ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Researchers at the University of New Mexico are leading the way in a new field emerging in the science world, even getting recognition now in Washington D.C.

UNM has been a pioneer of quantum information science since it first started to emerge 25 years ago. It impacts everything from creating new prescription drugs to advancing computer technology.

“It is about harnessing those new laws of physics to be able to process information in new ways, and UNM has been a pioneer in this field,” said Ivan Deutsch, a professor of physics and astronomy at UNM. “Quantum information science is a kind of new, emerging interdisciplinary field that involves quantum physics and the science of information. Information is the currency of the modern digital age. Communication, computers, solving algorithms, things like designing new molecules for drugs, or modeling the universe or new materials. Quantum information is about a whole new paradigm for how computers and communications systems will work in the future. It’s based on quantum physics which is the physics of the microscopic world.”

These studies are leading them to the nation’s capital as one of 25 universities leading the discussion on the future of this new science, working alongside universities like Harvard, Yale, MIT and Stanford in a White House academic roundtable. UNM says their dedication to quantum studies and their close proximity to industry leaders like Sandia and Los Alamos labs open new opportunities for studies here.

“UNM has really been important in the development of the fundamental science and technology,” said Deutsch. “It’s exciting because we have now both academic and national laboratory, as well as industry. And I think New Mexico has a real opportunity to be an important player here.”

The school has already produced more than 40 Ph.D.’s in this emerging field, sending them out all over the world. UNM says they hope as the field grows, it can also bring in new opportunities for economic development in New Mexico.