(CosmosMagazine) University of Queensland researchers have built a quantum microscope based on the strange phenomenon Albert Einstein once called “spooky action at a distance”.
This new device takes advantage of quantum entanglement to illuminate living samples safely – unlike conventional microscopes, which use potentially damaging high-intensity light.
Warwick Bowen, a quantum physicist at the University of Queensland, says this is the first entanglement-based sensor that supersedes non-quantum technology.
“This is exciting – it’s the first proof of the paradigm-changing potential of entanglement for sensing,” says Bowen, who is lead author on the new paper published in Nature.
“The best light microscopes use bright lasers that are billions of times brighter than the sun,” Bowen explains. “Fragile biological systems like a human cell can only survive a short time in them.
“We’re hitting the limits of what you can do just by increasing the intensity of your light.”
Bowen and team’s new microscope may just kickstart the next revolution in microscopy, because they’ve evaded these limitations by introducing quantum entanglement.