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Defense grant to fund quantum sensing center at DSU

Delaware State University
(L-r) Drs. Gour Pati and Renu Tripathi are the co-directors of a new DoD Center of Excellence in Advance Quantum Sensing at the University, funded by a five-year $7.5 million Department of Defense grant.

Delaware State University is getting a grant from the Department of Defense to start a center devoted to quantum sensing. 

DSU is one of four Historically Black Colleges and Universities receiving funding from the DoD to work in defense priority areas. 

The $7.5 million grant is dispersed over the next five years. It will pay for equipment and support recruiting students into the program.  

Professor of Physics and Engineering Dr. Gour Pati is director of DSU’s planned Center of Excellence in Advanced Quantum Sensing. 

“It’s just giving us a new avenue to explore,” said Pati. “And, as I said, this is one of the national priorities—quantum sensing, quantum information processing. So we’re hoping to engage our students in this new frontier of research.”    

Quantum sensing allows for more precise physical measurements of quantities ranging from time, to electromagnetic fields and gravity. It is used in inertial navigation and can even be used to help understand functions in the human brain. 

“The center is going to create a new pool of qualified scientists in this area—especially for minority students who can contribute to the DoD and STEM fields,” said Pati.

Pati says the program will use laser swivel technology to cool atoms so they can be used as quantum sensors in atomic clocks and magnetometers. It will also explore precision rotation sensing and spin-based quantum sensors.

The DSU researchers will collaborate with quantum sensing experts at Northwestern University on the project and have access to DoD laboratories in Maryland.

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