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Realising Engines in the Quantum Regime with Single Atoms


   School of Physics and Astronomy

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  Dr G Barontini  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

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. 


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