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.
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.
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.
This project will construct a 3D optical lattice apparatus for ultracold metastable Helium atoms, which will form an experimental quantum-simulator to investigate quantum many-body physics. A range of experiments will be performed such as studying higher order quantum correlations across the superfluid to Mott insulator phase transition.
Aim to generate random numbers by performing a homodyne measurement of the quantum vacuum state.