Quantum optics explores how light interacts with matter at the submicroscopic levels, by applying the rules and mathematics behind quantum theory and mechanics to photons and light.

Our Quantum Optics Laboratory is used as a teaching space for undergraduate students and by researchers, postgraduates and PhD candidates.

The Lab has more than 30 microscopes and lasers for students to study the details of quantum theory, mechanics and optics, and conduct research experiments such as using quantum interference to measure distance.

The lab also has a Mini Vibrating-sample Magnometer (VSM) used to shake material samples and measure their reactive movement to identify specific magnetic properties.

Students setting up lenses in optics lab

Experiments

    Our Quantum Optics Lab has equipment to run experiments in quantum optics and quantum mechanics such as:

    • Spontaneous parametric down-conversion — splitting one photon into two through a crystal and observing the reaction, a key process in understanding quantum entanglement
    • Single photon interference — testing to see how particles appear when passing through a slit or interference in a laser beam
    • Quantum state measurement — getting a snapshot of specific quantum states and analysing their properties, whether in pure or mixed states
    • Testing the concept of local realism — understanding how particles seem to only be directly influenced by their immediate surroundings, yet can be entangled with apparently unrelated particles

    Where to find us

    Quantum Optics Laboratory

    Burnaby Building

    Burnaby Road
    Portsmouth
    PO1 3QL

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