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New quantum projects launched

NPL involved in three new quantum projects to transform our understanding of the universe

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is supporting seven projects with a £31 million investment to demonstrate how quantum technologies could solve some of the greatest mysteries in fundamental physics.

NPL is involved in three new projects including:

QSNET – a network of clocks for measuring the stability of fundamental constants. The consortium aims to exploit the precision of atomic, molecular and ion clocks – the most precise instruments ever built – to explore whether there are new effects taking place at the quantum level which we are not currently aware of. Led by the University of Birmingham in collaboration with NPL, Imperial College London and University of Sussex

Quantum Sensors for the Hidden Sector – the project aims to contribute to the search of axions, low-mass ‘hidden’ particles that are candidates to solve the mystery of dark matter. Led by University of Sheffield in collaboration with NPL, Universities of Cambridge, Liverpool and Oxford, Lancaster University, Royal Holloway University of London and UCL

Determination of Absolute Neutrino Mass using Quantum Technologies – this project aims to harness recent breakthroughs in quantum technologies to solve one of the most important outstanding challenges in particle physics – determining the absolute mass of neutrinos.

The projects are supported through the Quantum Technologies for Fundamental Physics programme, delivered by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of the UKRI’s Strategic Priorities Fund. The programme is part of the National Quantum Technologies Programme.

Dr Rhys Lews, Head of NPL’s Quantum Metrology Institute, states: “The NPL Quantum Metrology Institute team is excited to be able to contribute our research and technology capabilities alongside academic partners across three such varied and important projects. Ultra-high resolution measurements will be required to reveal effects at the very edges of our current understanding of physics. This is an ideal application for quantum metrology.”

13 Jan 2021