Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Quantum Science

Understanding and leveraging quantum effects for military benefit

Showing 41 results for Quantum RSS
Recent advances in our understanding of light-matter interactions, often with patterned and resonant structures, reveal nascent concepts for new interactions that may impact many applications. Examples of these novel phenomena include interactions involving active media, symmetry, non-reciprocity, and linear/nonlinear resonant coupling effects.
Micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS and NEMS) are employed in many Department of Defense (DoD) systems. These devices find use in compact accelerometers and gyroscopes for stability control and inertial navigation and in switches for optical communication and data routing. Incredibly, these devices still operate many of orders of magnitude away from their ultimate limits. Techniques to reduce or overcome thermal noise in MEMS/NEMS devices are critical for realizing their full potential.
The Optimization with Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum devices (ONISQ) program aims to exploit quantum information processing before fully fault-tolerant quantum computers are realized. This effort will pursue a hybrid concept that combines intermediate-sized quantum devices with classical systems to solve a particularly challenging set of problems known as combinatorial optimization. ONISQ seeks to demonstrate the quantitative advantage of quantum information processing by leapfrogging the performance of classical-only systems in solving optimization challenges.
Typically, the performance of measurement devices is limited by deleterious effects such as thermal noise and vibration. Notable exceptions are atomic clocks, which operate very near their fundamental limits. Driving devices to their physical limits will open new application spaces critical to future DoD systems. Indeed, many defense-critical applications already require exceptionally precise time and frequency standards enabled only by atomic clocks. The Global Positioning System (GPS) and the internet are two key examples.
Biological sensors often display high sensitivity, selectivity, and low false alarm rates while being fabricated and operated in dirty, noisy natural environments. Attempts to emulate these sensors synthetically have not fully met expectations. Recent evidence suggests that some biological sensors exploit nontrivial quantum mechanical effects to produce macroscopic output signals. Examples of such sensors include the highly efficient energy transfer properties of photosynthesis in plants, bacteria, and algae; magnetic field sensing used by some birds for navigation; and the ability of some animals to detect odors at the single molecule level.