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Research Team of the Micius Quantum Satellite Wins 2018 Newcomb Cleveland Prize

Jan 31, 2019

The research team of the Micius quantum satellite, led by Prof. PAN Jianwei at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), was awarded the 2018 Newcomb Cleveland Prize by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) on Jan. 31, for the achievement of satellite-to-ground entanglement distribution over 1200 kilometers.

The AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, as the Association's oldest award, is awarded to the author or authors of an outstanding paper published in the Research Articles or Reports sections of Science. Since the inception of this award in 1923, it is granted to Chinese scientists for the first time. The award will be officially presented at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. on Feb. 14.

In the past 20 years, many influential research works in the field of quantum physics were admitted into the list of prize winners, including observation of Bose-Einstein condensation (1995), observation of the Spin Hall effect in semiconductors (2005) and signatures of Majorana Fermions (2012).

In 2017, the research team led by Prof. PAN Jianwei and his colleague Prof. PENG Chengzhi from the USTC, in collaboration with researchers from CAS institutes including the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics, Shanghai Engineering Center for Microsatellites, Institute of Optics and Electronics, Purple Mountain Observatory, Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory and Yunnan Observatories, demonstrated satellite-based distribution of entangled photon pairs to two locations separated over 1200 kilometers on earth and observed a violation of Bell inequality under strict Einstein locality conditions, illustrating the possibility of a future global quantum communication network.

One study was published as the cover of the Jun. 16, 2017 issue of Science. On Aug. 10 in the same year, two other studies based on the Micius quantum satellite were reported as cover papers in the journal Nature (study one and study two). The 'Micius’ quantum satellite has provided reliable technical support for the future development of quantum communication technology.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society and international non-profit scientific organization set up in 1848, with over 120,000 members. It has 24 "sections" with each section being responsible for a particular concern, including mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, biological science, etc. It is also the publisher of the well-known scientific journal Science.

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Jane FAN Qiong

University of Science and Technology of China

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