The United Nations has declared 2025 as the International Year of Quantum Science and Technology, with Australian physicists set to hold events around the country.

The UN General Assembly agreed to the naming resolution, introduced by the African nation of Ghana, on Friday, 7 June.

The goal of the resolution, was which adopted by consensus, was to increase public awareness of the importance of quantum science and to bolster support for using it to address current challenges.

This included inspiring young people around the world, and particularly in the developing world, to take an interest in studying quantum science.

Ghana also called for greater scientific cooperation and a focus on the application of quantum technologies for sustainable development, including renewable energy, medicine and drug design, financial inclusion and secure communications.

Australian experts are working on a range of quantum technologies, including navigation systems which don’t need satellites, cheaper and more efficient solar and battery tech, and quantum computers.

The federal government and Queensland government have pledged $940 million to US-based company PsiQuantum to build a quantum computer in Brisbane.

The funding comes amid criticism of the federal government’s much smaller investment in artificial intelligence, which is earmarked to receive $39.9 million over five years for the development of policies and capabilities for the adoption and use of AI in a safe and responsible way.

Quantum experts call for support

The Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) has called for scientific, cultural and industry organisations to better understand the impact of quantum science on our everyday lives, and has encouraged them to take part in quantum events in 2025.

Professor Nicolas Menicucci, a quantum physicist at RMIT, says quantum science “only seems mysterious because it’s far from our everyday experience and intuition”.

“During the Quantum Year, we invite all Australians to learn how this fascinating branch of science has transformed our understanding of Nature and the Universe — and how the technologies built on these principles continue to transform our world,” he said.

“Over the coming months, the AIP will hold briefing events across Australia, starting in Canberra and Sydney in July, about the exciting events to come during the Quantum Year of 2025.

“The AIP will run our own program of events, and we invite museums, artists, media, industry and others to celebrate the Quantum Year in your own unique way — with events of born of your own imagination and excitement about quantum science and technology.”

Quantum mechanics utilises the physics of fundamental subatomic particles.

Technologies developed using quantum science have already been used in devices such as LED lights, lasers, microchips and medical imaging devices.

Professor Nicole Bell, President of the Australian Institute of Physics, added, "the Quantum Year will showcase the impact of once-esoteric fundamental physics on our everyday lives.”

Scientists hope advances in quantum technologies will enable things such as much faster computers, improved communications networks, stronger cyber security, and a faster shift to renewable energy.