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The universe in an atom: atoms as quantum sensors for fundamental physics

27 March 2023 19.30 - 20.45
Add to Calendar27/03/2023 19:3027/03/2023 20:45UTCThe universe in an atom: atoms as quantum sensors for fundamental physics HallfalseDD/MM/YYYY15Jesus Collegeevent_11958confirmed
Frankopan Hall

While practical quantum computers, with their fascinating future possibilities, remain quite a distance away in the future, quantum sensors are a reality today. Yet quantum sensors are probably the least discussed part of quantum technologies.

In particular, the humble atom is nature's most powerful quantum sensor and its unparalleled precision has been harnessed for decades in atomic clocks to literally define our time. However, in order to achieve this timing precision, physicists have to shield the atoms from all unwanted external influences such as magnetic fields.

But what about influences we cannot shield against - for instance, gravity or dark matter?

In this talk for the Cambridge Festival, Professor of Many-Body Physics Ulrich Schneider will explain how we can turn this apparent limitation into a new tool to explore the universe and fundamental physics.

Ulrich will discuss what makes atoms so powerful as quantum sensors before taking a quick tour of the history of atoms as quantum sensors. He will then take a closer look at current plans to build large-scale atom interferometers sensitive enough to detect gravitational waves, hunt for dark matter, and look for unknown physics.

Online and in person.

Tickets are available on our Eventbrite.