Quantum microscope for living biology

February 4, 2013, University of Queensland
Quantum microscope for living biology
Artist impression of the quantum microscope. A light field with quantum photon interactions is focused through the wall of a cell. Detection of the transmitted field allows enhanced measurement precision of dynamics within the cell. Credit: Michael Taylor.

(Phys.org)—A team of Australian scientists has developed a powerful microscope using the laws of quantum mechanics to probe the inner workings of living cells.

The team, a collaboration between The University of Queensland and the Australian National University, believe their microscope could lead to a better understanding of the basic components of life and eventually allow to be probed at a macroscopic level.

Their world-first discovery has been published online today in .

Team leader Associate Professor Warwick Bowen, of UQ's ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered , said the study relied on quantum interactions between the photons of light to achieve measurement precision that surpassed conventional measurement.

"This 'quantum microscope' is a pioneering step towards applications of in technology," Associate Professor Bowen said.

"In , it could be immediately applied towards observing phenomena in the microscopic motion of small particles that have yet to be observed and were predicted many decades ago."

In the study, the researchers used their quantum microscope to measure the cytoplasm of a live beer-brewing yeast cell and found they could achieve their measurements 64 per cent faster than with a conventional microscope.

Lead author and UQ PhD student Mr Michael Taylor said the results demonstrated for the first time that quantum light could provide a practical advantage in real-world measurements.

"The measurements performed could aid in understanding the life-cycle of a cell, as its cytoplasm plays a crucial role in transferring nutrients into and around the cell," he said.

Among other things, the 'quantum microscope' could reveal the finer details within a cell – more than a regular microscope.

Biological imaging is a particularly important application for quantum light as these fine details are typically only visible when a lot of light is used.

"Unfortunately, biological samples are grilled when the power is increased too far," said Mr Taylor.

"The 'quantum microscope', on the other hand, provides a way to improve measurement sensitivity without increasing the risk of optical damage to the sample."

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3 / 5 (1) Feb 04, 2013
"Quantum light", as if there is any other kind.
3 / 5 (4) Feb 04, 2013
Didn't Mae Wan Ho do something similar to this already?
2 / 5 (4) Feb 04, 2013
In the study, the researchers used their quantum microscope to measure the cytoplasm of a live beer-brewing yeast cell and found they could achieve their measurements 64 per cent faster than with a conventional microscope.

Once we have faced with electron microscope (i.e. the problem of quantum nature of electron's wave), fortunately now we could visualize its physical view as explain in the paper below. Now we are facing with 'quantum microscope', what is it?
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 04, 2013
"Quantum" became the keyword to get funded. Same as "Einstein" was the keyword for the same purpose before that.
Even the grant amount is directly proportional to the frequency of occurrence of these keywords in a grant application.

Politics and science became one. Manipulation rules.

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