Major Scientific Leap: Quantum Microscope Created That Can See the Impossible

Quantum Microscope Artist's Impression

Artist’s impression of UQ’s new quantum microscope in action. Credit: The University of Queensland

In a major scientific leap, University of Queensland researchers have created a quantum microscope that can reveal biological structures that would otherwise be impossible to see.

This paves the way for applications in biotechnology, and could extend far beyond this into areas ranging from navigation to medical imaging.

The microscope is powered by the science of quantum entanglement, an effect Einstein described as “spooky interactions at a distance.”

Quantum Microscope Up Close

UQ’s quantum microscope, ready to zero in on previously impossible-to-see biology. Credit: The University of Queensland

Professor Warwick Bowen, from UQ’s Quantum Optics Lab and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS), said it was the first entanglement-based sensor with performance beyond the best possible existing technology.

“This breakthrough will spark all sorts of new technologies — from better navigation systems to better MRI machines, you name it,” Professor Bowen said.

“Entanglement is thought to lie at the heart of a quantum revolution. We’ve finally demonstrated that sensors that use it can supersede existing, non-quantum technology.

“This is exciting — it’s the first proof of the paradigm-changing potential of entanglement for sensing.”

Australia’s Quantum Technologies Roadmap sees quantum sensors spurring a new wave of technological innovation in healthcare, engineering, transport and resources.

A major success of the team’s quantum microscope was its ability to catapult over a ‘hard barrier’ in traditional light-based microscopy.

“The best light microscopes use bright lasers that are billions of times brighter than the sun,” Professor Bowen said.

“Fragile biological systems like a human cell can only survive a short time in them and this is a major roadblock.

“The quantum entanglement in our microscope provides 35 percent improved clarity without destroying the cell, allowing us to see minute biological structures that would otherwise be invisible.

“The benefits are obvious — from a better understanding of living systems, to improved diagnostic technologies.”

Quantum Microscope UQ Researchers

UQ team researchers (counter-clockwise from bottom-left) Caxtere Casacio, Warwick Bowen, Lars Madsen and Waleed Muhammad aligning the quantum microscope. Credit: The University of Queensland

Professor Bowen said there were potentially boundless opportunities for quantum entanglement in technology.

“Entanglement is set to revolutionize computing, communication, and sensing,” he said. “Absolutely secure communication was demonstrated some decades ago as the first demonstration of absolute quantum advantage over conventional technologies.

“Computing faster than any possible conventional computer was demonstrated by Google two years ago, as the first demonstration of absolute advantage in computing.

“The last piece in the puzzle was sensing, and we’ve now closed that gap.

“This opens the door for some wide-ranging technological revolutions.”

Reference: “Quantum-enhanced nonlinear microscopy” by Catxere A. Casacio, Lars S. Madsen, Alex Terrasson, Muhammad Waleed, Kai Barnscheidt, Boris Hage, Michael A. Taylor and Warwick P. Bowen9 June 2021, Nature.
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-021-03528-w

The research was supported by the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Australian Research Council.

126 Comments on "Major Scientific Leap: Quantum Microscope Created That Can See the Impossible"

  1. David Stonier-Gibson | June 9, 2021 at 8:54 am | Reply

    So when you re-printed that press release did you not see that you’d need a quantum microscope to spot any hard information in all the information-free puff?

    • Clyde Spencer | June 9, 2021 at 9:20 am | Reply

      Let’s not be too hard on them. They did provide an “Artist’s impression of UQ’s new quantum microscope in action.” What more do you want? An explanation of how it works?

  2. With not a word to the workings of it, one can only wonder how it works. But at least we got a reference for further reading. Thanks.

  3. DaComishner | June 9, 2021 at 6:36 pm | Reply

    I read this twice just to make sure I did not overlook the information entangled in it. And there twerent none.

  4. They went with “Major Scientific Leap: Quantum Microscope,” when they could have easily put in a Quantum Leap reference.

  5. Once again, in an effort to smite our fellow man (US Air Force Research Funding) we develop technologies that alleviate suffering and advance human knowledge.

