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The Dodd-Walls Centre

 A New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence

DWC Seminar Series 2017

Click here for full details of any seminars on this week


The Dodd-Walls Centre is a world class collaborative research network building on New Zealand’s strength in the fields of quantum optics, photonics and precision atomic physics. Our research centres around photonics, the manipulation of light at the most fundamental, quantum level, and the control and manipulation of matter at the atomic scale, through the use of light.

Download the DWC overview here!


Find out more about Quantum Mechanics

Find out more about Bose-Einstein Condensates

What is an atom?



 Deadlines for Dodd-Walls Centre PhD applications for 2017 are:  1 March, 1 July and 1 November.

See further information here



Dodd-Walls Centre 2015 Annual Report

Dodd-Walls Centre 2015 Annual Report

Read about the Dodd-Walls Centre's first year of operation as a Centre of Research Excellence

download PDF here

Read about Facts and Figures here

Dodd-Walls Centre News
DWC Seminar Series 2017

The Dodd-Walls Centre is proud to present a series of seminars hosted by our themes on different topics and everyone is welcome to attend.    Next Friday’s Quantum Fluids & Gases (QFG) Seminar is presented by Niels Kjærgaard, Associate Professor of Physics, University of Otago.

Title:      Scattering experiments on atoms with a Feshbach resonance above threshold

When:    Date: Friday 21 April at 12 noon (sharp)

Room:    Boardroom 320e, Dodd-Walls Centre, Science III + remote locations via Zoom

Anyone can join from anywhere with the use of a laptop or computer via Zoom.

Zoom Meeting ID: 325 816 342 (meeting invite details at end of email)


Scattering experiments on atoms with a Feshbach resonance above threshold

 Studies of magnetically tunable Feshbach resonances in ultracold atomic gases have predominantly been carried out in the zero collision-energy limit.  In this brief talk I will describe our recent experiments on threshold collisions at well-defined energies in the vicinity of a narrow magnetic Feshbach resonance by means of a laser-based collider.  Using our collider we can track the magnetic field shift in resonance position as the energy is tuned.  For a narrow resonance this becomes a challenge due to inherent broadening mechanisms of the collider.  We find, however, that the narrow Feshbach scattering feature becomes imprinted on the spatial distribution of atoms in a fashion that allows for an accurate determination of resonance position as a function of collision energy through a shift in center-of-mass position of the outgoing clouds. 

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DWC Seminar Series 2017

Wednesday 12 April's seminar is presented by Dr Amita Deb, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Physics, University of Otago, DWC Boardroom 320e and will also be available via Zoom.

Title: Electrometers based on Rydberg atoms When: Date: Wednesday 12 April 1pm (sharp) until 1.55pm

Anyone can join from anywhere with the use of a laptop or computer via Zoom. Zoom Meeting ID: 478-489-695


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NZ Physists Collide Ultracold Atoms to Observe a Key Quantum Principle

15 March 2017

DWC Physicists Neils Kjaergaard and Ryan Thomas were recently interviewed by ABC Australia.  For more information or to hear the interview, click here

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DWC Scientists control atom

9 March 2017

The equipment Dr Mikkel Andersen and fellow researchers have developed to control individual atoms looks like the stuff of historic science fiction. Read more

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New gas sensing using photonic technology

Dunedin-based Photonic Innovations has acquired complementary gas detection technology that makes workplaces such as meat processing companies and cool stores safer. Read more here

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Former DWC Student wins Woolf Fisher Fellowship Award

Former DWC and Otago Unversity Phd Student, Matthew McGovern has won the prestigious Woolf Fisher Fellowship Award, Congratulations! For full story click here

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DWC 2017 Symposium covered on the media

The importance of Quantum Technology was a major topic at the DWC 2017 Symposium. Invited scientists from overseas were interviewed by TV1 News here, Channel 39 here and Radio NZ here.

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DWC Member Simon Poole of Finisar receives the Charles Todd Medal

To listen to the full interview on Radio NZ click here

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DWC Member - Associate Professor Stephane Coen wins Hector Medal at Royal Society Research Honours
IN November 2016 DWC Investigator Stèphane Coen was awarded the Hector Medal by the Royal Society New Zealand. The Hector Medal is awarded for an outstanding advancement in the physical sciences and this was awarded to Stèphane for his research into optical phenomena in optical fibre and microresonators.  For the full article read here
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Latest Lighthouse Platform Event
During the latest Lighthouse Platform event on 1st Dec 2016, members of Industry came together to hear Simon Poole (New Business Ventures, Finisar Ltd, Australia) and Andy Brown (Global Business Development, SPIE, USA) at the Generator in Auckland's CBD.
Read more here
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Our Stories
 Madhuri Kumari, PhD student in the Dodd-Walls Centre, “After spending two years as a junior research fellow at Raman Research Institute, Madhuri left India for the first time and followed her passion for optics all the way to New Zealand” Read Madhuri's full story here
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Dissipative Phases of Cavity-Mediated Photon Interactions
The DWC is hosting a series of seminars and public lectures open for everyone to attend, details can be found below.  


what's on this week: 

The Dodd-Walls centre is proud to present a series of seminars hosted by our themes on different topics and everyone is welcome to attend.   Friday’s seminar is presented by Ricardo Gutierrez Jauregui from University of Auckland.   Ricardo will present the seminar in room 303.610 at the University of Auckland and this will also be available via Zoom. 

Title:       Dissipative Phases of Cavity-Mediated Photon Interactions

When:    Date: Friday 24 February, 12 noon (sharp) to 1.00pm

Room:    303.610, University of Auckland + remote locations via Zoom

                University of Otago – Room 320e, Dodd-Walls Centre, Science III


Anyone can join from anywhere with the use of a laptop or computer via Zoom.

Zoom Meeting ID: 478-489-695 (further details below)



The exquisite control acquired over quantum systems in recent years has provided a playground

for studies of transitions between different phases of light and matter[1;2]. The realization of the

Bose-Einstein condensate opened the door for quantum optics experiments using matter waves, while the advent of circuit quantum electrodynamics has allowed for strongly interacting systems to be

simulated by light fields[3]. However, due to dissipation, the duality between light and matter systems

is not complete. Dissipation affects both the evolution and the physical properties of a quantum

system in a fundamental way.

In this seminar we address the question of how phase transitions in equilibrium relate to their driven dissipative analogues. This is done by contrasting the phases acquired by a quasi-conservative system, interacting BEC in an optical trap, with a driven-dissipative system, two driven cavities presenting a Kerr nonlinearity. We present the phases the system can acquire in both scenarios. First, for the single cavity limit where tunnelling is suppressed, then for the full Hamiltonian where competition of J and g leads to different phases of the system. The effect of quantum fluctuations on the phases of the system is highlighted.


[1] M. Greiner, O. Mandel, T. Esslinger, T. W. Hansch, I. Bloch, Nature 415, 39 (2002).

[2] A. D. Greentree, C. Tahan, J. H. Cole, and L. C. L. Hollenberg, Nature Physics 2, 856 (2006).

[3] G. Kirchmair, B. Vlastakis, Z. Leghtas, S. E. Nigg, H. Paik, E. Ginossar, M. Mirrahimi, Lu. Frunzio, S. M. Girvin

& R. J. Schoelkopf, Nature 495, 205209 (2013).



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Dodd-Walls Centre Partner Organizations

Hosted by the University of Otago


The University of Auckland



Massey University


The University of Canterbury




Victoria University of Wellington





Dodd-Walls Centre Links


The Photon Factory



The Lighthouse Platform

Quantum Science Otago


Illuminating New Zealand