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A new high definition radar system that could change the nature of warfare has been demonstrated for the first time. The result, quantum radar, is a high definition detection system that provides a much more detailed image of targets while itself remaining difficult to detect. Quantum radars could provide users with enough detail to identify aircraft, missiles, and other aerial targets by specific model.

According to the MIT Technology Review, researchers at Austria’s Institute of Science and Technology used entangled microwaves to create the world’s first quantum radar system.

Under a principle known as quantum entanglement, two particles can be linked together regardless of distance. When something happens to one particle it can be noticed in the other particle, forming what scientists call a quantum entangled pair. This in turn leads to a process called quantum illumination, where information about one particle’s environment can be inferred by studying the other particle.

Quantum radars involve pairing photon particles together, shooting one downrange while keeping the second captive for observation. The downrange particle will act in a certain manner as it bounces off certain objects, behavior that can be observed in the captive particle. The result is much more detailed information about the target than seen in previous radars.

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Category: Science