3 July 2012
What connects state-of-the-art medical imaging and the quest to build the ultimate supercomputers? The answer: a quantum property called spin which is possessed by electrons and atomic nuclei.
Wolfson Research Fellow Dr Simon Benjamin, will be demonstrating the potential of the intriguing properties of spin at an exhibit entitled 'Quantum of spin' at this year's Summer Science Exhibition, which opens today and runs to 8th July at the Royal Society, Carlton House Terrace, London. This year's exhibition, which is open to the general public and is free, features 21 exhibits about cutting-edge science and technology in the UK.
Dr Benjamin will be demystifying the intersection between our everyday experiences of magnetism and the fascinating 'weirdness' of quantum mechanics. The scientists behind the exhibit will provide intuitive explanations of how current technologies work as well insights into what the future holds for quantum technologies based on spin.
Spin is used in a host of important applications today, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in hospitals, and it is hoped that the ideas behind spin will ultimately lead to a new wave of future technologies, such as quantum computers which could fundamentally outperform today's fastest supercomputers.
Full details are available at the Quantum of Spin exhibition page, and you can watch Dr Benjamin explaining the fascinating field of quantum theory in the video below.
Wolfson's record of achievement in magnetic resonance goes back to the late 1950s, when Fellow Sir Martin Wood founded Oxford Instruments, the first substantial spin-off company of Oxford University. Wolfson College Acting President Christina Redfield will also be hosting a Magnetic Resonance Symposium at Wolfson on 4th July.
Wolfson is also home to the Quantum Foundations Research Cluster, which meets regularly to foster interdisciplinary collaboration in this field.