Discipline: 
Physics
Status: 
Available
Level: 
PhD Project
Level: 
Honours Project
Supervisor(s): 
Dr. Simon Haine

 

Unlike electronics, devices based around ultra-cold atoms aren’t strongly coupled to the environment through the electromagnetic interaction, so make an ideal test-bed for tests of coherent quantum mechanics. In particular, for tests that require long-lived quantum coherence of massive objects, ultra-cold atoms live in a unique middle-ground between optical systems, which are weakly coupled to the environment but have zero mass, and micromechanical resonators, which are massive, but suffer from a high-rate of environmental decoherence. This theoretical research programme will focus on developing methods to use atomtronic devices to answer the following questions:

Is there a boundary between microscopic (quantum) and macroscopic (classical)?
Is there a fundamental limit to the production of macroscopic superposition states? Does gravity induce spontaneous state-reduction?

Is there any variation from the Heisenberg uncertainty principle at the Planck scale?