  6. Cynthia Binder | June 10, 2021 at 6:36 am | Reply

    Laughing humans of earth,quantum mechanics and 🔬🔭 education!!!! who will be piloting✈🛰🛩🛸🛫

  7. So…I’ll take this article as supposition.

  8. Hey! Where’s the Chinese in the picture? Somebody has to funnel the research details to Beijing.

  9. They use entanglement to tag the photons as they go out, then read the tags when the photons are detected, thus giving them the ability to precisely calculate the image and eliminate stray photons causing noise.
    Instead of having to use more photons, which irradiates living tissue, they can get a significantly clearer image using fewer photons (less intense light).
    It’s published in Nature

    • Clyde Spencer | June 10, 2021 at 3:02 pm | Reply

      I’ve read the publicly available abstract. There are a lot of claims, but nothing I can see that substantiates the claims. It appears to be hand waving. I’m not about to pay $200 to find out that there is no more substance to the actual article than there is in the abstract.

    • Thank you, usarian, for a calm, plain description!

    • Well said. One search engine term “Caxtere Casacio” gets you to the original. If her name had been Jane Smith it might have been different.

  10. Where can we go from here? Sounds like endless possibilities.

  11. Wile E. Coyote (Genius.) | June 10, 2021 at 8:47 am | Reply

    Using the information in this article, and just It’s a bit of guesswork I have devised a quantum microscope of my own — one capable of spotting Road Runner arriving before she’s even left… HA! HAHA! Just a flick of this switch….

  12. One small step for the Air Force…. finally a step closer behind China and Russia’s Tic Tac’s 10,999 more to catch up.

  13. Someone should reintroduce these guys to De La Warr. He had a microscope that could see thru time and space. Its amusing how academia goes in circles…

    https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C555183

    But this is prolly why huh, when access is restricted till some arbitrary date.

    “Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
    Access conditions: Closed Until 2018
    Record opening date: 19 March 2018”

  14. Astounding! In theory, an individual could utilize this device to undergo a reduction in mass (“shrink” themselves, in laymans terms) sufficient enough to permit entry into the quantum realm. Once inside, this individual would be capable of exiting the quantum realm at a different point in time by harnessing the raw scientific energy of pym particles. Meaning they could travel back in time to June 8, 2021 A.D., and with one swift kick to the writers testicles, they could prevent the creation of this clickbait article altogether. What an incredible time it is in the world of science.

  15. Can you give an example at least on what this could be used for?? Jeeeez.

  16. Could be used to see unseen things in other realms as well or a link with AI and humans.

  17. I agree with others: Nothing concrete was shared. I kept reading, looking for examples of what they could actually observe; That never came.

    It’s clear the author is not familiar with the research done.

  18. Cpt Credible | June 10, 2021 at 10:56 am | Reply

    Bahaha, brand new Microscope that sees the impossible….and we get artist renderings. Oof.

  19. Doubts this is new 😀

  20. Nerds 🤣

  21. Ohhhhhhyeahhhhhh | June 10, 2021 at 11:23 am | Reply

    Can it see the “invisible” sculpture that dude sold?

  22. Patrick R Sebers | June 10, 2021 at 11:44 am | Reply

    I thought if you looked at it things would change…hmmm.

  23. Is impossible. The old measurement causes interference.

  24. I’m left wondering… WHERES THE BEEF?
    Or
    Do I need a quantum entanglement microscope to find it?

  25. How about an actual photo? Something that compares the a before and after?

  26. Hopefully they will be able to find out way some of use have heart disease, kidney disease. That would be so wonderful.

  27. It’s bs

  28. Guerdan Clement | June 10, 2021 at 1:19 pm | Reply

    No comment about who owns the intellectual property. Can this technology be used in weapons of mass destruction against peasant populations targeted by USA, in such as Yemen, Syria,Afghanistan, Iraq, etc? Aust govt is in the process of refusing visa renewals for Chinese academics (working at UQ) with the false accusation that their research in Australia could be used to design “weapons of mass destruction”. And yet, Aust govt thru ARC supports this research in partnership with the Air Force of warmongering Facist USA !

  29. Anthony Bryan | June 10, 2021 at 1:48 pm | Reply

    God you techies can be nay sayers… it says right in the third paragraph that it’s “powered by science”. That should be explanation enough but they even go into more detail it’s “beyond existing technology”.
    SCITECHDAILY is way to technical for us layman.

    • You’re quite correct of course. And anyway, we were warned at the top of the article that this new gadget sees ‘the impossible.’ What kind of idiot expects pictures of ‘the impossible,’ when we don’t even have the quantum-entangled app for our phones yet, to be able to see the damn photos.

