Success in first EPSRC New Horizons round
Our project on "Helicity-dependent quantum phases" was selected to be funded under the first ever round of the New Horizons scheme from the EPSRC.
We will explore a new method of trapping and manipulating atoms which could have new applications in areas, including quantum computation. The method is based on interfering laser beams in such a way that a grid appears, made up of areas in which the light has different values of a property known as helicity.
This new type of optical lattice also contains electric and magnetic substructures, which can be used to explore the response of atoms to the rapidly-varying electric and magnetic fields that constitute all light beams.
During the project, they will model these lattices in order to evaluate their experimental feasibility and how they can be generated from realistic laser beams, as well as looking for new phases of quantum matter that may arise among atoms trapped within the lattice.
First published: 23 December 2020