Researching quantum technologies, dynamics & control
Want to work with us…? Please let us know if you’re interested in any of the projects listed here, or have project suggestions of your own that might be suitable for the femtolabs – we’re always open to scientific discussion, new ideas and new collaborations. The projects listed here are currently ongoing @femtolabs, or are open/suggested projects based on our expertise, capabilities and current research directions. Projects are generally targeted at a 4-6 month timescale, and can be tailored towards students or post-docs.
Heterogeneous computing, holds many opportunities for simulation and data analysis applications in the physical sciences. On the desktop, massively parallel calculations are now possible with the use of GPUs. We are currently exploring the capabilities of Nvidia’s CUDA platform on multi-GPU machines, and application to new and existing applications. This project is closely related to our AR/VR project.
The image above shows AntonJr, a dual-CPU (Xeon E5-2680), triple-GPU (GeForce 1080Ti), water-cooled machine.
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 →
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).
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.
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:
Metrology and control with rotational wavepackets.
Metrology and control with shaped laser pulses.
Quantum dynamics probed via photoionization interferometry.
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.
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.