  30. Science hurts and it heals..
    I believe overall that the arc bends to healing and helping. More positives than negatives..
    So….Thank you science

  31. Could be “hocus pocus at the focus ?”

  32. Given that we shoot light at an object, & then gain insight on the reflection. I’d guess it involves creating entanglement between a less destructive form of matter than light, & then shooting said entangled matter at an object, recording what happens to the entangled matter that wasn’t shot at the object.

  33. Robert Hooke | June 10, 2021 at 2:58 pm | Reply

    In most microscopy R&D it’s customary to publish an image or two using the new technique or device.
    Just a suggestion…

  34. This sounds like Spock using his Tricorder!

  35. Hope they are right, get a patent, then let the boys try to break it. If testing proves them right, BRAVO! If not? Back to the lab. I fell for cold fusion and all I ended up with is a juice machine that needs 600 volts to run.

  36. Nothing but a reach-around…

  37. You know it’s funny how they say they’ve made a quantum microscope and how it has quantum sensors and yet we can’t even get soap dispensers to recognize skin tones darker than toast….sounds like bs to me but who knows it might just be another technological achievement that works only sometimes or only for a very short time 😧

  38. Dwight McCartney | June 10, 2021 at 4:48 pm | Reply

    Anyone complaining about not getting an explanation of how it works would not be able to understand how it works. Those who could comprehend it are reading the original paper.

  39. James Abbott | June 10, 2021 at 5:31 pm | Reply

    Sounds like a freaking winner to me spin that sh*t oh and what stock should I buy

  40. Dear dwight your Dad thought he was the best Beatle as well. Seems you are both less knowledgeable than once thunk

  41. Can u put the same tech in a deep space telescope?

  42. I think it’s amazing in many ways. The future is at hand and instead of cookies and crackers let’s concentrate on adding ideas of more possible future technically and making things like this available to medical personnel for saving lives or helping the Kardashians realize that it’s gonna take even more than Quantum Physics to improve their looks and personalities.

  43. Just Wondering | June 10, 2021 at 7:50 pm | Reply

    Ya… would really like some info on how one entangles an entire polypeptide, let alone larger cellular structures- my imagination is running wild with the possibilities implied by the vagueness of the article … perhaps the article was referencing warp reactors or teleportation devices; hard to tell… it’s almost like they stated a conclusion but forgot to include a method, procedure, results, and findings section… so, useless; I met god, he told me I can do this.

  44. Ouch, tough crowd.

  45. Inquiring Mind | June 10, 2021 at 8:18 pm | Reply

    So . . . How does it show what’s impossible? If it’s impossible how could it possibly be possible?

  46. Rife microscope.

  47. If anything sounds as if ill need an added layer of security for my den. Thats all I got out of it.

  48. Maybe they left out the details because they didn’t think anyone would understand it, let alone the writer

  49. Also. Anything is Possible, but only something’s are probable.

    • Enjoying the comments more than the article | June 13, 2021 at 8:59 pm | Reply

      If anything is possible you have to allow for the possibility that some things are infact impossible. Thus arriving at the conclusion that not all things are possible.

  50. Ken Kenahole | June 11, 2021 at 3:03 am | Reply

    Yep.nothing to see here. Might as well not have written it if you are not going to explain the details.

  51. While the article had no real value for any reader, I felt good at the end. That’s important.

  52. It’s all matrix imagination/illusions… 🧐

  53. As to the workings of the entangled sensors it is likely they absumed the readers had a six grade science education. (Magic Satire)

  54. The details of how the quantum microscope works along with other classified information was embedded in the article, you need a quantum microscope to view this information.
    In other words they ain’t sharing that information.

  55. Where’s an image of what they see though the “Microscope”? Only reason I came to this article

  56. It harnesses entangled kernels within the Wu field and converts them to kettle corn.

  57. Cecilia Torres | June 11, 2021 at 12:24 pm | Reply

    I can see what people with 20/20 vision can’t because my vision is very distorted so I don’t see regular what you guys see I see in between every ray of light I can see a lot of energy in between objects I can see numbers on everything so if you guys had my vision you can see everything I see too maybe we should think about that get some glasses that are with my vision so you can see what I see that’s all it would take you know cuz it is there you just can’t see it

  58. John Kociuba | June 11, 2021 at 1:16 pm | Reply

    Viruses, weaponry, spyware, oh my!

