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.
This project utilises a state-of-the-art multifield quantum sensor to develop new techniques and technologies for future high precision measurement devices.
We create the coldest stuff in the Universe – a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) – by laser-cooling helium atoms to within a millionth of a degree Kelvin. At these extremely low temperatures particles behave more like waves. You will use the BEC to study fundamental quantum mechanics and for applications like atom interferometry.
This research project, with both experimental and theoretical angles, is developing a new perspective on the transition from a quantum superposition to effectively irreversible outcomes in quantum collisions.