SUSSP71 - Frontiers in Quantum Dynamics and Quantum Optics

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Physics


The last 25 years have seen a shift in the emphasis of fundamental quantum physics theory and experiments, from simply generating and measuring quantum systems towards the purposeful control and manipulation of their dynamics. One main driver for this has been the rapidly-developing field of quantum information. An example is quantum key distribution, which during this period has changed from a proof of principle laboratory-based science into a set of security products for the information exchange market. The use of quantum systems for information processing is a greater challenge and is at an earlier stage. It is likely that quantum information processing, due to the multi-parallel nature of information in entangled quantum systems, can be much more efficient than classical computation for certain problems.

The key to success in this area is the control of quantum dynamics, either through suppression of unwanted decoherent dynamics, or encouragement of particular driven dynamics. The technology in the first instance will be based on photons and atoms - the realm of quantum optics. The School is based on training needs in these areas of science and technology, and will provide attendees (postgraduate students or junior postdoctoral researchers) with an intensive 12 day training programme, including formal lectures, problem and discussion classes and poster sessions.

The School is being organised under the umbrella of Scottish Universities Summer Schools in Physics (SUSSP), established in 1960 by the four ancient Scottish Universities to contribute to the dissemination of advanced knowledge (in Physics) and the formation of contacts among scientists from different countries through a series of annual summer schools of the highest international standard.

Planned Impact

Impact of the School falls under two broad categories, economic and academic.

The economic impact associated with a Summer School of this type would normally be mid-to-long-term in nature. However, the new QT Hubs may significantly change this view. Many of the associated projects promise prototype working devices, with some pushing possible close-to-market applications. This key area of science underpins a growing UK industry sector. Many of the industry giants have a watching brief in the area, and have sited quantum labs in the UK. Evidence for this is seen by the large number of companies associated with each of the new QT Hubs. If future growth in the sector materialises, others will follow. As many of the attendees will either be associated with the QT hubs, or will go on to work in UK industry the economic impact of the School, although difficult to measure directly, could be large.

The School is of course primarily training- not research-based and this must be borne in mind in any assessment of likely academic impact. Notwithstanding this there will be poster sessions at which participants can exhibit their research, and the school will also provide an environment in which researchers from diverse backgrounds may interact and compare ideas. However, the main impact expected here is that generated simply when any relatively large group of researchers meet - new ideas and research partnerships will be forged during the two weeks of the school. The encouraged attendance of the lecturers for a large part of the school will facilitate this.


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