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The Centre's research is conducted under four main themes divided between Photonic and Quantum Technologies.

 

1. Photonic Technologies


The Photonic Technologies Theme concentrates on the control and manipulation of light. Our expertise in quantum optics, nonlinear optics and photonics will be used in two key areas of application: sensors and imaging, and optical sources and componentry.

 

Theme 1a. Photonic Sensors and Imaging (PSI)

Our increasing ability to control the coherence properties of light and matter allows the development of novel sensors and imaging techniques that exceed current state-of-the-art. This includes the development of medical imaging techniques at the forefront of advanced tissue diagnostics such as Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), based on coherence properties of light, Acousto-Optic Tomography, based upon quantum memory techniques (linked to the Quantum Technologies theme), fluorescence, mass spectroscopy and many other sensing techniques.            Read more...

Theme 1b. Photonic Sources and Components (PSC)

Projects in the fields of laser sources and optical componentry include the development of new quantum-well laser diode sources for use in prototype OCT systems and of new mode-locked fibre lasers designed to operate at currently unavailable wavelengths. Such sources are of scientific interest, commercial value, and, importantly, will feed into the development of new sensors with potential applications in telecommunications, precision measurement and information processing.          Read more...

  

2. Quantum Technologies


The quantum technologies theme focuses on the control and manipulation of quantum states of matter using light; for example, through laser cooling to create ultra-cold gases and quantum fluids, or through the use of optical tweezers to manipulate individual atoms.

 

Theme 2a. Quantum Fluids and Gases (QFG)

The Centre continues a strong tradition of fundamental studies of ultra-cold quantum gases, including cold, controlled collisions and cold quantum chemistry. Quantum fluids may be configured to emulate the physics of other less accessible quantum systems, and can then be engineered to simulate the key properties of the less controllable quantum systems, facilitating the direct investigation of condensed matter and many-body phenomena whose fundamental understanding remains obscure. Cold gases also provide a path to precision measurement, through applications of matter wave interferometry, which provides linkage to the sensor theme under Photonic Technologies.           Read more...

Theme 2b. Quantum Manipulation and Information (QMI)

As electronic and optical devices shrink, some form of individual quantum system manipulation is the inevitable technology of the future. We now have the ability to manipulate, not only atoms, but also artificial atoms (quantum dots and superconducting qubits) and micro and nanomechanical oscillators, all of it with light. We can in principle synthesize simple molecules, and control on this level is used to create qubits – the quantum mechanical analogue of the ubiquitous computer “bit”. Narrow linewidth interrogation of single rare earth ion dopants is another example of individual quantum system manipulation that can be applied to quantum information processing. This links to Acousto-Optical Tomography under Sensing and Imaging.         Read more...