Dana Z. Anderson, ColdQuanta Inc., and the JILA Institute, University of Colorado Boulder
Not infrequently I face a blank stare as I explain to a quantum curious that they can look to clocks to understand what quantum technology will do for the world. These days my listener is often a computing enthusiast — for them quantum computing is akin to rocket science; clocks are something for the kitchen wall. Humankind’s most quantum “thing” today is a clock. I expect many in this audience know the connection, both historical and physics, between timekeeping and quantum computing, but many a quantumian citizen is at a loss. I myself believe that quantum technology will change the world and clocks are the forebearers of things to come. With a rearward glance toward the revolutions engendered by the transistor and by the laser, I have come to suppose, even assume, that by 2040, quantum technology will be found in every industry, every vehicle, and every kitchen. The comment is intended not as hyperbole, but as an acknowledgment that today’s quantum technology is surely primitive, and there is a lot to do to drive down the price of a useful quantum box to the cost of a toaster. There is an implied roadmap of sorts, to move us from the exotic of 2021 to the everyday of 2040. Those that are placing large quantum bets, however, expect to see quantum technology solving meaningful problems in well shy of 20 years. Hence governments, federal agencies, and companies like ColdQuanta are pressing to develop hero systems such as quantum computers, networks, and communications systems. But what I would like to talk about from here is more about putting quantum clocks in the kitchen than it is solving the world’s most difficult problems per se.
The kitchen quantum of 2040 relies on an ecosystem involving everything from manufacturing to retail sales. The challenge facing the 2021 ecosystem is that quantum science and technology remains unfamiliar, intellectually difficult, technically difficult, and expensive. Starting with the UK government’s quantum initiative in 2014, governments around the world began to invest in quantum workforce development through universities, cultivating the commercial supply chain, and promoting the development and acquisition of quantum technology for compelling end use cases. ColdQuanta has been in the business of cold atoms for 14 years: we have shrunk the size of a Bose-Einstein Condensation Machine from two full optical tables to the size of a small refrigerators and soon to the size of a 5071A cesium clock. We have put cold atom quantum systems in orbit on the International Space Station, flown them on small airplanes, and enabled them in scientific laboratories around the world. We are by no means alone in making quantum technology available to the community, yet quantum remains too difficult, too expensive, and for many, too risky to pursue.
In next few years we will see quantum technology brought to the cloud. ColdQuanta is already doing this, and I know that other companies, research groups numerous educational programs around the world will be doing the same. The intention is to lower the barrier to entry, to lower the risk of quantum exploration, and to enable quantum innovation by stakeholders that otherwise have no access to quantum technology. The effort really simply mimics the goings-on in quantum computing, where there is already an ecosystem of hardware providers, software providers, and researchers and applications engineers covering an incredible variety of disciplines. We will thus be seeing the same cloud-accessibility for non-compute applications of quantum including sensing, communications, networks, signal processing… perhaps even appliances for the kitchen.
Prof. Dana Anderson
ColdQuanta and University of Colorado/JILA
"Exploring Fundamental Physics by Laser Spectroscopy of Antiprotonic and Pionic Helium Atoms"
Exploring Fundamental Physics by Laser Spectroscopy of Antiprotonic and Pionic Helium Atoms
Dr. Masaki Hori
Exotic helium atoms that contain the antimatter counterpart of protons, or a meson consisting of a quark and an antiquark, are studied by laser spectroscopy. By comparing the atomic transition frequencies with quantum electrodynamics calculations, the properties of antimatter and mesonic matter may be determined at the highest possible precision. This allows us to probe some of the fundamental symmetries of nature. In the field of particle physics, there is heightened interest in metrological frequency measurement techniques in view of similar future experiments at particle accelerator facilities such as the new Extra Low Energy Antiproton (ELENA) ring of CERN and the Ring Cyclotron of Paul Scherrer Institute.
Dr. Masaki Hori
Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics
“Time and Frequency in Deep Space Navigation, Planetary Geodesy, and Solar System Dynamics”
Time and Frequency in Deep Space Navigation, Planetary Geodesy, and Solar System Dynamics
Prof. Luciano Iess
Space navigation, whether for near-Earth satellites or deep space probes orbiting in remote regions of the solar system, rests on precise time and frequency measurements. However, deep space navigation, which cannot rely on the extensive and powerful infrastructure offered by GNSS constellations and the associated ground systems, faces bigger challenges. Measurements are obtained by exchanging radio signals between ground antennas and distant spacecraft, providing in most cases line-of-sight information. The observable quantities used for orbit determination in the solar system can be seen as measurements of angles, distances and velocities, but ultimately all these geometric quantities reduce to precise time and frequency measurements, requiring very stable clocks. State of the art microwave systems are able to deliver accuracies at a level of few cm for range and 10-6 m/s (at 1000 s integration times) for range rate, for a spacecraft located nearly everywhere in the solar system. Angular measurements, based on a VLBI technique called DOR (delta-differential one-way ranging), often attain accuracies at the level of 1 nrad (corresponding to 150 m in the direction orthogonal to the line of sight at 1 AU).
Especially if augmented with dedicated instrumentation, microwave tracking systems used for space navigation are also powerful tools for planetary science, in particular for geodesy and geophysics. Most of our knowledge of planetary interiors comes from gravity measurements, enabled radio links with excellent frequency stability. Precise knowledge of solar system dynamics and tests of gravity laws also rely on the same observable quantities. This talk will review the state of the art microwave technologies employed in deep space navigation, planetary geodesy and fundamental physics and offer a perspective view on new methods, including the use of atomic clocks in deep space and largely autonomous navigation infrastructure at Mars and the Moon.