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USTC Star Scientists

Pub Date:2019-11-26 08:34 Source:China Daily

Quantum expert helps unlock the future

In Hefei National High-tech Industry Development Zone in Anhui province, there is a Yunfei Road running east and west which is well-known as a "quantum avenue" clustered with key enterprises in China's quantum field.

Hefei Origin Quantum Computing Technology, established on Sept 11, 2017, is one of the enterprises dedicated to the full-stack development of quantum computing and one of the country's first startups to develop quantum computers.

Its co-founder and scientific adviser Guo Guangcan is the director of the Key Laboratory of Quantum Information, a doctoral supervisor at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) and also an academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Born in December 1942 in Fujian province, Guo graduated from the USTC Department of Radio Electronics in July 1965. Between 1981 and 1985, he was a visiting scholar at the University of Toronto, Canada.

In 2003, Guo was elected an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in information science. In 2009, he was selected as a member of the Third World Academy of Sciences, now called the World Academy of Sciences.

From an unknown scholar to a quantum expert, Guo is now well-known around the world. In his future endeavors, he said he's preparing to invest his energy into the research of quantum computers.

"In 20 years' time, China can scale a commanding height of quantum computer research," he said.

At 39, he began his quantum research. At 55, he independently completed the first important work in the field of quantum information in China - quantum coding, followed by the establishment of the country's first key laboratory for the ministerial level in the field of quantum information two years later.

At 60, Guo won China's first fund of outstanding innovation group in the field of quantum information. One year later, he was awarded the national natural science award in the field of quantum information in China.

So far, Guo has spent a total of 38 years in quantum research.

Scientist pioneers technology breakthrough

Before China's National Day celebration on Oct 1, a commendation meeting was held in Beijing on Sept 25 to honor 278 individuals and 22 groups that won the title of the nation's "most beautiful struggler."

Professor Pan Jianwei from the University of Science and Technology of China, who is also an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, was one of the winners.

Dubbed one of the outstanding representatives of all walks of life during the 70 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China, the winners have made extraordinary achievements in their respective posts and won wide acclaim from the people.

Pan was regarded in China as one of the role models as the leader of quantum communication. He contributes a lot of his success with Mozi, the world's first quantum satellite, as he is the chief scientist of the project.

Pan, born in March 1970 in Zhejiang province, studied at the Department of Modern Physics of USTC between 1987 and 1995 for his bachelor's and master's degrees. He studied in Austria between 1996 and 1999 and received a doctorate from the University of Vienna.

In 2011 he was elected an academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences

Mozi is developed independently by China and launched into the earth orbit on Aug 16, 2016 to realize quantum communication between the satellite and the Earth, winning wide acclaims around the world. The project is led by the Outstanding Frontier Innovation Center for Quantum Information and Quantum Science and Technology under CAS, which is located in USTC. On Aug 10, 2017, Mozi realized the world's first quantum key distribution from a satellite to the ground and quantum teleportation from the ground to a satellite, another technological breakthrough.

On Jan 31, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) announced that the Pan Jianwei Quantum Science Experimental Satellite Research Team of USTC won the Newcomb Cleveland Prize in recognition of the team's efforts. Established in 1923, the prize is the oldest award of AAAS.

Anton Zeilinger, president of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, was Pan's mentor while he was studying in Austria. He said of Pan," He was very enthusiastic about his work from the very start."

Researchers boost nation's innovation

At the Key Laboratory of Microscale Magnetic Resonance of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which is located in the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, researchers have pledged to make greater contributions to the nation's scientific and technological innovation.

The CAS Key Laboratory of Microscale Magnetic Resonance was founded in 2016 based on the former Spin Magnetic Resonance Laboratory of USTC, now consisting of 30 faculties and nearly 70 graduate students.

Professor Du Jiangfeng is currently the leader of the lab. Born in June 1969, Du was admitted to USTC's class for gifted young people in 1985, later moving to the Department of Modern Physics and getting his bachelor's, master's and PhD degrees at the university. In 2015, he was elected an academician of CAS, and by the end of 2018, he has trained 61 doctoral and master students for USTC.

During the past three years, Du has led his team members toward their goal of "making world-leading achievements, cultivating world first-class talent, building a world-class scientific research platform and promoting the development of a world-class national scientific instrument industry", and has made great strides in the frontier of quantum technology.

The laboratory is focused on the research of spin quantum control which has applications across many fields including computing and medical treatment.

It can also be applied to novel quantum technologies, with various experimental routes including nuclear magnetic resonance electron spin resonance, and electrically-detected magnetic resonance.

"In a bid to let scientific and technological achievements truly realize their value, they must ultimately leave the laboratory and move toward industrialization," Du said.

So far, they have released the first commercial "pulse-type electron paramagnetic resonance spectrometer" in China and put them on sale.

Du said the lab will strive to contribute more to the development of China's science and technology through concerted efforts.

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