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Using new quantum technology, a hidden object was detected underground – a milestone that many expected in the industry, which impacts human knowledge and homeland security as well.

The study’s findings were reported in the journal Nature by researchers at the University of Birmingham who lead the UK National Quantum Technology Hub in Sensors and Timing. It is the first time in history that a quantum gravity radiometer has been used outside the laboratory.

Developed in cooperation with the UKRI and the Ministry of Defense, the quantum gravity meter assisted in locating a burial tunnel one meter underground. Based on quantum physics principles, the system utilizes a sensor that detects changes in micro-gravity by manipulating natural principles at the subatomic level.

This new method has been successful in research experiments, creating the possibility for commercial use, as well as an improvement in object mapping below the surface. The new technology will contribute to lowering construction costs and reducing delays as well as helping to predict natural phenomena like volcanic eruptions, finding hidden natural resources, and helping to resolve archaeological mysteries.

Additionally, the new technology can help create an entire underground map, from which we can learn more about what is going on a few meters below our feet. Michael Holinsky and his team from the University of Birmingham developed a new sensor on which the new system is based, which can defeat various vibrations and additional environmental challenges to successfully use quantum technology in practice.