Developing long-lived, space-compatible quantum memories
Quantum experiments in space have led to many interesting technological advances that long-distance quantum communication (QC) could benefit from. However, the line of sight distance restricts the direct transmission of quantum information to a few thousand kilometres. One solution is to equip satellites with quantum memories. Furthermore, by observing gravitational effects on quantum systems, scientists could gain new perspectives in their search for a quantum theory of gravitation. Research into the long-lived entanglement of quantum matter systems in curved space-time could lead to new physical insights. The EU-funded QSPACE project therefore aims to develop a space-compatible, small-footprint laser-cooled quantum memory with storage times in the order of seconds. Such a system could surpass memoryless QC schemes with realistic memory performances.