Quantum Space Technologies

Quantum and gravity do not only meet within fundamental physics at the Planck scale. Another fascinating area where the gravitational and quantum world overlap is the emerging field of quantum space technologies. The difference is, however, that while at the Planck scale the quantum effects of gravity are considered, the domain of quantum space technologies is associated with quantum mechanics (and quantum field theory) on the classical (curved) spacetime. The representative example of quantum space technologies is the quantum key distribution via artificial satellites, which one day may allow us to entangle World with a network of secure quantum channels – the so-called quantum internet. It turns out that the gravitational field of Earth may have non-negligible influence on the capacity of quantum channels. Another interesting example are free-falling Bose-Einstein condensates, which have applications in e.g. the precise gravimetry. Furthermore, quantum experiments in space may also shed some light on certain aspects of both quantum mechanics and the gravitational interaction. Our activity in this domain is mostly about employing fundamental physics to better understand perspectives and limitations for the development of quantum space technologies.

Satellite quantum key distribution. Source