In addition to the interesting new physics quantum processes and devices are beginning to uncover, these exotic phenomena have important practical applications.
One such area is quantum cryptography the science of sending secret messages via a quantum channel. It uses properties of quantum mechanics to establish a secure key, a process known as quantum key distribution. This key can then be used at a later stage to send encrypted information.
Quantum techniques can also be applied to reducing the noise present in laser beams, a process known as squeezing. We currently have an extensive research program investigating the application of squeezing and other quantum noise reduction techniques in the laser interferometers used to detect gravitational waves.
Selected research highlights
Potential student research projects
You could be doing your own research into fusion and plasma confinement. Below are some examples of student physics research projects available in RSPE.
Please browse our full list of available physics research projects to find a project that interests you.
Quantum tunnelling is a fundamental process in physics. How this process occurs with composite (many-body) systems, and in particular how it relates to decoherence and dissipation, are still open questions.
Analytic solutions of real-world quantum mechanics problems are rare, and in practise we must use numerical methods to obtain solutions. This project will give you practical experience in solving the static and time-dependent Schrödinger equations using a computer.
When two point sources of light are close together, we just see one blurry patch. This project aims to use coherent measurement techniques in quantum optics to measure the separation between the point sources beyond the Rayleigh's limit.
Aim to generate random numbers by performing a homodyne measurement of the quantum vacuum state.