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China building world’s biggest quantum research facility

Centre could boost military’s code-breaking ability and navigation of stealth submarines

China is building the world’s largest quantum research facility to develop a quantum computer and other “revolutionary” forms of technology that can be used by the military for code-breaking or on stealth submarines, according to scientists and authorities involved in the project.

The National Laboratory for Quantum Information Science will be located on a 37-hectare site next to a small lake in Hefei, Anhui province. Some time this month developers will be invited to bid for a contract to construct the site, according to an article in Hefei Evening News, a daily newspaper run by the city government on Thursday.

Pan Jianwei, China’s lead quantum scientist who was playing a key role in the project, told local officials at a briefing in May that technology developed in the facility would be of immediate use to the armed forces, according to Anhui Business Daily newspaper.

Quantum metrology, which measures small variations in physical parameters such as gravity with unprecedented accuracy, could significantly improve submarines’ stealth operations.

A submarine with a quantum navigation system could operate underwater for more than three months without the need to surface for positioning satellite signals.

Chinese city to launch ‘unhackable’ quantum network

After operating for 100 days underwater the captain would still be able to pinpoint the vessel’s position in the Pacific Ocean with a margin of error of just a few hundred metres according to Pan, who could not be immediately reached for comment.(...) Read more

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