All posts by Maarten

Dr Maarten Hoogerland is the group leader of the Quantum Information Laboratory at the University of Auckland

Marsden grant!

Photons on demand: dial up your number

Our group has been awarded a Marsden grant starting in 2022, totalling $921k over three years. Summary:

Optical quantum technologies are poised to revolutionise communication, computing, and metrology. Access to light sources that deterministically provide a precisely known number of photons (light quanta), or more generally light of a prescribed, uniquely quantum mechanical nature, is key to unlocking the full potential of these technologies. We will build such a source that consists of a single atom trapped near the surface of a piece of optical fibre that has been tapered to a width of just a few hundred nanometres, less than one per cent of the thickness of a human hair. The source works by using the quantum mechanical properties of absorption and emission of light by an atom and utilises the nanometre-size fibre to efficiently capture the quantum light emitted by the atom and then guide this light into regular telecommunication fibre. This light source will be truly quantum in nature and will yield large benefits to the quantum technology industry.

Bose(-Einstein) Condensate paper published

Since the realisation by Bose and Einstein in 1924 that the quantum ground state of a system is special in many ways, researchers have worked towards creating a quantum system with many particles occupying that ground state, now called a Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC), with the first successful demonstration in 1995.

Here, we argue that BECs can be formed in non-ground states as we recently demonstrated and that the laboratory ground state does not have zero kinetic energy, as asserted by Einstein in 1925. We show that some naïve transformations in the literature have mistakenly supported the zero-kinetic energy ground state argument.

With this paper, we clarify the necessary conditions for a Bose condensate and pave the way for future experiments with non-ground state condensates.

The paper can be found here:

“A Bose-Einstein condensate is a Bose condensate in the laboratory ground state” published online and to appear in the October print issue with Proceedings of the Royal Society A. 477, p.20210465 doi: 10.1098/rspa.2021.0465