Sweden's king pays visit to quantum lab
A royal visit focused on KTH's research and education in quantum communications, and a link between the university and Ericsson.
Sweden’s King, Carl XVI Gustaf, made a visit to the Quantum Nano Photonics Laboratory at KTH last week to meet with students and researchers and to open Sweden’s first quantum communication link.
Professors Val Zwiller and Gunnar Björk hosted the royal visit and introduced His Majesty to master’s and PhD students, as well as researchers, who spent more than two hours briefing the King on the research and possible uses of quantum research, including highly efficient and powerful computers and secure communications.
Joined by Ericsson CTO Erik Ekudden, the King also officially opened a fiber optic line that connects the lab at Alba Nova center with Ericsson’s research headquarters in Kista, nearly 12 km away.
The quantum link will be used to exchange qubits between KTH and Ericsson.
“This is different from an ordinary optical communication link because single photons are transmitted,” Zwiller says. “This can be used to develop quantum technologies, to establish quantum communication that will be intrinsically secure and also to develop schemes to interface quantum systems such as quantum computers.”
Highlights of the morning included an overview of KTH’s role as a node in the Wallenberg Center for Quantum Technology .
The group also presented the King with a small gift to commemorate the visit: a semiconductor wafer imprinted with nano-scale images of KTH’s seal.
“Having the King in our lab was an exciting event demonstrating the strategic importance of quantum technologies for the future,” Zwiller says.