Guanchen PengStart date: 01-10-2019
Academic department: Physics
Title of research project: Atom interferometry to probe chameleon screened dark energy
Academic supervisor: Professor Ben Sauer
Native country: Beijing, China

How has the scholarship award enabled you to pursue your ambitions? 
This scholarship has enabled me to focus on my research project about fundamental physics free from financial worries, especially in this uncertain pandemic situation. Last year, with the consumable provided by the scholarship, I was able to attend an excellent winter school in Les Houches for 10 days, which has seen many famous physicists trained at their young age since 1951 .

Why did you choose to study at Imperial? 
After finishing my undergraduate in Manchester, I was looking for a master program that can lead to a PhD project. The 1(MRes)+3 (PhD) program at the Centre of Doctoral Training provided by Imperial matches all my expectation. In addition, I really love London.

What have you been up to on the programme so far?
My routine is working with laser cooled atoms. Before being able to measure interesting things of impact, I have to make sure each component in my complicated system working properly. It involves tedious works in tuning lasers, aligning optics, pumping vacuum and getting electronics circuit working. As a student working on quantum metrology, I feel really encouraged by this Schrodinger scholarship scheme when I encountered frustrations. Eventually, at the end of my first year, I obtained a cloud of atoms at 50uK with laser cooling. I felt really excited to actually see my cold atom cloud by my eye, and how they stuck in the laser light to become so cold!