  59. But can it see why kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch™?

  60. Look, the Public Information Office at Queensland is not staffed by teeny scientists, only hard-working PR people.

  61. Vague?

  62. I’m kinda worried about quantum terminators if you know what I mean !

  63. You misquoted Einstein.

  64. QE is the essence where everything co-exist and relate, is the spider Web of energy exchanģing information in constant evolution developing the universal conscieness. Its the subtle and grandiose organism of what exist evolving….there is not emptiness . so any advance in quantum technology is a step ahead to reveal our source, our human potential for goodness (hopefully)

  65. Michael Jane White | June 12, 2021 at 5:38 am | Reply

    Wow! Can you’see’the blockchain? Or God? Does he want you too?

  66. Maximus Seneca | June 12, 2021 at 5:45 am | Reply

    The article sounds too bold and can mislead. We need to see a laser light shown on a living cell in contrast to the quantum version

  67. Studying the internal workings of the cell only to unlock the potential of one day living forever will just bring more misery in this dead beat World! What new Bio stock should I invest in 🤣…

  68. Yeah I'm right again | June 12, 2021 at 7:10 am | Reply

    So it can zoom in far enough to see the brains in a democrat?

  69. Sean S. Strain | June 12, 2021 at 8:34 am | Reply

    For those of you in the comments that are wondering what this will actually mean for the planet, look no further than the following quotes from the article: “This breakthrough will spark all sorts of new technologies — from better navigation systems to better MRI machines, you name it…” and “Entanglement is set to revolutionize computing, communication, and sensing…”

    Summed up, the first quote describes advances in warfare, and the second, advances in how we experience pornography.

  70. Philip Chavez | June 12, 2021 at 10:37 am | Reply

    The majority of people posting here are a joke. Most people cannot program their echo or amazon tv, much less understand technology. A person’s vehicle has to almost drive itself, because people can not understand the basic laws of physics. Everyone wants instant gratification. What a society of self serving, egocentric people we are today. Maybe you should let the experts do their work and you try not to screw up your job at the dmv, insurance company etc. Most companies only want guantity over quality. We couldn’t produce a quality product to save our life. Im sure if the technology made it easier to get grub hub or make you a better Starbucks drink you would be behind it. I could go on all day, but I’m sure you brain surgeons need to get back to work.

  71. Dr. Pat Muhnutz | June 12, 2021 at 11:27 am | Reply

    Soooo… Are they doing a quantum leap reboot or naw?

  72. Hello I’m soloist

  73. Theodore Pearson | June 12, 2021 at 1:50 pm | Reply

    First, Einstein “Spooky ACTIONS at a distance” OK this is the resulting opposite rotations of two particles created from high energy gamma rays. One particle’s rotation is not known until the other is detected and the particles can be far apart when this is observed.’layman’s description’
    So are the detecting electrons through a Josephson’s junction? JUST TELL US!!!!

  74. michael beach | June 12, 2021 at 4:44 pm | Reply

    Maybe can help with cancer????

  75. Should am untagged photon change its behavior being that it is watched by not being watched?

  76. When one quark changes instantly when its other entangled quark at infinitu distance it truly is spooky.

  77. Nick the scientist | June 12, 2021 at 6:44 pm | Reply

    Nature article is amazing and groundbreaking; however, this Tech daily article is TERRIBLY written and misleading… What a poor interpretation of science.

  78. Watch out now

  79. Michael VanDeMar | June 12, 2021 at 8:46 pm | Reply

    A quantum microscope was not created. A method using quantum
    mechanics to enhance the resolution of existing microscopes was theorized, and an experiment was performed to demonstrate that it was possible.

    I hate pop science articles like this.

  80. Would this at least help them identify a virus ;once and for all!!

  81. Martín Schofield | June 12, 2021 at 10:49 pm | Reply

    “This is exciting — it’s the first proof of the paradigm-changing potential of entanglement for sensing.” are you kidding me!

