Two articles from ITP in first issue ever of QST journal

We are proud that our group has two articles in the first issue ever of the new journal ‘Quantum Science and Technology’:

Picture1Coherent control of quantum systems as a resource theory. – J.M. Matera, D. Egloff, N. Killoran, and M.B. Plenio
Quantum Sci. Technol. 1, 01LT01 (2016)|ArXiv
The gist of it

While controlling a quantum system is a standard task nowadays, we are still far away from developing quantum computers, and one might wonder what is the difference between the two. Qualitatively the difference is that for quantum computing one needs to control quantum systems in a quantum way, using quantum systems instead of directly using the large apparata or (classical) electromagnetical fields that often are enough to control a quantum system directly. In this letter we make this idea precise by building a theory which allows us to quantify the usefulness of controlling a quantum system through a quantum system instead of using a classical one.

 

qstaa2b2ff1_lrRealising a quantum absorption refrigerator with an atom-cavity system. – M. Mitchison, M. Huber, J. Prior, M.P. Woods and M.B. Plenio
Quantum Sci. Technol. 1, 015001 (2016)|ArXiv
licensed under CC BY 3.0
The gist of it

Cooling of atomic motion is an essential precursor for many interesting experiments and technologies, such as quantum computing and simulation using trapped atoms and ions. In most cases, this cooling is performed using lasers to create a kind of light-induced friction force which slows the atoms down. This process is often rather wasteful, because lasers use up a huge amount of energy relative to the tiny size of the atoms we want to cool. Here, we propose to solve this problem using a quantum absorption refrigerator: a machine that is powered only by readily available thermal energy, such as sunlight, as it flows through the device. We describe how to build such a refrigerator, and predict that sunlight could actually be used to cool an atom to nearly absolute zero temperature. The refrigerator works by trapping the sunlight between two mirrors, in such a way that every single photon makes a significant contribution to the friction force slowing the atom down. Similar schemes could eventually be important for reducing the energy cost of cooling in future quantum technologies.


Summer BBQ

Yesterday we had our annual BBQ!
The food was delicious and the company was great!

Thanks to everyone who helped out :)

 

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And a special thanks to our Rock Stars!

Click here if you want to feel like you were there!

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Updated: August 2016

The paper “Ultrasensitive magnetometer using a single atom” was selected as a PRL EDITORS’ SUGGESTION

High-sensitivity magnetometer using a single atom
Ultrasensitive magnetometer using a single atom.
– I. Baumgart, J.M. Cai, A. Retzker, M.B. Plenio and Ch. Wunderlich,
Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 240801 (2016)|ArXiv

The gist of it

The development of highly sensitive methods for the detection of minute fields lies at the heart of quantum metrology and has, over the history of science, led to many discoveries. This motivates the continuous drive towards the development of ever more sensitive metrology methods. Of particular interest in this context are atoms and ions that are trapped in ultra-high vacuum as they can be isolated to a remarkable degree from environmental influences. Still noise will impose limitations and needs to be addressed.

We demonstrate a novel method for sensing magnetic fields and demonstrate that it can achieve the best sensitivity ever realized for a single trapped atomic particle and it can do so over a broad range of frequencies. State-of-the-art magnetometers reach their best sensitivity in a limited frequency-band or do not work at all (for all practical purposes) outside a certain frequency range. The type of magnetometer introduced here could be used to detect fields from direct-current to the gigahertz regime – an unprecedented range of frequencies – using an atom confined to a nanometer-sized region in space. Moreover, the magnetometer is essentially immune against magnetic disturbances and reaches a sensitivity close to the standard quantum limit.

 

Updated: June 2016

Felipe is a Daddy!

Congratulations, Felipe, for the birth of your new born son, Yunus Caycedo!!!

We hope you have a joyful and healthy journey ahead and we are looking forward to Yunus’ first  visit to the institute!

 

Updated: June 2016

Congratulations to Maria for the PhD grant

We would like to congratulate Maria for receiving a PhD grant from La Caixa in Spain!

We are sad that you will be leaving us but wish you Good Luck in this next exciting venture!

 

Updated: June 2016

Table-Tennis tournament

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This April we have celebrated the 1st Table Tennis Tournament of the ITP. It has been an amazing event where many institute members have taken part, either as a participant or as a captivated audience. We had four rounds, each of them full of incredible matches and breathtaking shots that will be remembered forever and ever.

Click here to watch video clip #1

Click here to watch video clip #2

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After three weeks of thrilling expectation Ish Dhand has won the finals, obtaining the certificate of the Absolute Winner, donning the victory crown, and gaining the honorable title of PingPong King! Congratulations again!!!

Given the success of the first edition, we are already planning a Table Tennis League while we wait for the second tournament!

Many thanks to Pelayo for organizing it!

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Updated: May 2016

Faculty Kolloquium and visit to the ITP

We were most happy to welcome Stephanie Wehner (TU Delft) to visit the Institute and deliver the last Faculty Kolloquium of the year 2015. Stephanie presented a very nice and pedagogical talk on the foundations of quantum thermodynamics. She also discussed her recent work on the revision of the concept of Carnot maximal efficiency for quantum thermal machines, which does not only depend on the temperature of the heat reservoirs. These are results in collaboration with Mischa Woods, a former PhD student of the Institute. You can read all details in arXiv:1506.02322

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There was also time for discussions Followed by a hearty Schwabian dinner of Goose and Rotkraut at the Zunfthaus in the Fischerviertel to celebrate the Christmas season.

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Stephanie was lucky with the weather and also brave enough to climb the tower of the Ulmer Münster (768 steps to reach the top) before catching the train home. The Münster is the one of the five tallest structures to be completed last century, with the steeple of almost 162 meters, the tallest church in the world. Below you can see two fantastic pictures she took in her ascent.

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