Local Universities, Labs Teaming Up To Tackle Quantum Technology

Steve Miller
October 30, 2018 - 4:56 pm
University of Chicago Professor David Awschalom

WBBM Newsradio/ Steve Miller

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- There was an announcement Tuesday in Hyde Park that's being compared to the launch of Sputnik, which was the first artificial Earth satellite - and the beginning of the space race.

"I think the moment is now and the place is Chicago," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. 

Mayor Emanuel was there in Hyde Park as a partnership was announced: The University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Argonne and Fermi Labs - all working on quantum technology.

Professor David Awschalom of U of C and Argonne say quantum technology can be used in medicine and MRIs. 

"Techniques that image billions of molecules in your body to construct an image," he said. "Imagine with a quantum sensor you could go from billions to a single molecule. You could unravel how proteins work in the human body. It would revolutionize areas of medicine."

Awschalom compared this point in research to the beginning of the space program in the late '50s.

"It's like a small Sputnik moment, where the world is waking up and realizing the potential of what may be down the line," he said.