MRes Cold Atoms

Lead Research Organisation: University of Liverpool
Department Name: Physics


Atom interferometry promises a wide range of applications including detecting gravitational anomalies and use in highly accurate and compact gyroscopes, with the use of matter waves allowing short de Broglie wavelengths and access to unparalleled accuracies. Atom Interferometers, of which only a handful exist in the world, are a part of a growing 'Quantum Technology' industry.
The project will explore the development and prototyping of multiple enabling components towards quantum sensors. This includes lowering costs, improving robustness and performance. These include Control electronics for low noise measurements utilising MMPCs, DAQ, & Vibration isolation - for the compensation of external forces. The outputs although generic, will be tested against a low-cost atom interferometer developed at Liverpool [1], to establish a testing environment for sensor applications, and the measurements of General Relativity effects.
The components will be developed within the first years of the project minimising the risk for future technological developments. and include work for further development of a 'plug & play' FPGA control, allowing for long term automation. Detection systems based on MPPC will allow for single photon counting and improved fidelity of experiments. Thus, enabling beyond the state of the art, and will be complimentary to that moving forward in the hub.
Upon completion, the above components will be tested in the atom-interferometer developed at Liverpool, with measurements will be taken over an extended period. The long-term integration of data over a period of months, allows systematic and time dependent drifts to be investigated.
This will be combined with a scheme of Zero Dead Time Inertial Measurements. Where a continuous velocity measurement will be implemented using two alternating interferometers will be interleaved. Thus, the differential phase of the first interferometer sequence are shared by both interferometers, forming the basis for a continuous acceleration measurement.
The developments will allow three corner hat measurements to be performed against a military grade inertial system and will include position accuracy tests relative to a high precision DGPS reference both available in the department of Electronic Engineering and Electronics at Liverpool.

[1] O. Burrow, et al., ( - submitted to JINST.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509590/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1965731 Studentship EP/N509590/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021 Jack Ringwood