All posts by Harald Schwefel

Marsden Funding for DWC researchers

The Marsden Fund takes its name from physicist Sir Ernest Marsden (1889-1970) who made a remarkable contribution to science both in New Zealand and overseas. It is a blue skies research fund which is administered by the Royal Society/Te Apārangi. The research funded by this Fund is not subject to government’s socio-economic priorities, but is investigator initiated. The Fund supports research excellence in science, engineering and maths, social sciences and the humanities.

Competition for grants is intense, as such, Marsden is regarded as the hallmark of excellence for research in New Zealand. The Centre is thrilled to congratulate DWC researchers who have received funding in the 2020 round (for projects they are leading):

Full Marsden (Principle Investigators):
Joachim Brand – “Three atoms in a tight spot”
Miro Erkintalo – “Normal in nothing but the name: a new regime of temporal cavity solitons”
Harald Schwefel – “Dual-comb spectroscopy – resolving optical precision electronically”

Marsen Fast Start (Principle Investigators):
Laura Cobus – “Acoustic Imaging of Movement (AIM): from human tissue to underwater sensing”
Jami Shepherd – “Using light and ultrasound for quantification of hemodynamics in bone”
Dominik Vogt – “Sub-wavelength ultra-high quality Terahertz resonators for next-generation sensing technologies”
Ray Xu – “Visible frequency comb generation with fibre-based microresonators”

List of AIs (Full & Fast Start):
Mikkel Andersen, Stéphane Coen, Miro Erkintalo, Stuart Murdoch, Harald Schwefel

Further information on the projects that these researchers are involved in may be found on the Marsden Fund webpage:

DWC on RNZ Smart Talk

Listen to RNZ’s episode of Smart Talk where three experts discuss the role of photonics in measuring climate change. The  discussion was recorded as part of this years Dodd-Walls symposium.

The discussion was moderated by Kim Hill with the panel consisting of Professors Donna Stickland, Tom Baer and David Hutchinson. Donna won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2018 for her groundbreaking work in the generation of high-intensity, ultra-short laser pulses. Tom Baer is also a laser physicist and is the Executive Director of the Stanford Photonics Research Centre. David Hutchinson is a New Zealand quantum physicist and Director of the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies—one of NZ’s ten Centres of Research Excellence.

Donna and Tom were together instrumental in the establishment of the Global Environmental Measurement and Monitoring (GEMM) Network, with a node now established in New Zealand supported by the Dodd-Walls Centre.

The discussion will cover the role of the GEMM Network and what part New Zealand can play in it, but also follow Kim Hill’s free-ranging style to cover aspects of Donna’s career and other elements of interest along the way.

Successful Dodd-Walls Symposium!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this years Dodd-Walls symposium, highlighting the cutting-edge research on photonic and quantum technologies happening in New Zealand.

In particular huge thanks to our invited speakers, who reflected on the ongoing legacies of Dan Walls and Jack Dodd through their own transformative research.

Looking forward to seeing you all again next year.
Finally, we would like to acknowledge our sponsors for their support.

2020 virtual Dodd-Walls Symposium up next week

This years Dodd-Walls Symposium will be held on the 20-22 of October.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation this years symposium will be held virtually with local hubs airing selected talks and hosting social events. We look forward to hearing everyone’s latest results and connecting virtually.

Find out what is going on at the conference website:


Australian and New Zealand School in Ultracold Physics

21 to 25 January 2019 – Dunedin, New Zealand

The Australian and New Zealand School in Ultracold Physics (ANZSUP) is a one-week graduate summer school for students at Master level and beginning PhD students. When creating temperatures in the lab that are colder than outer space, the behaviour of matter is dominated by the laws of quantum mechanics. The ANZSUP summer school is aimed at providing graduate students with the relevant background in experiments and theory in the field of ultra-cold physics. This year’s school will cover the following topics:

  • Laser trapping and cooling of ultra-cold atoms
  • Atom optics
  • Magnetism in quantum gases
  • Phase space methods and stochastic differential equations
  • Quantum physics and general relativity

Lecturers from Australasia and further afield will provide mini-courses on a given topic. In addition to lectures, we plan hands-on activities including a programming workshop in the computer language Julia.