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Sussex physicist among academics to lead UK’s quantum tech quest

A University of Sussex physicist is one of just five early-career researchers across the UK to be awarded a fellowship to lead the country’s quantum tech quest.

The UK’s ability to lead the world in quantum science and technologies has been boosted today (Monday 28 September) by the announcement of a £12 million investment in key researchers - among them Dr Jose Verdu Galiana, Senior Lecturer in Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics.

Quantum technologies use the properties of quantum physics to gain a functionality or performance which is otherwise unattainable. They promise future dramatic changes in the technological capabilities in several key areas, including secure communications, metrology, sensor technologies, simulation and computation.

Part of the £270 million National Quantum Technology Programme, the fellowships are aimed at academics whose research focuses on the direct exploitation of quantum phenomena, such as superposition or entanglement, to address the challenges of translation of quantum science through technology to eventual application.

The aim of Dr Verdu Galiana’s Quantum Technologies Fellowship is to develop a functional detector of single microwave photons. Such a detector is essential for implementing practical applications in quantum communications and quantum computation with microwaves. Dr Verdu Galiana’s team will employ trapped electrons as ultra-sensitive sensors of microwave radiation.

Announcing the fellowships, the Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson MP, said: “Pioneering researchers from across the UK are investigating game-changing applications for quantum technology, from advanced communications to improved cancer detection and navigation services.

“We want Britain to be the best place in Europe to innovate, and this £12 million investment in UK research will support the next generation of scientists and secure our leadership in world-class quantum research.”

The new Quantum Technologies Fellowships are funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Professor Philip Nelson, EPSRC’s Chief Executive, said: “These fellowships are a key part of the UK’s national Programme for Quantum Technologies; they will allow our current and future research leaders in the field to research, discover and innovate.

“They will push the quantum technologies agenda forward, make new collaborations both to source wider research expertise to overcome technical barriers, and to engage with the industry partners who will potentially utilise these technologies.”

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Posted on behalf of: Physics and Astronomy
Last updated: Monday, 28 September 2015