Our mission

EQuS seeks to initiate the Quantum Era in the 21st century by engineering designer quantum systems. Through focussed and visionary research we will deliver new scientific insights and fundamentally new technical capabilities across a range of disciplines. Impacts of this work will improve the lives of Australians and people all over the world by producing breakthroughs in physics, engineering, chemistry, biology and medicine.

The primary goals of EQuS are to:

  • Establish a world-leading research community driving the development of quantum technologies, with Australia as the focus of international efforts.
  • Stimulate the Australian scientific and engineering communities to exploit quantum devices and quantum coherence in next-generation technologies.
  • Train a generation of young scientists with the skills needed to lead the future of technology development.
  • Demonstrate the potential and capabilities of engineered quantum technologies by realizing technological breakthroughs in novel and useful engineered quantum coherent systems.
  • Create a design methodology supporting the development of all new technologies for the Quantum Era.
A note from our founder - Professor Gerard Milburn

2011 marked the EQuS’ first birthday and was also the 150th anniversary of the most famous partial differential equations in history. I don't think we will be seeing much about this in the news - partial differential equations are a hard sell - but it is something to celebrate, for these equations opened a portal to an entirely new world. In 1861 the Scottish mathematician James Clerk Maxwell wrote down a set of partial differential equations that captured and explained more than a century of experimental results on electricity and magnetism. In so doing he gave us passage from the old Newtonian world of levers, clocks, steam and mechanical devices to a world driven by the power of the electromagnetic field. In 1926 Schrodinger wrote down another partial differential equation that will have an even greater impact on the future of technology than Maxwell's equations, for Schrodinger's equation opens the door to future quantum technology.

If you share the view that the quantum world is a bottomless cup of mystery and paradox, accessible only at the extremes of science, you may be surprised to learn that were it not for the quantum, photosynthesis would not be the efficient harvester of solar energy that it is and the European Robin would founder during its annual migration. Biology it seems knows the world is quantum and has engineered accordingly. It is time to put aside our puzzlement with quantum theory and follow nature's lead. We need to learn how to engineer the quantum world to our purpose. This is the mission of the new ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems.

Quantum theory is the most successful theory of the physical world that has ever been devised, confirmed in hundreds of experiments every day to extraordinary precision. Yet it is notoriously hard to explain it. Even we quantum physicists struggle to explain it to ourselves! But, if I am going to help you share my vision of a new quantum technology, I need to give you a glimpse of what the world is really like.

We are taking small steps on the road to a future quantum technology. As our capability to engineer quantum world develops, new possibilities and opportunities will arise. No one at the time of Maxwell could have imagined supermarket laser scanners or the mobile phone yet his equations make these possible, given 150 years of engineering the electromagnetic world. What will a future of engineered quantum systems look like? Who can say, but if we start the journey today perhaps your grandchildren will be the technology entrepreneurs of the quantum age.

Last updated 26 October 2017
Last reviewed 27 June 2015

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Major funding support

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