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Quantum Foundations
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1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy
1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy

Sub-Field:

1.2.4Quantum Foundations

Quantum theory is still a rapidly evolving field, and academic researchers are investigating a number of speculative ideas that could result in profound and useful discoveries. For example, there is increasing interest in the idea that quantum effects are at work in living organisms and play important roles in their functioning.13 It may be, for instance, that quantum effects are at work in plant photosynthesis, birds' navigational abilities, and anaesthetics and cognition. This emerging field of “quantum biology” offers the possibility of improved photovoltaics, medications for cognitive health, navigation tools and chemical sensors. It could also benefit investigations in basic science, such as efforts to understand consciousness and the chemical building blocks needed for life to develop.14 
Finally, the famous Heisenberg uncertainty principle has led researchers to suggest re-workings of the concepts of time’s flow, the nature of information and the kinds of work that can be carried out by machines. If these ideas persist, they may lead to entirely new technological possibilities operating at the quantum scale.15

Future Horizons:

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5-yearhorizon

Quantum biology becomes established

Fundamental research continues to investigate quantum effects in biology, which becomes an established field of study.16 New possible violations of traditional causality continue to invite speculation about application in information processing.

10-yearhorizon

Possible medical applications emerge

Investigations of quantum properties of atoms and isotopes might uncover mechanisms of interaction with biological processes, such as in anaesthesia17 and medication.18 There will be new ideas for new breakthroughs in sciences that open the path for new applications.

25-yearhorizon

Quantum foundations research delivers commercial technologies

Quantum sensor technology might be re-purposed to deliver activation of components of cellular biology for micro-level medical interventions. Investigations in quantum information theory and quantum thermodynamics lead to innovations in nanomachines and biological applications. There will be surprising new, as-yet unknown applications of quantum technology at that scale.

Quantum Foundations - Anticipation Scores

How the experts see this field in terms of the expected time to maturity, transformational effect across science and industries, current state of awareness among stakeholders and its possible impact on people, society and the planet. See methodology for more information.