National Defense Magazine
March 13, 2019

CHICAGO — Four stories underground — encased in several feet of concrete — is the University of Chicago’s new nanofabrication facility, where researchers apply the principles of quantum physics to real-world problems and technologies.

A small cadre of faculty and graduate students in a clean room bathed in yellow light wear protective clothing to ensure the integrity of the experiments they are conducting, which involves the very matter that comprise the universe: electrons, photons, neutrons and protons.

The William Eckhardt Research Center where they are working is located across the street from where a team led by Enrico Fermi, the architect of the nuclear age, carried out the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction.

Like Fermi’s Manhattan Project invention, what the university’s researchers learn at the Chicago Quantum Exchange could very well usher in a new technological age, experts interviewed said.

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