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Spectrum of hot methane

Spectrum of hot methane in astronomical objects using a comprehensive computed line list

A powerful new model to detect life on planets outside of our solar system, more accurately than ever before, has been developed by researchers from UCL Physics & Astronomy and the University of New South Wales. More...

Published: Jun 18, 2014 4:54:56 PM

Quantum Phase Transitions

"Like melting an entire iceberg with a hot poker" – UCL scientists explore the strange world of quantum phase transitions

“What a curious feeling,” says Alice in Lewis Carroll’s tale, as she shrinks to a fraction of her size, and everything around her suddenly looks totally unfamiliar. Scientists too have to get used to these curious feelings when they examine matter on tiny scales and at low temperatures: all the behaviour we are used to seeing around us is turned on its head. More...

Published: May 13, 2014 4:06:57 PM

Clover leaf by Scott Robinson on Flickr

Quantum mechanics explains efficiency of photosynthesis

Light-gathering macromolecules in plant cells transfer energy by taking advantage of molecular vibrations whose physical descriptions have no equivalents in classical physics, according to the first unambiguous theoretical evidence of quantum effects in photosynthesis published today in the journal Nature Communications. More...

Published: Jan 9, 2014 3:48:33 PM

PhD studentships in Quantum Cavity Optomechanics

The field of optomechanics, in particular the cooling of small mechanical oscillators down to the quantum regime is currently one of the most exciting and rapidly growing areas of physics. This project aims to experimentally reach the quantum regime with optically trapped nanospheres. In addition to the fundamental interest, we seek to make highly sensitive measurements of weak forces at the quantum limit (in other words with a displacement limited only by the width of the ground state of the mechanical oscillator). We are currently exploring cavity cooling of nanoscale polarisable particles in the 100 nm size range which interact strongly with a cavity field, allowing both trapping and cooling by the same field. 

The experimental work will be carried out in the group of Professor Peter Barker at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University College London (UCL). This well resourced group is currently active in cavity optomechanics as well as in cold atoms and molecules research. Further information on the  experimental research and publications can be found here.

This is part of a larger project, which has both experimental and theoretical components at UCL (P. Barker and T. Monteiro).  The theoretical project will be supervised by Prof. T Monteiro and will involve also simulations of cavity optomechanics with cold atoms and Bose-Einstein condensates. We collaborate  with J. Ruostekoski at the University of Southampton and with project-partners at the University of Nuremberg-Erlangen and at Princeton University.

Funding for  PhD stipend and university fees are available for up to 4 years to EU/UK students.

Please contact Professor Peter Barker at P.Barker@ucl.ac.uk  for further information.