Quantum physics to investigate the subsurface

2022/02/23 Agirre Ruiz de Arkaute, Aitziber - Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

Ed. [Adapted from the journal Nature].

Researchers at the University of Birmingham have said that quantum physics offers interesting resources to know the subsurface, after testing in the city of Birmingham, UK. Through a quantum sensor, gravitational changes of the subsurface have been detected with atomic interferometry and the characteristics of the underground infrastructure have been precisely identified, avoiding the influence of sounds, movements, vibrations and background noise from the earth's surface.

Although several geophysical monitoring techniques are currently used, perforation remains the most effective tool for understanding the subsoil. However, researchers consider that new quantum sensors can have many uses, including mapping of any tunnel or underground infrastructure, identifying potentially hazardous areas for construction, studying the use of subsoil by previous civilizations (such as identifying funeral zones and other archaeological structures), mapping aquifers and assessing any impact at the groundwater level. The results of the study have been published in the journal Nature.

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