Quantum Control group

University of Southampton: School of Physics and Astronomy


Dr Tim Freegarde  -  group leader

Tim is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Physics & Astronomy. Born in Sheffield but raised in Dorset, he studied at New College, Oxford and received his DPhil from the university's laser group. After a couple of years in industry, he returned to academia under Prof Ted Hänsch at the Max Planck Institut für Quantenoptik after which, with a brief stop at the European Lab for Nonlinear Optics (LENS), he moved to Oxford's Physical & Theoretical Chemistry Lab. Following a further two years at the Università di Trento and a short spell at Imperial College, he came to Southampton in 2003. His hobbies include gliding and sailing.

email: tim.freegarde@phys.soton.ac.uk

www: http://www.phys.soton.ac.uk/quantum/

  Winter gliding in an LS4

Nikolaos Dedes

Nikolaos, a graduate of the Universita di Napoli, joined us in 2020 to investigate how the characteristics and performance of atom interferometers determine the performance of inertial navigation systems based upon them, on an ICASE studentship sponsored by Thales.

email: N.Dedes@soton.ac.uk

www: http://www.phys.soton.ac.uk/quantum/

Nikolaos Dedes

Joel Abraham

Joel joined us in 2021 to develop an atom interferometric rotation sensor (gyroscope).

email: ja7g17@soton.ac.uk

www: http://www.phys.soton.ac.uk/quantum/

Joel Abraham


Dr Max Carey

Max - one of our own graduates - joined us in 2015 to work on the quantum coherent enhancement of atom interferometric inertial sensors as part of a Dstl-funded collaboration with the Laboratoire Photonique Numérique et Nanosciences in Bordeaux. He obtained his PhD in 2020 for his thesis "Velocimetry, trapping and optimal coherent manipulation of atomic rubidium". After a period of post-doctoral research, he joined Q-CTRL in 2022.

email: max.carey@soton.ac.uk

www: https://q-ctrl.com

Max Carey

Dr Jack Saywell

Jack joined us from Oxford in 2016 to investigate fidelity optimization in atom interferometry and quantum computers - a project in collaboration with Ilya Kuprov within the CDT for Next Generation Computational Modelling. He was awarded his PhD in 2020 for his thesis on "Optimal control of cold atoms for ultra-precise quantum sensors". After a period of post-doctoral research, funded in part by a PhD-Plus award, he joined Q-CTRL in 2022.

email: J.C.Saywell@soton.ac.uk

www: https://q-ctrl.com

Jack Saywell

Dr Matt Himsworth

Matt was the group's third PhD student, having spent his undergraduate years in Southampton. His specialization in the Quantum Control group was the stabilization and locking of semiconductor diode lasers, and the spectroscopy and manipulation of atomic rubidium. Matt was awarded his PhD in 2009 for his thesis 'Coherent manipulation of ultracold rubidium'.

Following a year as a post-doc in Axel Kuhn's group in Oxford from 2010-2011, Matt was awarded a 5 year research fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering, and returned to Southampton in 2011 to establish his own group developing enabling technologies for integrated atom chips. He was appointed to a lectureship in 2017, and in 2019 took up a position at Dstl.

Matt continues to collaborate on our quantum control experiments, and we look forward to using his atom chips for our miniature matterwave gyroscopes.

email: m.d.himsworth@soton.ac.uk

www: http://phyweb.phys.soton.ac.uk/atomchips/

Matt Himsworth

Dr Mohammad Belal

Belal joined the group in 2015 to lead the development of an atom interferometric rotation sensor, as part of the UK National Quantum Technology Hub for Sensors & Metrology. He completed his PhD in 2011 in the Optoelectronics Research Centre's Distributed Optical Fibre Sensing group, where he continued as a research fellow for nearly 4 years, working on various applied nonlinear fibre optics and instrumentation engineering experiments. His wide research background ranges from experimental soft condensed matter physics to optoelectronics. In 2019, Belal was appointed to a research fellowship to develop maritime applications of fibre-based sensors in the National Oceanography Centre

email: mob@noc.ac.uk

www: https://noc.ac.uk/n/Mohammad+Belal


Prof Ilya Kuprov -  NGCM collaboration

Ilya is an expert in the application of optimal control to nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) systems. He collaborates with our studies of composite pulses and optimal control of atom interferometry, and co-supervises Jack's project within the CDT in Next Generation Computational Modelling.

email: i.kuprov@.soton.ac.uk

www: http://spindynamics.org/

Ilya Kuprov

Dr Peter Horak  -  ORC collaboration

A theoretical physicist from Innsbruck, Peter is one of the founding fathers of cavity-mediated cooling, and leads our theoretical investigations into such processes.

email: peh@orc.soton.ac.uk

www: http://www.orc.soton.ac.uk/people.html?person=peh

Peter Horak

Prof Kishan Dholakia  -  St Andrews collaboration

Kishan leads a lively group in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St Andrews, where he has pioneered laser tweezers: the application of laser beams to the trapping and manipulation of particles, atoms and biological cells.

