Quantum Technology and Diamonds

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Source-This post on Quantum Technology and Diamonds has been created based on the article “Hurdles in importing diamonds pose a quantum block to research ambition” published in “The Hindu” on 9 July 2024.

UPSC Syllabus-GS Paper-3- Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-technology, Bio-technology and issues relating to Intellectual Property Rights.

Context-The article discusses the impact of Customs Department regulations on diamond imports on India’s National Quantum Mission (NQM). This is a ₹6,000-crore initiative aimed at advancing quantum technologies. India plans to develop quantum computers with 50 to 1,000 qubits by the decade’s end

The Indian government also announced initiatives in the Union Budget 2023 to promote the research and development of lab-grown diamonds. This is aimed at supporting the production of diamonds with defects suitable for quantum computing and other applications.

What is quantum technology?

Quantum technology covers various research fields by harnessing the quantum properties of atoms. It aims to create revolutionary computers, sensors, and encryption systems that may outperform current technology significantly.

Read More- More innovation, a skilled workforce: The promise in India’s National Quantum Mission

What is the importance of diamonds in Quantum Research?

1) Leveraging Atomic Imperfections -In quantum research, diamonds are valued for their atomic imperfections rather than their usual gem qualities. Scientists concentrate on these imperfections, such as nitrogen-vacancy centers, which are sensitive to changes in magnetic fields. Electrons at these centers can act like qubits which is crucial for quantum computing.

2) Lab-Grown Diamonds- Researchers can use room-temperature lasers to manipulate these centers. Unlike diamonds found in jewelry stores, scientists prefer lab-grown diamonds customized with specific defects for their research purposes. ”

What are the challenges?

1) Customs Department regulations on diamond imports affect research progress.

2) India, despite its prowess in diamond cutting, lacks the capability to produce such diamonds with controlled defects needed for quantum applications.

3) Maintaining electrons in qubit-like states remains a significant challenge globally.

Question for practice

What is the importance of diamonds in Quantum Research?

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