Lindfield Quantum equipment

Quantum measurement and washing machines might sound like an unusual partnership, but this is one way the NMI is contributing to a greener future. 

Quantum physics is the study of matter and energy at the most fundamental level. For electricity, the smallest unit is an electron. The laws of quantum mechanics govern how these ‘smallest amounts’ behave.

NMI team leader Dr Ilya Budovsky explained how his team measures low voltage electron interactions in their lab in Sydney to create an ‘electrical waveform’.

‘From these arbitrary waveforms, we are able to create quantum standards and use them to calibrate electrical instruments. These instruments can then accurately measure how appliances, such as washing machines, use electrical energy.’ he said.

This ability to accurately measure the energy profile of appliances traceable to electron-level precision unlocks big opportunities. 

Manufacturers can use quantum waveforms to make washing machines and microwave ovens more energy efficient. Electricity companies can use them to integrate renewable energy into the national grid. Other benefits include unlocking new capabilities for digital and health technologies.