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The Quantum Entanglement in Science and Technology Center

Governments around the world have begun to acknowledge quantum technology’s vast potential for national security. And in the race to a post-quantum world, no country wants to come in second.

The Quantum Entanglement in Science and Technology Center

Whether for modeling large-scale military deployments and chemical reactions, cracking encryption codes, or developing advanced artificial intelligence tools, quantum technologies— a class of technology that harnesses the principles of quantum mechanics—have the potential to transform the world in ways we can barely imagine. But while these technologies undoubtedly offer countries numerous benefits, they can also pose serious threats.

For Israel, a small country in a hostile region, the risks of lagging behind are especially acute. Without deploying quantum-safe security solutions, our military plans, diplomatic cables, and data related to state and industrial security are at risk of interception. So, too, can quantum technologies employed by our neighbors hinder our ability to gather critical intelligence.

Determined to both maximize the potential of quantum technologies and help Israel mitigate their risks, Bar-Ilan scientists launched The Quantum Entanglement in Science and Technology Center (QUEST) in 2017. A cross-disciplinary initiative of university physicists, mathematicians, and engineers, QUEST is positioning Bar-Ilan as a major player in this fast-growing field.

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Scientific Research for a Safer Jewish State

Focused on exploring the baffling phenomenon of entanglement—a state in which two electrons or photons can hold information about each other, even when separated by a vast distance—QUEST aims to one day transform theoretical and experimental knowledge into solutions for some of Israel’s most pressing problems. Its scientists have already begun to develop a research infrastructure in fields critical to a quantum future:

  • Quantum Sensing: QUEST scientists hope to provide a basis for the development of quantum sensing technologies, an area in which Bar-Ilan, alone among Israeli universities with quantum research centers, has significant expertise. Capable of measuring in ways that are both non-invasive and astonishingly precise, quantum-sensing technologies include imaging modalities for detecting the smallest cancerous attributes of a cell and devices for detecting the presence of oil fields or terror tunnels underground. QUEST scientists are also at work on the science behind molecular sensors that can detect the most minute quantities of drug pollutants or explosives—key to preventing potential catastrophes—and tools for measuring time, with critical implications for navigation and defense.
  • Quantum Communications: QUEST scientists plan to focus on the science behind novel, unhackable methods for sharing encrypted data and files. QUEST’s Prof. Avi Pe’er, for example, together with Prof. Michael Rosenbluh, are conducting experiments that can one day aid in the eventual development of a bandwidth resource for quantum communications, which can speed the exchange of encryption keys over long distances while guaranteeing that they remain secure.
  • Quantum Computing: QUEST scientists are working on the science behind quantum computers, which perform calculations based on the probability of an object’s state even before it’s measured. This means that quantum computers have the potential to process exponentially more data compared to their classical counterparts, and tackle hard-to-break security codes, predict multiple particle interactions in chemical reactions, even solve climate change. QUEST’s Prof. Emanuele Dalla Torre was awarded a grant by the Israel Science Foundation and the Israeli Defense Forces to develop algorithms for small quantum computers in partnership with Google’s main rival in the quantum-computing arena, IBM.



Help Israel Prepare for a Post-Quantum Era

Quantum technology has the potential to transform the world in ways we can barely imagine. Fortunately, QUEST scientists already have: Their research, along with the many collaborations QUEST scientists have forged with both industry experts and national and international academic groups, can make Bar-Ilan a critical resource for Israeli government leaders looking to capitalize on the new technologies’ most useful applications, as well as to contain their potential threats.

Partner in Bar-Ilan’s efforts to ensure Israel’s defensive edge