In a major scientific breakthrough, scientists have created a quantum microscope that can see biological structures that were once impossible to see.
For you to get a clearer picture, this one used quantum tech to reduce light fluctuations within an image. It’s believed that it’s the first time quantum tech has improved existing light microscopes, which in the future may further advance navigation and medical imaging systems.
Quantum tech is based on quantum physics, which is used to study how atoms and subatomic particles behave. The said microscope works with 35% more clarity than existing sophisticated imaging techniques. It can also tell you about what chemical bonds are present in the particular region of the cell, to be able to distinguish the healthy from cancerous ones.
Though still in its infancy, it’s hoped to enhance the study of the effects of antibiotics, nerve degeneration, and improving MRI scans. It was also found out that it outperformed conventional technologies.
How Did They Do It
Warwick Bowen of Queensland University’s Quantum Optics Laboratory says that microscope development uses intense sources of illumination. Most precision microscopes used sources a trillion times hotter than the sun. For practicality, the intensity can’t be raised further because it might damage the specimen.
While the traditional way is increasing the intensity of illumination of light, it’s not always the case when dealing with biological structures. The researchers said that bright lasers can damage or disturb biological processes.
To reduce the noise, they allowed a signal-to-noise ratio beyond the photodamage limit of conventional microscopes. They also incraesed the light intensity 1012 times higher than previous trials with quantum imaging. The quantum tech, in tandem with quantum entanglement, helped to reduce light fluctuations with the image.
Quantum Microscope Sets To Revolutionize Microscopy
Meanwhile, Australia’s Army Quantum Technologies Roadmap, sees the technology spurring a new wave of technological innovation in bioengineering, biomedicine, resources, and the characterization of materials. Indeed, Bowen said that there are potentially boundless opportunities for quantum entanglement to revolutionize communication, computing, and sensing.
He believed that it will also spark new technologies ranging from MRI machines to better navigation systems.
Back in 2019, Google had achieved “quantum supremacy” by building a quantum computer capable of outperforming the best traditional supercomputers.
Quantum microscopy R&D was partially funded by the US Air Force and published in a prestigious scientific journal Nature. Its first author was Catxere Casacio.
Bowen added that their discovery was the last piece of the puzzle before they were able to nail it once and for all.
This study is being seen as the next highlight after the 2014 Nobel prize-winning development of nanoscopy. The researchers concluded that their work will introduce further improvements in signal-to-noise ratio and imaging speed.