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Chinese Quantum Physics Team Honored

Feb 16, 2019     Email"> PrintText Size

 

Juan Yin (center), professor at University of Science and Technology of China, receives the award of the Newcomb Cleveland Prize on behalf of the research team in Washington on Thursday. (Image by DONG Leshuo) 

Jian-Wei Pan, a Chinese quantum physicist, led a team that used a satellite to send photon pairs through the near vacuum of space, successfully measuring the quantum keys at Tibetan receiving stations 1,203 kilometers apart. 

The research, "Satellite-based entanglement distribution over 1200 kilometers", was published in Science, a leading journal on scientific research, on June 16, 2017. 

It was selected for the Newcomb-Cleveland prize for the most impactful paper published in Science magazine over the previous one-year period. 

The research shows that a network of satellites could one day form the infrastructure of a quantum internet. 

"Through decades of efforts, the achievements obtained in our team have shown to people that quantum information science is not only of great scientific significance, but also of great practical value," said Pan, vice-president of the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), in a note to China Daily. "I think that's why this time the Cleveland Award was awarded to us. It is a great inspiration to our team and the whole community of quantum information." 

"Professor Pan and his team extended this limitation to many hundreds of kilometers using through-space communication to and from a satellite. This achievement required both conceptual skill in imagining the project and great technological skills across a range of disciplines to turn this idea into a reality," said Jeremy M. Berg, editor-in-chief of the Science family of journals. 

"Professor Pan and his team are being recognized for taking a key tool for quantum communication to the next level and for communicating this excellent result clearly to the scientific community and to the public," said Berg. 

Pan could not attend the award ceremony, as the US embassy in China didn't grant him a visa in time. 

Juan Yin, professor at USTC, is the first author and chief designer of the payload on the quantum satellite. Yin accepted the award on behalf of the team. 

"One hundred years ago, when Einstein came to China, he saw a weak and divided country, struggling to survive in the war. As China grows, we are happy to have the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of science with people all over the world," Yin said. 

"This paper describes an exciting advance that has tremendous potential for application based on deep fundamental principles from physics," said Berg. 

"In the future, we aim to have a global scale quantum network, which can provide fast secure communication services," said Pan. 

"There are many techniques have to be broken through… lower weight, lower cost satellite can be launched soon," said Yin. 

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is an American international nonprofit organization with the stated goals of promoting cooperation among scientists, defending scientific freedom, encouraging scientific responsibility and supporting scientific education and science outreach for the betterment of humanity. 

For the first time in its 96-year history, the Newcomb Cleveland Prize, the oldest award of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, was awarded for research done by scientists in China. (China Daily)
(Editor: CHEN Na)

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