Computer simulation to optimise the development and deployment of quantum sensors

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Sch of Physics & Astronomy


Computer modelling and optimisation is crucial for the development and deployment of new high-technology devices, prototypes and products. It is particularly important for accelerating the production and early adoption of quantum sensors for two reasons. Firstly, making the sensors will require the miniaturisation, integration, and power reduction of many supply-chain components, including atom sources and traps, lasers and optical devices, and ultra-high vacuum systems. Secondly, in order to build markets for the sensors, the advantages that they offer, and the best way to use them, need to be determined and quantified.
This project will involve the development of computer simulation software, both bespoke using sophisticated inverse methods and Multiphysics modelling using COMSOL packages, to overcome three challenges in the development of real-world quantum technologies:
- The development of miniature, integrated, low-power components suitable for scalable manufacture
- Using inverse methods to understand how best to deploy quantum sensors of gravity for underground mapping
- Quantifying the benefits of using thermal atom sensors in Magnetoencephalography (MEG) systems and designing components for such systems
The student may choose to consider all three of these topics, and transfer techniques between them, or specialise in one of them as the project proceeds. Collaboration with industry will be an integral part of the PhD research, which will build on existing projects with British Geological Survey, e2v, National Physical Laboratory and RSK as well as open new industry partnerships. Although based at the University of Nottingham, the student will spend periods working with experts on the simulation of quantum sensors and components at the University of Sussex and will also be encouraged to collaborate with other partner institutions.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513167/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
2123484 Studentship EP/R513167/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2022 Peter James Hobson