email: kd1@st-and.ac.uk

www: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~atomtrap/

Kishan Dholakia

Prof Danny Segal†  -  Imperial College collaboration

Danny (†2015) was a professor of physics at Imperial College - a wonderful colleague, and a much-missed friend. His research concerned the trapping and cooling of atomic ions, and their application to fundamental physics and quantum computation.

www: http://www.lsr.ph.ic.ac.uk/iontrap/

Danny Segal

Former members

Dr Chester Camm

Chester joined us in 2017, having spent his MPhys project attempting to make an atomic clock under Matt's supervision. He obtained his PhD in 2022 with his thesis on "Progress towards atom interferometric measurements of gravity in a compact and integrated vacuum chamber".

email: C.Camm@soton.ac.uk

www: http://www.phys.soton.ac.uk/quantum/

Chester Camm

Susannah Jones

Susannah, an Exeter graduate, joined us in 2016 to develop and investigate enhancements for our cold atom interferometric rotation sensor.

email: scj1n15@soton.ac.uk

www: http://www.phys.soton.ac.uk/quantum/

Susannah Jones

David Elcock

David, a Southampton graduate, joined us in 2016 to to develop our cold atom interferometric rotation sensor and explore the underlying processes of atom interferometry.

email: @soton.ac.uk

www: http://www.phys.soton.ac.uk/quantum/

David Elcock

Dr Alan Forrester

Alan, a Glasgow graduate, joined us in 2011 and was awarded his PhD in 2017 for his thesis "Towards fabrication of optomechanical actuators by two-photon polymerisation," supported by Dstl. He is now a GIS developer with Brookfield Utilities.

email: af17g11@soton.ac.uk

www: https://www.bu-uk.co.uk/

Alan Forrester

Dr Rachel Gregory

Rachel joined us from Oxford in 2011, and was awarded a prestigious Mayflower scholarship to undertake her research on the coherent manipulation and interferometry of rubidium atoms using composite pulses. She was awarded her PhD in 2015 for her thesis on 'Phase and intensity control of lasers for atom interferometry'. After training to be a patent attorney with Venner Shipley, she became an Intellectual Property Officer at KU Leuven.

email: rachel.gregory@kuleuven.be

www: https://lrd.kuleuven.be/en/ip

Rachel Gregory

Dr Alex Dunning

Alex joined us from University College, London in 2010, and led our experiment on atom interferometry and novel atomic cooling techniques. He was awarded his PhD in 2014 for his thesis on 'Coherent atomic manipulation and cooling using composite optical pulse sequences', and subsequently won a Springer Thesis Prize and saw his thesis published. Following a couple of years in Prof Eric Hudson's group in UCLA, Alex returned to the UK to join Base4 Innovation in Cambridge, and subsequently moved to ID Quantique in Bristol.

email: alex.dunning@physics.ucla.edu

www: http://www.base4.co.uk/our-team/

Alex Dunning

Dr Nathan Cooper

Nathan joined us from Cambridge in 2009 to work on optical cooling and trapping using nanostructured surfaces. He was awarded his PhD in 2013 for his thesis 'Novel techniques for the trapping and manipulation of ultracold atoms'. After a couple of years at a research assistant in the group of Prof Hendrik Ulbricht, he moved to Nottingham in 2015 to join the group of Dr Lucia Hackermüller.

email: nathan.cooper@nottingham.ac.uk

www: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/physics/people/nathan.cooper

Nathan Cooper

Dr Jonathan Woods

Jonathan joined us, from Exeter via Manchester, in 2011 to work on a new generation of frequency-stabilized lasers for our atomic physics experiments. He was awarded his PhD in 2015 for his thesis on 'A mode-locked diode laser frequency comb for ultracold atomic physics experiments.' For several years in the VECSEL group of Prof Anne Tropper, Jonathan continued to work with us on a collaborative project with Qrometric Ltd developing the spectroscopic measurement of water vapour. He now works with Southampton alumnus Andrei Dragomir for Aquark Technologies.

email: jw2e11@soton.ac.uk

www: https://www.aquarktechnologies.com/

Jonathan Woods

Dr Andrea Bertoldi  -  Bordeaux collaboration

Andrea is a researcher at the Laboratoire Photonique, Numérique et Nanosciences in Bordeaux, where he works on a variety of atom interferometry experiments for inertial measurement. A native of Trento, where he studied and obtained his PhD, he was a post-doctoral researcher at LENS in Florence and the Institut d'Optique in Paris.

email: andrea.bertoldi@institutoptique.fr

www: http://www.lp2n.fr/axis1/?lang=en

Andrea Bertoldi

Prof André Xuereb

André carried out his doctoral work on mirror-mediated cooling from 2007-2010, after which he spent a year in Klemens Hammerer's group in Hannover before being awarded a fellowship by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 to join the Centre for Theoretical Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics in Queen's University, Belfast. Originally from Malta, we like to think that the nearby Isle of Wight made him feel reassuringly at home during his years in Southampton.

