Students with plans to study abroad to get vaccinated in Mumbai

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Students who are going abroad for their studies and have a valid visa will get vaccinated on priority in Mumbai, said Aaditya Thackeray.

Our universe is a strange world of particles and energies, made even more exciting by their entanglement and confused identities. In this world, light sometimes behaves like a particle and other times like a wave and, when stripped to the smallest of entities in the universe — down to the constituents of matter itself — electrons, protons and other particles appear fuzzy instead of solid.

Quantum Science 2.0

Quantum science is the study of this peculiar world, of the fascinating behaviour of the smallest particles in nature — atoms and subatomic particles – and how to apply this knowledge to our immediate surroundings.

Today, it is also one of the most exciting fields of study, and many people believe that it will revolutionise the world as we know it. In fact, examples of the application of quantum science are all around us, from semiconductors, to MRI and lasers.

First developed as a discipline during the 20th century, quantum science has helped us understand the smallest particles around us, to unravel the mysteries of the universe. Yet, it itself still remains largely unknown and mysterious.

The field of quantum science is undergoing its second revolution. The first revolution was concerned with developing our understanding of quantum physics.

In those nascent days, scientists were splitting the atom to understand the properties of elements. Later they developed quantum effects such as quantised energy and Q-tunneling.

Today we are in the midst of Quantum Science 2.0 which is more concerned with manipulating quantum mechanics and finding new applications, particularly in the areas of communications and computing.

This phase is also characterised by increased industry participation.
Research in Quantum Science
Last year, quantum science received a huge fillip in India as the finance minister launched a National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications, with an outlay of INR 8,000 crore to be spent over the following five years.

The mission, first announced during Union Budget 2020, intends to put India on the global quantum science map and to counter the aggressive efforts in the field by USA China, and nations in the European Union.

For students, this is an opportune time to enter the field. Most of the developments in the domain are either in mathematics or in computer science connected with extremely-low-temperature physics.

Depending on one’s inclination, one can take an experimental route in a physics laboratory that specialises in quantum computing, or in schools that work on the mathematics of computer algorithms.

Future of Quantum Science in India
In India, we are still at a very nascent stage in quantum science, however, with research accelerating recently, there lies much potential in a quantum mechanics career in academic research with leading institutes.
Where can you work? Scientists can also opt to work in countries like the USA, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, and France, where most of the research in the field is being conducted today.
Alternatively, they can avail employment opportunities in corporate R&D, with organisations such as Google, Microsoft, and IBM.

Educational eligibility: Whether one works in academic or corporate research, a doctorate is usually the minimum requirement. A quick glance through job listing websites shows that candidates are usually expected to possess a PhD in areas like physics, computation, astronomy, and information science.

Expected salary: Leading companies, such as IBM, can offer annual salaries ranging from INR 1,44,000 to INR 5,57,000. These salaries are expected to rise further as the field continues to develop.

Job roles: Career roles can range from quantum researcher, quantum analyst, to quantum computing principal.

Quantum science is undoubtedly one of the most exciting fields of research. It can be seen as the science of tomorrow, the field where our next big inventions will likely come from.

For students in the field, it is the excitement of working in a revolutionary field that is often the biggest motivator.

They have the chance to understand the smallest of particles, explain the mysteries of the universe, and even change our world as we know it.

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