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Quantum Engineering

Quantum physics is both one of the most counter-intuitive and successful of all scientific theories; it serves as the basis for the emerging field of quantum engineering.

While some of the most impactful technologies of the 20th century, such as the transistor and the laser, rely on quantum physics, they do not use the most extreme kinds of quantum phenomena. The ability to harness effects like quantum superposition and entanglement will usher in a new generation of transformative technologies. The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) stands at the forefront of this rapidly emerging field.

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Advances in quantum sensing, encryption, and computing will transform science and engineering and have far-reaching impact on industry, the economy, and other aspects of our society.

Quantum computing and advances in quantum algorithms could enable us to solve previously intractable computational problems, potentially revolutionizing a range of fields including materials design and drug discovery. The subfield of quantum cryptography promises truly “unhackable” communications, creating data security that cannot be compromised without breaking the laws of physics. In biological applications, ultra-sensitive quantum sensors will detect biological and chemical changes at the molecular level, impacting how we diagnose and treat disease. From a device perspective, new kinds of spintronic and opto-electronic components may replace their charge-based counterparts, leading to a new class of more powerful and energy efficient devices.

The University of Chicago is at the forefront of the fields of quantum science and engineering. Our faculty members come from multiple departments and institutes, including Pritzker Molecular Engineering, the James Franck Institute (JFI), the Department of Physics, and the Department of Chemistry. Many are also engaged in the Chicago Quantum Exchange (CQE), an intellectual hub and community of researchers spanning academia, national labs, and industry who are advancing scientific and technological efforts in the field.

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