Research at CCM focuses on the control and understanding of elementary quantum systems using the techniques of atomic and laser physics.
Quantum information processing
Experimental realisation of quantum logic is a blossoming area of physics with the potential to revolutionise computation. At CCM we are building integrated circuits for the controlled manipulation of trapped ultracold neutral atoms. Quantum logic operations using these atom chips could form the basis of a quantum computer.
For more information about our experiments in this area, see cold atoms 1 and cold atoms 2.
Bose-Einstein Condensation (BEC)
The 2001 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded for achieving BEC in cold trapped atoms. It is an important new tool for investigating quantum behaviour on a macroscopic scale. CCM is one of only two labs in the UK to have made BECs. We are investigating the basic physics of BECs and how to control them in traps waveguides and chips.
Time reversal symmetry (T)
Looking for violations of time reversal symmetry is one of the most powerful ways to find physics beyond the standard model. At CCM we are making one of the worldís most sensitive tests of time reversal symmetry using quantum interference in a molecular beam.
The quantum wave nature of cold atoms allows them to be manipulated in novel ways, which are being used to create new instruments of spectacular sensitivity. At CCM we have made mirrors, waveguides, diffraction gratings and conveyor belts for cold atoms. We are now developing coherent transporters and beam splitters as the building blocks for a microscopic atom interferometer.
Cooling, trapping and Bose-condensing molecular vapours is a major new frontier of low temperature physics, chemistry and biology. At CCM we are developing cold molecule sources by two complementary techniques. (i) The photoassociation of trapped cold atoms and (ii) the deceleration and trapping of molecules cooled in a supersonic beam.
Cavity Quantum Electrodynamics (QED)
Quantum theory is being sensitively probed and developed through studies of single atoms interacting with single photons trapped in a high-finesse cavity.