It has been recently realised that new scientific and technological opportunities arise from the combination of quantum mechanics and thermodynamics: the efficiency of machines, their energy consumption, and the effectiveness of the transformation that they should implement can be boosted by a quantum approach. This will have a substantial impact in quantum computing and quantum information architectures.
In this experimental project, you will build, develop and test prototype engines operating at the single-atom quantum level. You will join a team that is realizing an innovative architecture based on cold atoms: the working fluid of the engine will be a single atom, and the thermal bath will be constituted by a cloud of atoms at ultralow temperatures (just a few billionth of a degree above the absolute zero). The piston of the engine will be embodied by an optical tweezer. To do we will utilise several techniques including ultra-high vacuum, laser cooling, laser trapping and single atom manipulation. The final goal is to explore and exploit the potential of single-atom engines in the quantum regime, especially in the context of quantum information and computation.
PhD funding is for 3 and a half years. This PhD project is part of the UltraQute collaboration with the theoretical group at Queen’s University Belfast.