Two Argonne scientists receive DOE funding for quantum research

Newswise – David Awschalom and Oleg Poluektov from Argonne study the materials and chemical processes needed to develop the next generation of quantum smart devices and quantum computing technology.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) awarded funding to two scientists from its national laboratory in Argonne to advance research in quantum information science: David Awschalom and Oleg Poluektov.

The DOE awards support the development of intelligent quantum devices and quantum computing technology, next-generation tools capable of solving today’s most pressing challenges, especially in national security, the development of new materials and logistics.

Quantum science represents the next technological revolution and the next frontier in the information age, and America is at the forefront, ”said US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. TO DOE, we are investing in basic research, led by universities and our national laboratories, that will improve our resilience in the face of growing cyber threats and climate disasters, paving the way for a cleaner and safer future.

Awschalom, a senior scientist from Argonne, received the award for advancing the science needed to develop a metropolitan scale quantum information network – analogous to the Internet – without the need for quantum repeater technologies. Quantum repeaters retransmit a signal that would otherwise fade before reaching its destination in a quantum network.

Using a three-node fiber network at Chicagoland as a test bed for quantum information transfer, Awschalom’s project is to develop repeaterless quantum network technologies and protocols under real-world conditions, including multi-node quantum networking, the synchronization of different types of quantum nodes, and the distribution of quantum entanglement (a property of subatomic particles).

Metro-scale repeaterless technology and the development of fiber network protocols complement chip-scale quantum technologies and repeater protocols developed within Q-NEXT, a DOE National Center for Research in Quantum Information Sciences headed by Argonne.

I am delighted to receive this award, which allows us to explore the science behind future game-changing quantum communication technologies, ”said Awschalom, who is also the director of Q-NEXT; University of Chicago Professor Liew Family in Molecular and Physical Engineering and Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering Associate Dean for Research and Infrastructure; and the director of the Chicago Quantum Exchange.We are on the cusp of a revolution in quantum science, and the discoveries we make here will have far-reaching impacts, leading to breakthroughs in fields as diverse as finance and medicine – and even beyond. of what we can imagine. ”

Argonne’s lead chemist, Oleg Poluektov, received his award for understanding how quantum effects influence solar energy conversion processes in nature. The study focuses on the effects of coherence, which refers to the duration and strength of persistence of a particular quantum state.

Scientists know that certain types of coherence – electronic and vibronic – are involved in the transport of light energy in photosynthetic proteins, which help convert light into energy. Poluektov is now investigating whether a third type, spin coherence, is also involved.

Spin is a property of all subatomic particles, including electrons. The spins of two electrons can become entangled – inseparably correlated. The longer the spins maintain their entangled state, the greater their spin coherence. Rotational entanglement is a key factor in birds’ inner compasses, allowing them to navigate the world. Could this be a factor in photosynthetic processes?

Poluektov will study how spin coherence contributes to the efficiency of photosynthetic conversion of solar energy. He will also identify the mechanisms that nature uses to preserve the entanglement of spins in photosynthesis.

I am grateful to have been chosen for this award, ”said Poluektov.We hope that the results of this work will contribute to the design of future artificial solar energy conversion systems. This is an example of how a better understanding of the quantum domain could have profound impacts on energy conservation.

The DOE quantum information science research award totals $73 million and will be distributed to 29 recipients.

This work is supported by the DOEScience office.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to urgent national problems in science and technology. The country’s leading national laboratory, Argonne conducts cutting-edge fundamental and applied scientific research in virtually all scientific disciplines. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state, and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance U.S. scientific leadership, and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees over 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, SARL for the United States Department of Energy Science Office.

The Office of Science of the United States Department of Energy is the largest proponent of basic physical science research in the United States and strives to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information visit https: // ener gy .gov / s c ience.

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Hector Hedgepeth

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