HRH The Duke of York, KG visits Birmingham’s quantum technology labs

5th October 2015
Prince Andrew, Duke of York on his visit to University of Birmingham.

The Duke of York visited the School of Physics at Birmingham on Tuesday 29th September to see new developments in the area of quantum technology.

Birmingham in collaboration with the Universities of Glasgow, Nottingham, Southampton, Strathclyde and Sussex has received £80 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, the University of Birmingham and from over 70 industry partners to set up a Quantum Technology Hub in collaboration with the National Physical Laboratory as part of a major national investment.

The University’s expertise in quantum sensors could provide solutions to industry challenges. By exploiting the sensors’ extreme sensitivity, physicists and engineers working with industry will be able to bring technology to the market place that will enable them to look accurately and non-destructively in many scenarios, including mapping pipework and cabling under the road surface before digging takes place, reducing disruption and traffic delays, as well as providing non–invasive ways of measuring brain activity to further research into dementia.

Sensors will also be very quick, as well as sensitive: the optical lattice clocks that could be built as a result of this technology will also be used in the increasingly fast high-frequency trading in financial markets, where the measurement of time needs to be accurate.

His Royal Highness visited a showcase of the Hub’s activities and the University’s Cold Atoms Laboratory and the Gravity Gradient Laboratory where research to progress quantum technology is being carried out by University of Birmingham physicists.

Professor Kai Bongs, who leads the Quantum Technology Hub at the University of Birmingham’s School of Physics and Astronomy, said: ‘The UK National Quantum Technology initiative has put the UK into the spotlight of the international search for new innovation models. I am proud to promote the generation of economic benefit from fundamental science, which promises a whole new world of quantum-enabled capabilities improving our everyday lives.’