Friday 18 March 2016 // Why do we need fundamental science? Speakers showed:
#1: curiosity driven research leads to unexpected discoveries
#2: it makes innovations in the distant future possible.
#3: through fundamental research we inspire people all over the world
The practical use of science often becomes apparent only decades later. Just look at quantum entanglement. Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr had a lively debate on this matter at the beginning of the last century. Is nature based on chance or not? In 1964 the British physicist John Bell devised an experiment that could settle the matter.
But Bell’s experiment was so complex that it wasn’t until 51 years later that scientists eventually succeeded in carrying it out. Fast forward to 2016, and practical applications are rapidly coming into view, as shown by Carlo Beenakker, Leiden Professor of Theoretical Physics, in his presentation. He predicts that quantum technology is going to turn our world upside down. This is an expectation also shared by politicians, as shown by the Quantum Manifesto, an appeal being made by Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp and others to invest one billion euros in quantum technology research.