All questions answered by Dr. Natalia Korolkova from the University Court of the University of St Andrews, United Kingdom.
What do you want to achieve in this project?
We want to create a family of novel, “cheap” and reliable, quantum sources with user-selected properties, PhoGs, that will enhance the performance of many protocols across the Quantum Technologies arena. To show the capabilities of such sources in quantum-enchanced metrology, we aim to demonstrate the entanglement-enhanced imaging and the improvement in frequency stability of atomic clock using the PhoGs. We will work with laser-inscribed integrated waveguide networks as a hardware, which is an excellent platform both for such real-world quantum sources and for simulating the complex quantum dynamics, our other line of research.
How will European citizens benefit from this project, both from the technology developments it accomplishes as well as the basic science breakthroughs it may achieve?
Our devices will feed into the more industrial-oriented pillars, enhancing the quality of implementations. To educators, researchers and engineers, we bring a very interesting novel physics behind the PhoG devices. We exploit engineered loss, turning a traditional enemy into an ally. Letting the individual waveguides in a network talk to each other via tailored loss mechanisms allows us to design the quantum properties of output light in a very fancy way, still keeping it in well-defined high-quality modes meeting the market requirements. This is also a basis for new types of optical equalisers (smoothing signal fluctuations) and optical distributors, which are important in future multi-channel telecommunication networks.
Why is the Quantum Flagship important and why did you choose to become part of it?
The Quantum Flagship offers an excellent environment for the next step in quantum science: it combines in an exceptional way cutting-edge fundamental science with close-to-industrial developments, stretching it in some cases even into industrial market. The added value of the Flagship is enormous as it allows the best research groups and industrial companies across Europe and associated countries to work together on the common task to bring recent spectacular advances in controlling quantum properties of light and matter to the service of the community.
How do you see the advancement of quantum technologies in the near future and what would be your ultimate dream in the long run?
Going faster, smaller, denser, preciser and more sensitive everywhere, we inevitably enter the quantum world, so technologies going quantum is a logical and unavoidable next phase. It will be great to see the similar rate and scope of technological development with different quantum systems as we saw it with laser, the first quantum device going from a laboratory curiosity, “an answer without a question” at the point of its invention to such an indispensable tool on a time scale of several decades. It would also be great to have both moral and material support in the community in future for further such curious quantum things looking initially like an answer without a question.