Quantum Coherence: Joint Proposal for Optimising UK Research Capacity and Capability

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Physics


The defining character of quantum mechanics is coherence / the superposition of correlated states of many particles. Quantum correlated and entangled states lie at the heart of several major areas of physics, especially quantum optics, atomic physics and quantum condensed matter. The ability to control precisely a broad range of systems from ultracold atoms in optical lattices to internal states of molecules to semiconductor nanostructures has led to important breakthroughs in the understanding and potential applications of entanglement. Because the same principles underlie the rich but sometimes impenetrable physics of quantum matter, these advances open a window on challenging problems in materials. The fortunate fertility already evident in condensed matter materials suggests strongly that major benefits will accrue from exerting full quantum control of complex systems. Within this proposal we shall tackle this demanding new challenge. The underlying concepts and technologies of coherent control and manipulation in atomic, molecular and optical physics are now sufficiently established that it is possible to consider the synthesis of designer quantum states of atoms and molecules that can address a number of outstanding problems in condensed matter and optical physics. Furthermore, the ability to build large-scale quantum coherent systems represents such a new capability that we can anticipate new physics, as yet unimagined, as well as new technologies, to emerge. The method of approach will be to increase UK research capacity by the appointment of new faculty and the establishment of state of the art research laboratories and facilities, and the nurturing of collaborative research programs across several institutions. This will be complemented by implementing new training programs at the graduate and postdoctoral researcher level that will be broadly available to the UK community.


10 25 50
Description Led to development of 2d mass spectrometry concept that is now being developed for commercialisation and further science
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Chemicals,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Societal


Description Leadership of the STFC NLS project 2008-2010 that advised on the construction of a UK X-ray free electron laser
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Contribution to a national consultation/review
Description EPSRC
Amount £5,800,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/I032517/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2011 
End 05/2017
Description MBI Berlin 
Organisation Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy; Research Network Berlin
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution An enduring collaboration was established through the subsequent transfer of one of the academics supported by the grant (Prof Mikhail Ivanov) to the Max Born Institute. We continue to work on experiments on topics of mutual interest providing benchmark data for their calculations.
Collaborator Contribution Multiple examples of supporting calculations from their large team of computational and theoretical physicists that has aided in interpretation of our experiments.
Impact Multiple joint publications
Start Year 2011
Description High Harmonic spectroscopy of attosecond electron dynamics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Invited tutorial.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity