Quantum Random Number Generation

Quantum Random Number Generation

Every day we send almost 300 billion emails, and create 2.5 quintillion (2.5×1018) bytes of data. Much of this information we would readily share with others; still more is garbage, but what about the rest? Digital communications are prevalent in a many aspects of modern life where security is paramount: banking, government, commerce, national defense….

Securely sharing information is a critical challenge for modern information systems. Random numbers, random bit strings of 0’s and 1’s, are at the core of most cryptography protocols. For example, in public—private key exchange, random numbers are used to generate encryption keys. Unfortunately, random numbers are notoriously difficult to generate. In fact, most of the encryption protocols in use today rely on numbers generated using computer algorithms and are therefore pseudo-random, making them potentially vulnerable to hacking. Continue reading

Trans jacket inscription of FBGs

Trans jacket inscription of FBGs

Using pulses from the 30fs amplified laser system in the femtolabs, and fibre writing equipment from the Fibre Photonics lab, this project focusses on developing methods for inscription of Fibre Bragg Gratings (FBGs) through the polyimide fibre cover. Through the use of short focal length acylindrical optics, the laser spot-size on the cover is much larger than in the core. This along with the very short pulses allows us to work in a regime where we can still write strong gratings through multiphoton dielectric modification, without damaging the cover (through two photon absorption).

Direct Ion Detection & Detector Technology Development

Direct Ion Detection & Detector Technology Development

Our VIRP chamber (for rapid vacuum instrument prototyping), is designed to perform experiments with new detector technologies, and provide a route to optimising the methodologies and technologies. Early work has been based around novel scintillators recently developed in Oxford [1,2], and also involved trialling the PImMS camera (for 3D ion imaging) for ultrafast pump-probe experiments [3] – see our blog for further information. New project work will continue to build in these directions.

[1] A new detector for mass spectrometry: Direct detection of low energy ions using a multi-pixel photon counter
Edward S. Wilman, Sara H. Gardiner, Andrei Nomerotski, Renato Turchetta, Mark Brouard and Claire Vallance
Rev. Sci. Instrum. 83, 013304 (2012).

[2] Improved direct detection of low-energy ions using a multipixel photon counter coupled with a novel scintillator
Winter, King, Brouard & Vallance
International Journal of Mass Spectrometry, 397–398, 27–31 (2016)

[3] Time-resolved multi-mass ion imaging: femtosecond UV-VUV pump-probe spectroscopy with the PImMS camera
Ruaridh ForbesVarun MakhijaKévin VeyrinasAlbert StolowJason W. L. LeeMichael BurtMark BrouardClaire VallanceIain WilkinsonRune LaustenPaul Hockett
arXiv 1702.00744 (2017)The Journal of Chemical Physics 147, 013911 (2017), DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4978923

 

 

Intense light-matter interactions for source development

Intense light-matter interactions for source development

Novel wave-mixing techniques can be used for the generation of ultrashort pulses in the VUV (<200nm) region of the spectrum.  This project will investigate the development of new light sources, based on our existing expertise and capabilities at 5th and 6th harmonic generation. These processes make use of a high-power 800nm femtosecond laser on the back-end, and involve multiple stages of non-linear wave-mixing in crystals and gases. The generation of tunable VUV is of particular interest.

For more on our work with VUV so far, see:
Time-resolved multi-mass ion imaging: femtosecond UV-VUV pump-probe spectroscopy with the PImMS camera
Ruaridh ForbesVarun MakhijaKévin VeyrinasAlbert StolowJason W. L. LeeMichael BurtMark BrouardClaire VallanceIain WilkinsonRune LaustenPaul Hockett
arXiv 1702.00744 (2017)The Journal of Chemical Physics 147, 013911 (2017), DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4978923

 

Photoionization Interferometry & Metrology

Photoionization Interferometry & Metrology

Photoionization is a complex quantum mechanical process, with a range of interfering channels playing a role in even the simplest case. For problems in quantum metrology and sensing, a detailed understanding of the process is desirable for accurate measurements; quantum control is also a possible outcome of such understanding. New research in this area will build on recent cutting-edge work at NRC (see below), which probed the fundamental quantum physics of photoionization in atoms and molecules, and metrology work which demonstrated the retrieval of electron wavefunctions via interferometric time-domain measurements.

Four areas of photoionization interferometry are the target of current research:

  1. Metrology and control with rotational wavepackets.
  2. Metrology and control with shaped laser pulses.
  3. Quantum dynamics probed via photoionization interferometry.
  4. Fundamental properties of photoion and photoelectron coherence.

Depending on interests and experience, project work will be in one (or more) of these areas.

An introduction to this topic, and recent work, can be found in Paul’s DAMOP 2017 talk Phase-sensitive Photoelectron Metrology (below), and via our blog.

Phase-sensitive Photoelectron Metrology – Dr. P. Hockett, presentation at DAMOP 2017 from femtolab.ca on Vimeo.

Augmented and Virtual Reality for Data Visualization & Research Applications

Augmented and Virtual Reality for Data Visualization & Research Applications

Recent developments in AR & VR hardware have resulted in a range of nascent commercial products, e.g. the Microsoft Hololens and DAQRI smart helmet (augmented reality), Occulus Rift and HTC Vive (virtual reality).  Laboratory use is an obvious application of current tether-free AR technology, which could enable new experimental methodologies as well as offer basic procedural, efficiency, training and health and safety benefits.  VR technology, which typically requires tethering to a high-performance PC, provides a complementary platform, more suited to fully immersive computational uses such as multi-dimensional data visualization and big data applications.

Early work with the Hololens, investigating 3D visualization and basic lab usage, has already begun in the group; this project would further work to explore and develop these capabilities.