Quantum Control group

University of Southampton: School of Physics and Astronomy

The coolest physics in the (south)west!

The Quantum Control group explores new ways of using light to control atoms, molecules and particles. Our research involves cooling atoms to within a few millionths of a degree of absolute zero, and devising new ways of extending this to a wider range of atoms, molecules and microscopic particles: by tailoring laser light fields in space and time, we use the momentum carried by each photon to control the position (trapping), velocity (cooling), orientation and quantum state of the atom, molecule or particle that we wish to manipulate. We're also interested in using these techniques for sensing and particle assembly, and developing miniature, integrated devices to make these techniques more accessible and portable.

Our research uses coherent, pulsed interactions and spatially-varying dipole forces, is both experimental and theoretical, and ranges from atom interferometry and quantum computation, to optical tweezers, optically-induced self-organization and cavity-mediated cooling. We also explore underpinning technologies and techniques from laser modulation, stabilization and the design and analysis of resonant enhancement cavities, to miniature pumps, atom sources and optical components for integrated atom chips, and we collaborate closely with colleagues in nanofabrication to explore the use of nanostructured surfaces for atomic manipulation.