Physics - Optics

Physics Optics

Our optics division includes a theoretical research group, Computational Nonlinear & Quantum Optics (CNQO), and an experimental group, Experimental Quantum Optics and Photonics.

What are photonics and quantum optics?

Photonics refers to the science of light – how to generate and control it.

Quantum optics refers to the ability to precisely control the interactions between light and matter, down to the single atom and photon level.

Experimental Quantum Optics & Photonics Group

Our work looks at three main areas:

  • quantum optics and quantum information technology
  • hybrid quantum computing
  • atomic physics
  • nonlinear photonics including laser physics
Our researchers explore the entire research field from the fundamental interactions of single atoms and photons, through to applied research in spectroscopy and application of our techniques to new quantum technologies.

Our research is focused on the a number of themes

  • Quantum simulation based on single-atom imaging in optical lattices
  • Atom interferometry
  • Non-linear atom-light interactions
  • Dynamics, spatial modes and optical solitons in semiconductor lasers
  • Self-organisation in ultracold atoms
  • Quantum-cascade lasers

Our current research

We have a range of experiments in our rapidly expanding suite of labs.

  • Single-atom imaging of strongly correlated fermions in optical lattices
  • Young’s slits atom interferometry with Bose-Einstein condensates
  • Mach-Zehnder atom interferometry with Bose-Einstein condensates
  • Opto-mechanical pattern formation in cold atoms
  • Compact MOT systems based on microfabrication technology
  • Four-wave mixing in thermal gases
  • Optical cavity solitons
  • Spin lasers and generation of terahertz radiation
  • Hybrid quantum networking with atoms coupled to superconducting circuits

Computational Nonlinear & Quantum Optics Group (CNQO)

The CNQO group combines advanced theoretical and analytical techniques with state-of-the-art computational facilities to investigate:

  • fundamental theory of light and its interactions with matter
  • many-body physics
  • simulations of nonlinear optical devices
  • non-equilibrium dynamics of quantum gases

Driven by the continuing quest for the development of novel quantum information technology, we've a strong core of research in theoretical quantum optics. This is closely integrated with the experimental activities carried out by the Experimental Quantum Optics and Photonics group. We have collaborated with groups in the EU, Australia, Japan, Russia and the USA, and some of our staff are members of the Cockcroft Institute.

Our research areas

  • BECs and Cold Atoms
  • Future Light Sources
  • Nanophotonics
  • Nonlinear Photonics
  • Optical Angular Momentum
  • Quantum Information
  • Quantum Many-Body Systems
  • Quantum imaging and quantum communication with light
  • Tensor Networks

The optics division hold regular seminars. You can find a schedule on their website.

Our researchers

Our optics division comprises eight professors and 11 members of academic staff.

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