Image: Black dots are electrons, red dots are protons and blue dots are neutrons.
Original Published Date: 
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Researchers at The University of Queensland (UQ) node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems, working with the University of Sussex, have developed next-generation sensors that will be able to be used in fields as diverse as mineral exploration and climate change.

Theoretical physicist at UQ, Dr Stuart Szigeti, said future precision sensing technology would exploit unusual effects of quantum mechanics. “Our research showed a way to recycle atoms and reuse them in a device called an atom interferometer. This technique will vastly improve the performance of these devices, leading to improved sensing technology. An atom interferometer uses the quantum ‘wave-like’ nature of atoms in order to make very precise measurements of accelerations, rotations, and gravitational fields. They can be used in mineral exploration, allowing us to more easily locate mineral reserves underground, and in hydrology, allowing us to track the movement of water across the planet as we monitor the effects of climate change,” he said.

Media issued by The University of Queensland.

Photo credit: 

Image courtesy: Made by Halfdan. Modification de Image:Stylised Lithium Atom.png par Liquid_2003. Wikimedia Commons: CC BY-SA 3.0Link