Photon Science Section has its root in the Optics Section (originally called the Optical Design Department which was founded to teach technical optics in 1917).  It has now grown to a world leading centre to investigate science and technology of modern optics and atomic and molecular physics. It hosts large postgraduate training centres in photonics, controlled quantum dynamics and quantum technology.

We conduct applied and fundamental research underlying laser and light-based techniques and develop novel technologies to address real world applications of photonics. Research themes include biophotonics, laser technology and development and optical imaging and electromagnetic theory.

Our research aim is also to explore basic science using lasers, and characterize and control the quantum states and processes of photons, atoms and molecules. The expertise of the Section relevant to this line of research includes free electron lasers, quantum control of cold atoms and molecules, ion traps, quantum optics and information processing theory and quantum dynamics on attosecond timescales.

The research activities of the Photon Science Section are conducted in the Photonics Group (PHOT) and the Quantum Optics and Laser Science Group (QOLS).