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Quantum Optics and Quantum Foundations

Explore our work in quantum optics and quantum foundations, one of our areas of research expertise in Physics

Our quantum optics and quantum foundations research looks at how photons – individual massless quanta of light – interact with each other as well as massive particles, such as atoms.

Our work uses photons to test many of the counter-intuitive phenomena at the foundation of quantum mechanics. Phenomena such as quantum superposition, quantum interference and entanglement are also fundamental resources in quantum information processing and quantum metrology.

We aim at developing novel quantum optics experiments to analyse quantum optical phenomena and we use them in quantum information processing, and our research is useful in understanding the fundamental quantum nature of our universe and boosting the development of new technologies.

Our research is regularly published in international journals, such as Nature Journals, Physical Review Letters, New Journal of Physics, Physical Review A, Quantum Information Processing, and Optics Express.

Our research covers the following topics

  • Linear and nonlinear optics networks
  • Quantum interference
  • Multiboson correlations and entanglement
  • Quantum optical tests at the interface between quantum mechanics and general relativity
  • Atom-light interactions
  • Quantum dots

Our work also crosses disciplines with atomic physics, complexity theory, general relativity, biology, medicine, artificial intelligence and environmental science.

Methods and facilities

Our work aims at the theoretical study of novel quantum optics processes and their experimental realisation with the latest technologies. 

Along with a supercomputer facility in the ICG, we have a quantum optics lab including lasers, nonlinear crystals, optics and photon detectors, and a time-resolved photoluminescence system.

Collaborations and funders

Recent projects have received funding from the United States Office of Naval Research (ONR), and the United States Army Research Lab (ARL).

We have collaborated with leading scientists across 4 continents, including:

  • Professor Mohammad Hafezi, University of Maryland College Park, U.S
  • Professor Kurt Jacobs, U.S. Army Research Laboratory
  • Professor Michał Karpiński, University of Warsaw, Poland
  • Professor. Y.H. Kim, Pohang University of Science and Technology, South Korea
  • Professor Frank Narducci, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, U.S
  • Professor J.W. Pan, University of Science and Technology of China
  • Professor Ernst Rasel, Leibniz University Hannover Germany
  • Professor Wolfgang P. Schleich, University of Ulm, Germany
  • Professor Shih, University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • Professor A. White, University of Queensland, Australia

Publication highlights

Discover our areas of expertise

Quantum optics and quantum foundations is one of 3 areas of expertise within our Physics research. Explore the others below.

Condensed Matter Physics

We're looking for solutions to issues around energy harvesting, efficiency and storage, medical technologies, security, and the environment. Explore our condensed matter physics research.

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Quantum information and sensing technologies

We're conducting research into new quantum technologies, including applications for high-precision measurements, computing, and secure communication.

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Research centres and groups

Quantum Science and Technology Hub

In our Quantum Science and Technology Hub (QSTH), we're studying quantum science and developing novel quantum technologies.

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Applied Physics Research Group

We're exploring research in quantum information technologies, quantum optics and quantum foundations and applied advanced materials.

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Interested in a PhD in Physics?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Physics postgraduate research degrees page.