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A source of quantum light for atom magnetometry

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

When using classical light, optical measurements and light-based sensing methods are limited by the unavoidable quantum fluctuations in phase and amplitude, also known as shot noise. It is possible to work around this limitation by using quantum light whose fluctuations on the phase or the amplitude have been reduced below the quantum noise limit (squeezed light).
This proposal aims to leverage the recent realisation of a multi-spatial-mode light squeezer in our laboratory for quantum imaging applications. This unique capability means that light beams can be squeezed locally at every point of their transverse profile. This is akin to ordering the photons inside the beam of light in order to remove the “quantum roughness” across the beam. In particular, we seek to develop new methods to produce squeezed light which will make the next generation of atom magnetometers more sensitive and capable of imaging small currents in the human brain or identify unknown substances at a distance.
This project is suitable for a student with a strong taste for quantum mechanics (and possibly quantum optics) and willing to stretch their experimental skills, particularly in optics and laser physics. This is a human-scale experiment where you will have ample opportunities to learn a wide range of topics, from advanced experimental optics to abstract information theory. You will work in a small team and will be able to make a difference.

Funding Notes

Funding is awarded by the school on a competitive basis, depending on the strength of the applicant. The funding is only available to UK/EU citizens.

Non-EU Students: If you have the correct qualifications and access to your own funding, either from your home country or your own finances, your application to work on this project will be considered. This position is funded by the School for UK/EU students.

For details of the funding available and advice on making your application, please contact:


“Observation of localized multi-spatial-mode quadrature squeezing in four-wave mixing”, C. S. Embrey, M. T. Turnbull, P. G. Petrov, and V. Boyer, Phys. Rev. X 5, 031004 (2015).

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Physics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 39.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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