Pan Jianwei: Exploring the Mystery of the Quantum World

Post Time: 2019-10-21

      Editor’s Note: On the occasion of the first Jinhua Development Conference two years ago, the Jinhua Domestic and Overseas Talents Association and the General Chamber of Commerce were established. Now, the second Jinhua Development Conference is approaching and will surely bring momentum to the improvement of the overall quality, integration into the Yangtze River Delta, and establishment of the metropolitan area. It’s time to welcome with anticipation and optimism the development of Jinhua presenting Jinhua’s representative personages around the world.

      Last September 18 in Hefei, Anhui, when autumn was well on its way and quite refreshing, the first award ceremony for Micius Quantum Prize was held. The ceremony was attended by over 500 eminent experts and scholars in the field of quantum information technology. The laureates of the Micius Quantum Prize 2019 are six scientists who made outstanding contributions in the field of quantum communication, including Pan Jianwei. The Jinhua scientist has been leading his team to perform groundbreaking experiments in the field of practically secure and large-scale quantum communications.

      In interviews at the event, he commented that China’s quantum communication technology has stepped up to play a leading role, partially thanks to the establishment of a world-class quantum laboratory. In space, there is Micius, the world’s first quantum experimental satellite; on the ground, there is the first long-distance quantum security communication network, the Beijing-Shanghai trunk line.

      He then explained: “We want to make work in science and technology attractive, making them fields that young people respect and want to join.” He hopes that more teenagers will become fond of science and appreciate quantum physics.

      Pan’s research team counts on a large number of people achieving endless results. The University of Science and Technology of China has built a number of relevant experimental platforms, developed a set of analytical detection equipment and means related to quantum information experimental research, and the research environment has reached an internationally advanced level.

      This year, Pan’s team achieved three world-level groundbreaking achievements. On January 18, Pan’s team published a paper in Science (10.1126/science.aau5322) showing findings that potentially set the stage for the preparation and study of ultracold triatomic molecules.

      In May, the team published another paper in Science (10.1126/science.aaw1611) demonstrating quantum walks of one and two strongly correlated microwave photons in a one-dimensional array of 12 superconducting qubits with short-range interactions. This research could lead to large-scale implementations and the quantum simulation of complex systems.

A third and latest paper (10.1126/science.aay5820) presents results of a quantum optical test of a proposal predicting that a pair of entangled particles decorrelate as they pass through different regions of the gravitational well of a planetary object. The quantum satellite Micius was used for the experiment. The results may help shed light on the interplay between quantum theory and gravity.

      The international academic community commented, “The University of Science and Technology of China has become prominent in the field of quantum mechanics.” (By Wang Jian, translated by Marco Lovisetto, edited by Kendra Fiddler)