Scotland, Germany investigate quantum technologies

Prof James Hough

Professor Jim Hough

Physics research groups from five Scottish universities – the universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde, St Andrews, Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh – are launching a Max-Planck partnership, with colleagues in Germany, to further investigate quantum technologies.

Specifically, they will be supporting research around the theme of ‘Measurement and Observation at the Quantum Limit’ (MOQL), which they say has relevance for a variety of hi-tech industry sectors such as oil field exploration and quantum computing.

They’ll be working with five Max-Planck Institutes (MPIs) in Germany: the MPI for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute, Hannover), along with the MPI for the Science of Light (Erlangen), the MPI for Quantum Optics ( Garching), the MPI for Chemical Physics (Dresden), and the MPI for Solid State Physics (Stuttgart).

“The MOQL Max-Planck Partnership is the first such collaboration of its kind and reflects the strength of the existing research community and infrastructure within Scotland,” said Professor Jim Hough, UK Director of the Partnership, and Associate Director of the IGR (Institute for Gravitational Research) at the University of Glasgow (Pictured).

“It will aim to promote new scientific collaborations at the very highest levels and raise the profile of Scottish Science, attracting some of the world’s leading physicists to our institutions. It is our aim that the research taking place within the Partnership will form the groundwork for future translational research to develop emerging technologies for market.”

Scotland is already a centre for research in quantum technologies, for example the new £10 million Centre for Sensors & Imaging Systems (CENSIS) based at the University of Glasgow, opening this month, and the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics at the University of Strathclyde.

“It is great news that the world’s first international Max-Planck partnership is being launched by Scottish Universities,” said Minister for Science Alasdair Allan, MSP. “This is another example of the global reputation and strength of research in Scotland and will help further boost our higher education sector.

“As a Government, through the Scottish Funding Council, we now invest over £1 billion annually in higher education, some of which – in conjunction with our internationally renowned Research Pools – has been allocated to help deliver this important and exciting research initiative.”

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