Quantum science and applications

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 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.

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This project uses novel techniques to investigate reactions of light weakly-bound nuclei, both stable and exotic, which challenge our understanding of nuclear reaction dynamics.

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Heavy atomic nuclei may fission in lighter fragments, releasing a large amount of energy which is used in reactors. Advanced models of many-body quantum dynamics are developed and used to describe this process.

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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.

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Updated:  17 August 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPE/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster