PhoQuS@UW: Fostering Excellence in Photonics and Quantum Science

European Commission, 7th Framework Programme
Contract: Grant agreement 312609

Project type: Research & Organizational Project

Affiliation: Institute of Geophysics, Information Optics Department

Project realisation: Nov. 1, 2012 - Nov. 30, 2016

The PhoQuS@UW (Fostering excellence in photonics and quantum science) project was initiated to enhance the research potential of the Faculty of Physics UW. For four years, physicists at the Faculty intensified collaborations with industry and inspired interest among young researchers in the science of light.

The optical world had long offered physicists at UW’s Faculty of Physics the perfect playground for studying the consequences of manipulating matter at the level of single atoms or ions. Importantly, they have made tremendous progress in the manipulation of light at the most fundamental level. The knowledge accumulated about how the optical world works at the quantum level can facilitate technological breakthroughs.

From lasers and imaging techniques to quantum computers, the ability to coherently control matter at the atomic level is expected to have an impact on all aspects of our daily life in the 21st century. With the resources of PhoQuS@UW, the University recruited experienced physicists with internationally recognized research.

Furthermore, scientific equipment was upgraded for the Faculty to be recognized as a valuable partner in national and European research and development projects. Part of the EU funding was used to co-organize conferences, sessions at scientific conferences, and workshops to share the latest discoveries with the international community. The high-quality research carried out is confirmed by numerous publications in prestigious journals.

Thanks to the PhoQuS@UW research staff exchange program, the Faculty of Physics UW was able to strengthen collaborations with leading European research centers. Now better integrated into the European Research Area (ERA), it will contribute to Europe’s high-tech industry.

The impact is already visible. A holographic atomic memory, a device able to generate groups of photons on demand as well as store, process, and read them, has been developed at UW. Secure, high-speed quantum communication is among the possible applications of the new source of single photons.