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Professors from Niels Bohr Institute visited Japan to discuss quantum technologies

15.05.2018  09:45

On 12 April 2018, The Royal Danish Embassy in Tokyo organized a Quantum Technology Seminar in Japan together with The Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science, inviting top researchers to talk about the impact and future of quantum technology. The seminar attracted a broad audience of about 140 attendees with many leading experts within the fields of quantum technology participating.

Invited as the event’s moderator was Emeritus Prof. Yoshihisa Yamamoto, the program manager of the Japanese national project, ImPACT.

The at-the-time Minister of the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science, Mr. Søren Pind, bid welcome and gave the opening remarks, highlighting the long quantum technology research collaboration history between Yoshio Nishina (4th President of RIKEN) and Niels Bohr in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Prof. Jan W. Thomsen (Head of Niels Bohr Institute) introduced some potential application examples of Quantum Communication, Quantum Sensors, Quantum Computers, Quantum Simulators and Quantum Materials, e.g. Superconductors for next MR scanners, wind mill generators, single photon source for next cryptography technology etc.

Throughout his presentation, Prof. Thomsen reminded us of the importance of fundamental quantum research and research collaboration, explaining the economic impact that quantum technology currently has on society. An estimated 30-35 % of the US’ Gross Domestic Product is based on inventions derived from quantum theory, from semiconductors in computer chips and lasers in compact-disc players to magnetic resonance imaging in hospitals. According to Prof. Thomsen it is important to collaborate on quantum research to deliver to the commercial applications of the future.

Prof. Eugene Simon Polzik (Center for Quantum Optics (QUANTOP) explained in his presentation that quantum technology has the possibility to break through the standard quantum limits of measurement precision, which could contribute to the next generation of sensors for electro-magnetic fields, forces, acceleration and gravity.

Prof. Charlie Marcus (Centre for Quantum Devices and Station Q Copenhagen) has been collaborating with Microsoft on quantum computer. One of the challenges of quantum computer is to scale up qubits and reduce the error rate. Prof. Marcus presented some of his research results, including new disruptive materials and ingredients for a Majorana-based topologically protected qubit that could help build a better qubit that can be scaled up for commercial use computers in the future.

Prof. Hidetoshi Katori (University of Tokyo and RIKEN) presented his recent research on optical lattice clocks after having built a pair of clocks which are said to be so accurate they only lose a second every 16 billion years. Prof. Yasunobu Nakamura (University of Tokyo and RIKEN) presented his research on hybrid quantum systems based on superconductive circuits. Prof. Kae Nemoto (Principle of Informatics Researc Division, National Institute of Informatics) explained how to design quantum information systems while Dr. Tetsuomi Sogawa (Director of NTT Basic Research Laboratories) gave a presentation about the research activities of NTT that included quantum key distribution, long-distance quantum communication and coherent Ising machines. Prof. Seigo Taucha (University of Tokyo and RIKEN) explained his research on high-fidelity and scale-up of quantum gates in Si-based quantum computing before Prof. Shigeki Takeuchi (University of Kyoto) explained how entangled photon can be applied to quantum communication, computation and metrology, showing examples of contrast 2D-images that were up to 1.35x better when in an entangled NOON state.

Mr. Hediki Niizuma (Parliamentary Vice-Minister of MEXT) gave the closing remarks of the seminar. Just as Mr. Pind did in the beginning, Mr. Niizuma highlighted the long research collaboration history between Yoshio Nishina and Niels Bohr and the importance of continued research collaboration between Denmark and Japan on quantum technology.

Mr. Carlos Moedas, the Commissioner of Research, Science and Innovation of the European Commission, and Mr. Yoshimasa Hayashi, the Minister of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (MEXT) agreed in January 2018 to strengthen cooperation between EU and Japan within this area. In addition, the at-the-time Minister of the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science, Mr. Søren Pind and Mr. Yoshimasa Hayashi (MEXT) signed a MOC (Memorandum of Cooperation) on Science Technology and Innovation on the same day. Denmark will strengthen bilateral cooperation with Japan on science technology and innovation in the framework of the MOC.