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Quantum mechanics: Waving Europe’s flag

Image: Robert Couse-Baker [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

The EU’s billion-euro Quantum Flagship must find coherence in a diverse field if it is to reap the commercial rewards of matter at the smallest scale, Ben Upton reports.

The century-long probe into the mysteries of quantum physics has brought us transistors, lasers and no end of strange tales. While researchers continue to explore the science of subatomic particles, companies are wasting no time in commercialising ever more quantum devices.

A growing ability to create, detect and manipulate single particles of matter is enabling researchers and engineers to set the subatomic world to work as never before. There is talk of a coming quantum-powered revolution in biomedical and metrological sensing, unbreakable cryptography and massively increased computing power.

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