Center for Controlled Quantum Systems (CCQS)
The Center for Controlled Quantum Systems is a cross-disciplinary research center involving collaborations between multiple research groups focusing on one of the last challenges in research: controlling (and thereby employing for future application) the quantum system. New waves of technologies are normally connected to breakthroughs in research which allowed for greater control of nature and opened up ways to harness the newfound potential. Today's limit of control is mostly based on the quantum mechanical nature, and while physicists have explored quantum mechanical phenomena of quantum systems like atoms, molecules, and the solid state for decades, only a few have tried to control the dynamics of these systems in real time.
One of the main directions of the center is based on optical techniques to control quantum systems. The advent of ultrafast lasers and laser cooling techniques in recent years has finally opened up the possibility of controlling quantum dynamics. This can be achieved using ultrafast femtosecond lasers to either probe the systems on time scales much shorter than the time scale for which quantum mechanical phase coherence is maintained, or by directly manipulating the environmental sources that destroy phase coherence. By contrast, laser cooling and trapping techniques can be used to create systems with temperatures so low and well isolated from their surrounding environment that phase coherence times can be increased by many orders of magnitude. The ability to precisely control the phase and amplitude of laser pulses provides a high degree of customization in their interaction with matter.
The work in this center will contribute to and direct the development of new quantum mechanics-based technologies, such as quantum computers, new types of solid state and interferometric sensors, and light sources with customizable photon statistics and coherence properties. A unique characteristic of this center is the close collaboration between theoretical and experimental groups. This provides the opportunity for students to gain both theoretical and experimental research experience working on the same project.
Core members of the CCQS are professors
Chris P. Search
Professor and Department Director