Quantum Optics at the University of Calgary

Quantum Optics, which concerns the interaction between light and matter, is remarkably vast in its scope: testing the foundations of quantum physics to performing ultra-precise measurements; creating and probing the simplest possible quantum systems to producing amazing effects in large collective systems; and determining the constants of nature to creating quantum computers. Quantum optics is a close collaboration between theory and experiment, and its impact is acknowledged by Nobel prizes for quantum optics in 1997, 2001, and 2005.

The Quantum Optics faculty at the University of Calgary is ideally balanced: three experimentalists and three theorists, with leading research in spectroscopy, cold atoms, quantum technology, nonlinear optics, and quantum information science. With forty students and postdoctoral researchers in quantum optics, quantum optics in Calgary is diverse and dynamic - and always has openings for top students.

The University of Calgary is also home to the Institute for Quantum Information Science (IQIS) which is a multidisciplinary group of researchers from the areas of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Physics. Many members of the quantum optics group are closely linked to this institute and perform research on quantum optical realizations of quantum information. More information on IQIS can be found at http://www.iqis.org.

Research Activities in Calgary

Our group members perform research in

Ultracold Atoms and Condensed Matter Theory  
Vortices in a Bose-Einstein condensate
Dr. David Feder
Ultracold atomic gases enable us to study completely new states of matter which only exist at temperatures extremely close to absolute zero. These systems are well isolated from their environment and are therefore perfectly suited to explore novel phenomena in quantum matter and to enable quantum information science. We are studying the superfluid behavior and strong correlation properties of ultracold atoms and exploring several approaches to realize quantum computing, including graph states of atoms in lattices created by light, atomic vortices, and matter states with fractional statistics.
For more information contact David Feder ()
Quantum Information Technology with Light and Experimental Quantum Optics  
Lasers in the quantum optics lab
Dr. Alex Lvovsky
Photons make an excellent candidate as carriers of quantum information. One can build an entire quantum information processor by means of single-photon sources, detectors, and simple linear optical elements such as mirrors and beam splitters. Our group's effort is concentrated on implementing light for the purposes of quantum information technology - that is, learning to synthesize, control, characterize and store arbitrary quantum states of the electromagnetic field. We are a young, international, well-equipped experimental group working at the very forefront of experimental quantum information science.
For more information visit http://qis.ucalgary.ca/quantech/
Theoretical Quantum Optics and Nonlinear Optics  
Proposal for large photon-photon interaction
Dr. Peter Marzlin
Atom-light interaction touches most fundamental aspects of quantum mechanics; many-particle effects in dense atomic gases, the nature of quantum states of light, and even relativity are relevant to understand it. Despite this conceptual depth it is also very close to experiments. We investigate novel effects in this interaction for use in quantum information processing; stopping of light or strong interaction between two photons may be used to realize a quantum memory or controlled quantum gates, respectively. We study the use of electromagnetically induced transparency, atom-atom correlations, and dielectric media for this goal and are also considering problems in relativistic quantum information theory.
For more information visit http://qis.ucalgary.ca/~pmarzlin/
Laser Spectroscopy  
Spectroscopy lab in Calgary
Dr. Nasser Moazzen-Ahmadi
The spectrum of molecules and atoms can often be measured with unparalleled precision and has universal features which are valid everywhere in our galaxy. We exploit this to study the formation of complex polyatomic molecules in space and the energy flow among different parts of a molecule. We generally are focused on three areas: spectroscopy of transient molecules, spectroscopy of molecular bending at the Canadian Light Source in Saskatoon (www.lightsource.ca), and the intramolecular energy flow in molecules such as ethane using high resolution vibration-rotation spectra.
For more information visit http://qis.ucalgary.ca/~nahmadi/
Quantum Information Science  
Animation of quantum cryptography
Dr. Barry Sanders FInstP FOSA FAIP, iCORE Professor of Quantum Information Science
Quantum information science is revolutionizing the principles of information, communication, and computation. Our efforts are focused on studies of quantum information resources (such as entanglement and measurements), tasks (such as quantum teleportation, cryptography, and fingerprinting), and implementations (such as photon-based realizations), and our goal is to make quantum information work in the real world.
For more information visit http://qis.ucalgary.ca/~bsanders/
Ion Trapping and Low Density Systems  
Ion trap in Calgary
Dr. Robert I. Thompson
Ion traps allow long-term storage of isolated ions and thus they provide the perfect system for the study of isolated quantum systems and a strong candidate to enable quantum computation.  We study mixtures of ionic species stored in a Paul-type ion trap and focus on sympathetic cooling, mass spectrometry, and studies on the gas-phase reactivity of ions. Our activities include laser cooling, spectroscopy of ions, and low-energy collisions. We also participate in international collaborations, such as the TITAN ion trapping system for the study of stable and unstable ionic isotopes, based at the TRIUMF National laboratory (www.triumf.ca/titan/).
For more information visit http://phas.ucalgary.ca/~thompson/
Quantum Cryptography and Communication  
Quantum teleportation in Geneva,
Dr. Tittel’s former place of work
Dr. Wolfgang Tittel, iCORE Industrial Research Chair
Photons and atoms are key constituents for long distance quantum commu­nication and quantum networks. Our group’s effort focuses on the building of photon-based quantum cryptography systems through optical fibres, and targets the development of a quantum repeater to extend quantum crypto-graphy past its current distance limit. This includes developing novel techniques for rendering photonic quantum communication primitives such as quantum teleportation practical, plus hitherto unrealized means for efficient and reversible transfer of quantum information between photons and atoms for temporal storage.
For more information contact wtittel@qis.ucalgary.ca.
Theoretical quantum optics and quantum information  
Solid state quantum memory
Dr. Christoph Simon
Quantum optical systems are ideally suited both for testing the fundamental principles of quantum physics and for applications in quantum information science. Our research is situated at the intersection of these two areas. We are interested in trying to extend the range of entanglement to intercontinental distances using quantum repeaters, including the development of new ideas on how to realize highly efficient quantum memories and photon-photon interactions. We are also investigating different ways of bringing quantum effects to the macroscopic level, including multi-photon entanglement and quantum opto-mechanical systems. Recent new projects include optical quantum information processing in solids and the implementation of quantum cryptographic tasks other than key distribution.