communication

The University of Glasgow has launched a dedicated facility for its quantum research and development projects – the Centre for Quantum Technology.

The Centre aims to build on the University’s expertise and experience as one of the largest quantum centres in the UK, finding new economic and societal benefits for the country as well as consolidating its research and teaching base.

The Centre was launched on Wednesday 29 September at a special event including a panel discussion during the SPIE Photonex + Vacuum Technologies conference, which is underway in Glasgow’s Scottish Event Campus (SEC).

The University is also opening applications for a million-dollar scholarship fund for graduate student recruitment, supported with funding from SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

The launch of the Centre is the latest development for quantum research at the University. It already leads QuantIC, the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Imaging, which was launched in 2014 as part of the £1bn UK National Technologies Programme. Glasgow researchers also contribute to the three other Quantum Technology Hubs launched at the same time, and are currently working with more than 50 industrial partners.

The University’s James Watt Nanofabrication Centre and its commercial arm, Kelvin Nanotechnology Ltd, have helped create many of the cutting-edge components which underpin new quantum technologies in areas including computing, imaging, communications and sensors.

Some of the technologies developed by University researchers include Wee-G, a gravitational sensor capable of mapping geological structures and providing advance warning if impending volcanic eruptions; endoscopes the width of a human hair which can provide new ways of imaging inside the body; and optical networks which use uncrackable quantum key distribution to make communications more secure.

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