On July 23, 2020, the US Department of Energy (DOE) unveiled a strategy at The University of Chicago to build a national quantum internet, known as the “unhackable” network. This initiative not only ushers in a new era of communications but also puts the US at the forefront of a global race for quantum technology.
David Awschalom, physics and molecular engineering professor at The University of Chicago, notes that a quantum network could revolutionize science by using the technology to build sensors that more accurately measure early seismic activity, temperature fluctuations around the globe, and water purity. All this will be accomplished by manipulating the behavior of atoms and electrons, and the way they interact with one another on a tiny scale in the form of quantum bits, or qubits.
He adds, “Quantum engineers have learned how to control these actions in such a way that these properties act as a platform for new technology.”
Awschalom is also a senior scientist and quantum information science group leader at the Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago. He directs the Chicago Quantum Exchange, alongside ARCS Scholar Alumna Kate Timmerman, who is executive director.
Timmerman’s role is to bring together academia, national labs, and industry to advance quantum information science and technologies.