UN declares 2025 as the year of quantum

10 Jun 2024

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According to the UN, the year-long initiative will celebrate impacts of quantum science on technology, culture and our understanding of the natural world.

The United Nations has declared 2025 as the International Year of Quantum Science and Technology (IYQ) to boost research and development in the emerging area.

It marks 100 years since theoretical physicists Werner Heisenberg, Max Born and Pascual Jordan developed matrix mechanics, the first formulation to express quantum physics in mathematical form.

2025 also marks 100 years since Erwin Schrödinger postulated the Schrödinger equation that governs the wave function of a quantum-mechanical system – a landmark moment in quantum mechanics that proved to be seminal to the field and won him a Nobel Prize in Physics.

According to the UN, the year-long initiative will celebrate the impacts of quantum science on technology, culture and human understanding of the natural world.

“Quantum technologies have a great potential to accelerate progress towards achieving a more sustainable and equitable world, and this is now formally acknowledged beyond the scientific community,” said EU internal markets commissioner Thierry Breton.

Researchers around the world have been working on different approaches to create a functional quantum computer – technology that could revolutionise everything from climate studies and finance to drug discovery in medicine.

Earlier this year, Microsoft and UK-based Quantinuum said they got a step closer to a commercial quantum computer with a breakthrough that significantly reduces error while running experiments.

Microsoft claimed that the breakthrough finally moves us out of the current era of unreliable quantum computing, known as noisy intermediate-scale quantum, ushering in the next stage of resilient quantum computing.

And just last month, a team of researchers led by Prof Richard Curry of University of Manchester made a potential breakthrough in using pure silicon for future scalable quantum computers.

“Quantum science was born in Europe about a century ago, and today, Europe remains at the forefront of the new quantum revolution”, said Dr Yasser Omar, president of the Portuguese Quantum Institute, who will be representing the Quantum Flagship in IYQ.

“Throughout next year, projects from Europe’s Quantum Flagship initiative working on quantum computing, simulation, communication, sensing and metrology will be showcasing their results.

“We now look forward to the upcoming International Year of Quantum and the opportunity to engage with society throughout the year to disseminate and discuss the latest developments in quantum science and technology.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic