Postgraduate research project

Momentum-state quantum computer

Competition funded View fees and funding
Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
2:1 honours degree
View full entry requirements
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Closing date

About the project

The University of Southampton is expanding its PhD research in the area of Quantum Technology Engineering. In addition to the research project outlined below you will receive substantial training in scientific, technical, and commercial skills.

The interactions between cold quasi-2-level atoms and the optical field of counter-propagating laser beams allow a new type of quantum computer based upon the ladder of momentum states that the atoms can occupy and their representation as binary numbers. As a computational device, this quantum computer would be terrible, for its size scales exponentially with the number of qubits. However, all information has a physical manifestation, and the value of the momentum-state quantum computer is that it allows complex physical manipulations to be designed from simple operations – for example, the combination of individual laser pulses into complex sequences that cool an atomic cloud by halving each atom’s velocity.

In this project, you’ll demonstrate the momentum state quantum computer for the first time and characterize it experimentally, by combining a new laser system for higher intensities with optimal control pulses designed to maintain fidelity throughout the pulse sequence. In doing so, you’ll develop skills and expertise in quantum technologies, atomic and laser physics, photonics, imaging, digital modelling, control and instrumentation.