André was awarded his PhD in 2011 for his thesis 'Optical cooling using the dipole force', and subsequently won a Springer Thesis Prize and saw his thesis published. In 2012, André was selected to attend the prestigious Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. He returned to Malta in 2014 to take up a lectureship, and subsequently professorship, in the Department of Physics at the University of Malta, where he is currently Head of Department.

email: andre.xuereb@soton.ac.uk

www: http://andre.xuereb.info/

André Xuereb

Dr Hamid Ohadi

Hamid spent three years as a post-doc leading our work on the optical cooling and trapping of atoms and molecules using nanostructured surfaces. Originally an ion trapper, he joined us in 2008 from Imperial College, London. In 2011, he joined the research group of Prof Pavlos Lagoudakis, and then in 2013 moved to Cambridge to the group of Prof Jeremy Baumberg. In 2018, he was appointed to a lectureship in the University of St Andrews.

email: ho35@st-andrews.ac.uk

www: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~qflight/

Hamid Ohadi

Dr Rich Murray

Rich, our fourth PhD student, was a Southampton graduate, and worked on the coherent manipulation of cold atoms using the phase-programmable laser and our magneto-optical trap. He was awarded his PhD in 2011 for his thesis on 'Coherent two-photon excitation within an extended cloud of Rubidium 85 for the purposes of atomic interferometry and cooling '. After a good spell with TTP in Cambridge, Rich joined Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board), where in 2016 he was a co-author of the Quantum Manifesto. After a spell as Business Development Manager for Quantum Technologies at e2v Teledyne, he is now CEO of ORCA Computing, developing a photonic quantum computing platform.

email: rldm102@soton.ac.uk

www: https://www.orcacomputing.com/

Rich Murray

Dr James Bateman

James joined the group in 2004 as our second PhD student, following his degree at Imperial College, London. His PhD research addressed the coherent manipulation of ultracold rubidium, the development of a phase-programmable laser source and many aspects of experimental control, together with theoretical studies of the fidelity of the coherent manipulation scheme, all described in his thesis 'Novel schemes for the optical manipulation of atoms and molecules'. Following his PhD, James remained in the group and obtained a PhD Plus award to work on the theory of mirror-mediated cooling, and he co-instigated our project on optically driven photonic crystal actuators, for which he was granted an Innovation Award from the Southampton Metamaterials Programme in 2011.

After a period in the group of Prof Malgosia Kaczmarek, James was a research assistant with Dr Hendrik Ulbricht, before taking up a lectureship at the University of Swansea in 2015. He continues to collaborate in particular on our work on optically-driven actuators.

email: j.e.bateman@swansea.ac.uk

www: http://jamesbateman.eu/

James Bateman

Dr Sunil Patel

Sunil was our first PhD student, joining us in 2003, and set up most of the major experimental apparatus. Born and bred "uup noorth" in the Yorkshire Dales, where the puddings are battered and even the M1 is cobbled, he studied Physics at Imperial College, London and spent a happy year as an Erasmus exchange student in Trento, Italy.

He was awarded his PhD in 2009 for his thesis 'A chirped, pulsed laser system and magneto-optical trap for rubidium', and is now a computer guru in Cambridge.

email: sunil.patel@soton.ac.uk

www: http://www.sunilpatel.co.uk

Sunil Patel

Elle Bradbury

Elle, a graduate of the Open University, joined us in 2014 to work on rotation sensing by atomic matterwave interferometry. She now works with the university's Doctoral College, and in her spare time is a talented singer.


www: https://soundcloud.com/ellebradbury

Elle Bradbury

Andrew Chapman

Andrew joined us in 2013 to work on the development of laser-based water vapour detection in collaboration with Qrometric Ltd.

email: andrew.chapman@soton.ac.uk


Andrew Chapman

Dr Oliver Trojak

Oliver spent the 2013-14 academic year with us, working on composite pulse techniques for the year-long project of his Physics with a Year of Experimental Research degree. Following his PhD on 'On-chip single-photon sources for quantum information technology,' supervised by Luca Sapienza, he is currently a Research Fellow in Southampton's Solid-State Quantum Optics group.

email: ojt1g10@soton.ac.uk

www: http://www.quantum.soton.ac.uk/

Oliver Trojak

Claire Bléjean

Claire spent the 2011-12 academic year with us, working on the fabrication of flexible photonic crystals for the year-long project of her Physics with a Year of Experimental Research degree. Following her PhD in the Cambridge group of Prof Jeremy Baumberg, she is now a consultant with Helios.

email: claire.blejean@askhelios.com

www: https://www.askhelios.com/

Claire Bléjean

Martin Denyer

Martin spent the 2010-11 academic year with us, working on enabling technologies for integrated atom chips for the year-long project of his Physics with a Year of Experimental Research degree.

email: mpd1v07@soton.ac.uk

www: http://www.phys.soton.ac.uk/quantum/

Martin Denyer

Toby Popplewell

Toby spent the 2009-10 academic year with us, carrying out his Physics with a Year of Experimental Research research project on 'Tuning an external cavity diode laser with a spatial light modulator'.

email: @soton.ac.uk

www: http://www.phys.soton.ac.uk/quantum/

Toby Popplewell