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EU supports quantum research at PSI

Three Swiss researchers and one colleague from Sweden are attempting to uncover hidden quantum properties. For their research, they are using facilities at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). The European Research Council has granted 14 million euros to the project.

Gabriel Aeppli, photon scientist at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI. Image Credit: Scanderbeg Sauer Photography
Gabriel Aeppli, photon scientist at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI. Image Credit: Scanderbeg Sauer Photography

Gabriel Aeppli from PSI, Henrik Rønnow from the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Nicola Spaldin from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) and their colleague Alexander Balatsky from the University of Stockholm (Nordita) intend to “drive the next quantum revolution” with their research project HERO, according to PSI.

Using PSI’s large-scale research facilities, they want to uncover quantum properties that could not be found using previous methods and new quantum materials with useful properties. Potential applications for such findings would be in data processing.  

“Our current silicon-based information technology is still based on principles discovered around 70 years ago,” explained Aeppli in an ETH statement. The problem is that this technology has its limits in terms of speed and energy efficiency, added the quantum researcher. He said: “We now have to take the next step in the information revolution and make better use of quantum effects,”  

For their research, the four scientists are being supported by the European Research Council (ERC). An ERC grant with “an exceptional sum of 14 million euros” has been awarded to the HERO project, according to PSI. Switzerland’s position as a non-EU member of the ERC’s Horizon 2020 project is however not a matter of course here. Still, Switzerland is “fully affiliated” and its researchers have been “particularly successful” with their applications.  

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