Founded by a Nobel Prize laureate and pioneer in quantum computing, this startup wants to tap the power of “quantum entanglement” to produce unlimited energy and reverse the aging process
Geektime has learned that QuantX, an Israeli startup in stealth mode, has netted the first ever $950 million seed round, led by Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt and several other high-profile angel investors.
QuantX is the brainchild of Israeli Physics Nobel Prize winner Aryeh Schectman as well Dr. Anna Gelfin of Delta Numerics, known as one of the early pioneers of quantum computing. After years of intensive research, the pair have patented a method for harnessing quantum processes for applications beyond computing, including high-conversion photovoltaic cells, reversing biological mutations, and in the more distant future, teleportation.
The funding announcement follows last month’s announcement that scientists in China had managed to teleport two photonic properties – spin and OAM –simultaneously, using three entangled pairs of photons.
“QuantX harnesses the principle of quantum entanglement,” Schectman told Geektime. “The principle that two particles that were once in proximity can be entangled, responding to each other even over an immense physical distance. How apt that this technology was developed in Israel, where the notion of an invisible yet omnipresent deity entangled with human beings first captured the imagination.”
Although Albert Einstein dismissed quantum entanglement as “spooky action at a distance,” just last week scientists proved him wrong using a single particle. Meanwhile, technologies like quantum computers are already premised on the assumption that quantum entanglement is a reality. And biologists are increasingly positing that processes like photosynthesis and gene mutation have a quantum mechanical component. What Schectman and Gelfin have done is replicate and control parts of these processes in the lab.
“Photosynthesis has a 95 percent energy transfer efficiency rate,” said Gelfin. “That’s because the energy is in a quantum superposition state. If we can use that process in photovoltaic cells, we can ultimately wean the Earth from fossil fuels and put a stop to global warming.”
Similarly, because quantum phenomena play a role in gene mutation and cancer, interventions could be engineered to reverse mutations and possibly the aging process.
“All of this is premised on our ability to control one quantum particle by manipulating another,” said Gelfin. “We have had promising results so far and the $950 million will go towards further honing these applications so they are ready for market.”
On a philosophical note, Gelfin told Geektime that our explorations of quantum entanglement have only begun, and she is intrigued by the spiritual implications. “When two people fall in love and feel a mysterious connection, what is that? I don’t know. But if the physical world is entangled, so to speak, then the Cartesian metaphor of humans as machines breaks down a bit. Until now, we thought quantum physics applied only at the particle level. But that’s far from the last word.”
“The repercussions are enormous,” said Randy Line, one of the angel investors behind QuantX. “If we can produce endless solar energy and expand our lifespans, what will there be left to even pay for? It’s definitely one of the most disruptive technologies I’ve come across in my career.”
*Note of disclosure: This post is an April Fool’s joke, though maybe not for long. You can read more about quantum entanglement and its biological implications here.
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