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Quantum 'compass' Came Out

Dec 07, 2018

According to a recent report by the Imperial College of Imperial College, the school's researchers and M Squared worked together to develop the world's first quantum accelerometer for navigation. This quantum "compass" is an anti-jamming navigation device that does not rely on Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) to determine the exact location anywhere on the planet.

The research team demonstrated this mobile, commercially available quantum accelerometer at the National Quantum Technology Show in the UK. It relies on measuring the motion of ultra-cold atoms at very low (near absolute zero) temperatures. In this ultra-cold state, cold atoms behave as "quantum", just like matter and waves. Dr. Joseph Cotter of the Imperial Institute of Cold Matter at the Imperial College of Technology said: "When atoms are supercooled, we must use quantum mechanics to describe how they move, which allows us to create equipment such as atomic interferometers."

In order for the atoms to be cold enough and to detect their characteristics, a powerful laser with precise control is required. M Squared has developed a universal laser system for cold atomic sensors for three years with features such as high power, low noise and frequency tunability to cool atoms and provide an optical scale for acceleration measurements.

The researchers pointed out that the new quantum "compass" was originally designed for navigation of large vehicles, ships, etc., but can also be used to find basic scientific research such as dark energy and gravitational waves.