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Towards single-photon switching via two-photon absorption in Rb vapour

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, January 27, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

If we could induce a strong interaction between photons (mediated by atoms), this would allow the implementation of quantum logic operations at room temperature, opening the way to scalable (cryogenics-free) quantum computing. A strong candidate for engineering such interactions is the combination of optical waveguides and cavities with alkali vapours. We have the unique capability to explore this area at the CPPM in Bath.

In this project, the successful student will experimentally test a proposal to switch the phase of a signal photon based on the presence of a control photon impinging on a cavity coupled to the two-photon absorption line in rubidium.

The project builds on Dr Josh Nunn’s previous experience of alkali-based quantum light storage in cavities and hollow fibre, and the work is strongly aligned with a current project to optically-induce Bragg structures in Rb vapour. For more information on the research interests of Dr Nunn, see The successful student will also collaborate with the group of Dr Peter Mosley (, who are developing vapour-filled bubble resonators with Prof Tim Birks’ team (

Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a First Class or good Upper Second Class Honours degree in Physics, or the equivalent from an overseas university. A master’s level qualification would also be advantageous.

Informal enquiries are welcomed and should be directed to Dr Josh Nunn, .

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Physics:

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

Anticipated start date: 30 September 2019.

Funding Notes

UK and EU students who have been resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the project will be considered for an EPSRC DTP studentship. Funding will cover UK/EU tuition fees, maintenance at the UKRI Doctoral Stipend rate (£14,777 per annum, 2018/19 rate) and a training support fee of £1,000 per annum for 3.5 years.

For more information on eligibility, see: View Website.

In addition, we welcome all-year-round applications from self-funded candidates and candidates who can source their own funding.


Previous work on alkali vapour interactions in cavities, Saunders et al. PRL 116, 090501 (2016); PRA 93, 013858 (2016) and in fibres, Kaczmarek et al. Opt. Lett. 40.23 5582 (2015), Sprague et al. Nat. Phot. 287 8 (2014).

How good is research at University of Bath in Physics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 23.00

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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