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Large photon-number nonlinear quantum optics

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  • Full or part time
    Prof K Burnham
    Prof F Laussy
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) at the University of Wolverhampton is looking for a motivated and resourceful PhD student with an interest in quantum theory, mathematical physics and future technology, to take up a fully funded 3-year PhD research project.

Light is one of our most valued tool in virtually all sectors of human activity, from technology, industry and medicine to fundamental research. Controlling light at its most fundamental level, that of the photons, brings us to the quantum realm, where considerably more powerful and efficient applications are possible than with currently available light sources [1], including the best lasers. Currently, considerable effort is being devoted to so-called single-photon sources, that provide photons one by one. With quantum technology maturing, there is the need for new generations of light sources that emit exactly N photons (for integer N) at a time and, ideally, on demand. This research project proposes to explore theoretically both the design and applications of such sources.

The methodology will be to exploit the theoretically predicted and recently observed strong photon-correlations that can be harvested by frequency filtering [2]. Specifically, identifying relevant transitions in the landscape of correlations in resonance fluorescence (coherent driving of a two-level system, such as an atomic transition) [3] and using both analytic and ad hoc numerical methods [4], heralded N-photon sources will be designed through cavity QED methodology in view of their scaling-up to cluster kN photons (with k sources), thereby extending considerably the range of applicability of similar devices operating in the spontaneous emission regime [5, 6]. Once the prototypes for such sources will be designed, their applications at both an applied and fundamental level will be investigated, ranging from quantum spectroscopy [7]—or how to use quantum light to unveil new possibilities—to the computational complexity of their output—to address the problem of quantum supremacy in a more straightforward way than through boson sampling.

Enthusiastic students with a strong interest in competitive research are invited to consult the references below, from the supervising group, and if motivated to advance the state of the art in this field, to apply. For further information, please contact Prof. F.P. Laussy (supervisor) and/or Prof. Keith Burnham (Associate Dean, Research).

Eligibility and How to Apply

Please note eligibility requirement:
• The PhD studentship is only available to Home (UK) and EU students
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e., master or integrated master, or 1st at BSc level (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities).
• If your BSc/MSc award was not delivered in English you will need to demonstrate proficiency in English at IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

Deadline for applications: 30th November 2018
Start Date: January 2019

The University of Wolverhampton values a diverse workforce and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

For further details regarding the project please and for informal discussion please contact the project supervisors at [Email Address Removed] and/or [Email Address Removed].

Application Process

Please submit a covering letter outlining your interest in the research programme, and an up to date CV detailing your academic qualifications and relevant work experience together with the names of two academic/professional referees. Please e-mail your application to the FSE Research Administrator: [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to Home and EU students with a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2018/19, this is £14,777 pa) and full Home/ EU Fees.


[1] Kavokin, A., Baumberg, J. J., Malpuech, G. & Laussy, F. P. Microcavities (Oxford University Press, 2017), 2 edn.
[2] Laussy, F. P., A new way to correlate photons. Nature Mater. 16, 398 (2017).
[3] López Carreño, J. C., del Valle, E. & Laussy, F. P. Photon correlations from the Mollow triplet. Laser Photon. Rev. 11, 201700090 (2017).
[4] López Carreño, J. C., del Valle, E. & Laussy, F. P. Frequency-resolved Monte Carlo. Sci. Rep. 8, 6975 (2018).
[5] Sánchez Muñoz, C. et al. Emitters of N-photon bundles. Nature Photon. 8, 550 (2014).
[6] Sánchez Muñoz, C., Laussy, F. P., del Valle, E., Tejedor, C. & González-Tudela, A. Filtering multiphoton emission from state-of-the-art cavity QED. Optica 5, 14 (2018).
[7] López Carreño, J. C., Sánchez Muñoz, C., Sanvitto, D., del Valle, E. & Laussy, F. P. Exciting polaritons with quantum light. Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 196402 (2015).

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