  82. wahahaha you feeble minded fools wouldn’t have understood the intricacies of the theoretical quantum sciences involved even if they had attempted to explain it properly too you. 👨‍🔬😈

  83. The Bartender | June 13, 2021 at 11:22 am | Reply

    Perfect information for my research paper

  84. Can it see through the climate change hoax?

  85. An energy that can only be detected by it’s effects. We found dark energy? At least one of them.

  86. It’s just an article with malware attached to it for the scientifically naive. We are now all entangled in it.

  87. Where wre all the skeptics about things that are actually important? Oh, they’re here posting comments. Why not work on something that requires a few more brain cells and actually goes against the rubber stamping of flimsy studies that receive little scrutiny but affect many policy decisions.

    The whole point of this article is to get people to add their emails and boost organic rankings. Who’s the smart one now?

  88. So never mentioned SEM (SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY) orTEM (TUNNILING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY). Both are the gold standards today. And we have A multitude of actual pictures of molécules, atoms and subatomic particals using these divices. Sheesh. Remindes me of the brief claim of the succssful fushion breakthrough génération in China. No mention of Tokamac containment. OR any other BRIEF, MINISCUAL information. Give us A break! PLEASE,dont underestimate everyone’s intelligence.

  89. Garbage 0 detail article. I just blocked you on my phone. Done with click baiting from you

  90. Be sure to give to the Chinese or let them steal it, so they don’t need to invest in R and D…..Intellectual property theft is their priority. How about letting them develop their own technology… Even the playing field

  91. Anthony Garnett | June 14, 2021 at 8:35 am | Reply

    It is fairly bloody obvious how it works. One half of an entagled pair interacts with a structure. In that way it is in effect ‘measured’ In só doing the state of the other half of the pair is instananiously also ‘set’. Measure or detect THAT state an yer dun it! Innit!

  92. And even this microscope couldn’t even identify the covid19 even if it tried!

  93. Nothing wrong with the article. The article was perfectly written. In fact the article is an example.

  94. Reading these comments, I’m guessing most of you are single?

  95. Mind Blowing! Congratulations! I am ecstatic about your discovery. I’m expecting astounding advances in knowledge about Quantum Physics.

  96. Imagine what this will do for porn!

  97. Alain Lalonde | June 15, 2021 at 10:38 am | Reply

    The real question I have is; can it un-see?! That would be handy…

  98. Entanglement

  99. Quantum computers have not been invented. Dumb

  100. Instead of allowing us to see the unseen, perhaps it would be put to better use if it could allow us to unsee things that we’ve been duped into seeing.

  101. Javier T Rivera | June 16, 2021 at 4:16 am | Reply

    So basically we will start seeing super clean 5D movies and pictures while driving so we can be more distracted than ever before. And see any marks, acne, etc. Taking pictures maybe could see the dark side of moon?

  102. Too vague the article either intentionaly or out of a basic confusion as to what is really going on. If the result is correct, one has to use two entangled photons. If one of these photons is scattered by the molecule, then, the scattered light has be detected under control of the other photon, thus, reducing the noise due to randomness and improving the “resolution” of the telescope.

  103. …..what they’ve been searchin for decades…..Eletromagnetic sphere/Spirit Realm….

    They’re looking to study whats poppin up here.

  104. More details on its workings and some graphical examples could have been wonderful. Nevertheless, it’s a great achievement altogether.
    On the hand, hope this tech will not be Incorporated into the making of very deadly weapons!

  105. Moon pies….

  106. Angel Vargas | June 16, 2021 at 9:25 pm | Reply

    The mind requires absolute attention to creation mode where you can’t fall asleep for 3 days and walk outdoors so you can give your unconscious mind . The second face of creation is omitted not relevant info.
    And telekinesis is switched on. On a bidirectional path.

  107. I guess the person who wrote the article has never heard of electron microscopy or atomic force microscopy. Both have been imaging cellular structures for quite awhile now…

  108. Karam Kallas | June 17, 2021 at 10:39 am | Reply

    How much data is this microscope computing daily and what is being studied with it ? protein structures that mediate cytoleukin release ?

  109. “Sean S. Strain | June 12, 2021 at 8:34 am | Reply

    Summed up, the first quote describes advances in warfare, and the second, advances in how we experience pornography.”

    All I need is this warfare. This warfare is all I need. And this porno. This warfare and porno are all I need.

    All you people griping about the dumbed-down writing need to tour one of today’s higher educational facilities to see and hear what’s actually being taught. Not everyone is a quant-sci ya know.

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