The Quantum Entanglement Science &
Technology Impact Center

QUEST

Groups: Business Administration, Computer Science, Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Law, Education, Geography, in collaboration with local governments, industry leaders and social innovators

The Prime Minister has defined quantum technology as a top priority for the State of Israel. Why? A century ago, physicists shocked the world with experiments which revealed that on the subatomic level matter behaves in paradoxical ways. We discovered, for example, that a pair of particles, like electrons or photons, can become “entangled,” so that actions performed on one affect the other—even if they are light years apart. This phenomenon so riled Albert Einstein; he called it “spooky action at a distance.” This launched the first quantum revolution.

Today, quantum physics has advanced to a point that now we may use the paradoxical logic and laws of the quantum realm to build new kinds of technology—powerful new quantum technology. At Bar-Ilan University, the Quantum Entanglement Science and Technology Impact Center (QUEST) is fast becoming Israel’s leading institution in quantum technology and a major force globally.

The Path Forward

QUEST aims to use entanglement to create powerful new quantum technologies.

The scientists of QUEST work together very closely and share their wide-ranging knowledge and know-how. This allows us to integrate many different technical capabilities into each new technology.

Today QUEST has the critical mass of world-class researchers needed to attract more scientists and students of the highest calibre, and it has established outstanding partnerships with companies including IBM-Israel and research institutions throughout Israel and Europe. Each year for the next five years, we will absorb two scientists working in quantum technology, so that in just a few years, we will double the size of our team. Concomitantly, we will recruit top students and post-doctoral fellows with attractive scholarships and renovate two floors of our physics building where we will concentrate the joint activities of the QUEST.

At QUEST, work focuses in three high-impact areas:

Quantum Communications — QUEST scientists are using “quantum entanglement” to make eavesdropping impossible. Conventional encryption keys can be stolen and used to crack the codes which encrypt communications; quantum encryption keys, however, are protected by the laws of physics. Any attempt to impress them changes the information that is stolen and makes it useless.

We are becoming a leading force in the field. As the Jerusalem Post wrote, Prof. Avi Pe’er and his team “have devised a method to overcome a ‘speed limit’ on quantum information processing by nearly a million times what it is now, while ensuring absolute data security.” Those findings were recently published in the top journal Nature Communications.

Quantum Computing — Today’s computers use bits. Each bit is either “on” or “off” — just enough information to answer yes or no to one question at a time. Quantum computers use quantum bits or qubits. They can be “on” and “off” at the same time, and each qubit added to a quantum computer doubles the computer’s power!

QUEST aims to develop blazing fast computers with extremely dense and stable memory.

Today, Dr. Beena Kalisky is making a quantum computer with the international team she directs. The team is made up of researchers from France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden. Their research is funded by QuantERA, a European fund comprised of 31 agencies from 26 countries, coordinated by the National Science Center in Poland and the Israel Innovation Authority, and overseen by BIRAD, Bar-Ilan University’s commercialization company.

Quantum Metrology (Measurement) — Today we use quantum effects to make precise measurements in spectacular technologies like MRI and GPS. QUEST researchers aim to radically improve MRI sensitivity so that we can image single molecules. This would be a significant advance for drug development and biological research. They are also working on precise atomic clocks for mobile devices. These will radically improve GPS and allow entirely new applications.

The Champions

The scientists of QUEST work together closely as a team, each contributing his unique strengths to every project. Also, they have excellent partnerships with faculty in the Departments of Mathematics and Computer Science and the Kofkin Faculty of Engineering.

Theoretician Prof. Richard Berkovits studies quantum phase transitions in low dimensions, many-body localization, entanglement, and networks. Prof. Berkovits was named the Dean of Exact Sciences!

Theoretician Dr. Emanuele Dalla Torre studies nonequilibrium many-body quantum physics and high-temperature superconductors.

Experimentalist Prof. Lev Khaykovich studies ultracold atoms, Bose-Einstein condensation, and universal few-bodystates.

Experimentalist Prof. Avi Pe’er works on quantum optics, broadband parametric processes, precision measurement, and control of molecular dynamics.

Experimentalist Prof. Michael Rosenbluh studies atomic and laser physics, coherent population trapping nuclear clocks, nonlinear optics and the high rate of generation of random numbers by physical systems.

Experimentalist Dr. Michael Stern studies quantum behaviour of superconducting electrical circuits and their coupling with nanosystems like spins in semiconductors.

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