Research course

Cold atoms for quantum technology

Open University · School of Physical Sciences

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 in physics or related subject

Months of entry

October, February

Course content

Our research focuses on the study of interactions between cold Rydberg atoms. The main motivation is the understanding of interacting many-body dynamics and multi-particle entanglement. Strongly interacting cold atoms have applications in Quantum technologies, and we have ongoing projects on DQC1 – deterministic quantum computation with one clean qubit – (computation based on mixed-states) and we will soon start feasibility studies on the potential implementation of quantum enhanced sensing based on cold atoms in microscopic dipole traps. Rydberg-Rydberg interactions can be also applied to the simulation of condensed matter systems where electron-phonon interactions are of particular importance. Such systems are not amenable to simulation by classical computers, but promising advances in cold-atoms quantum simulators may provide a pathway to better understanding of, for example, exotic superconductors in which the electron-phonon interaction plays a key role.

Potential research projects

We welcome enquiries from prospective students in the following areas:

  • Controlled Raman rotations on a mixed (or not) mesoscopic ensemble, using a scheme based on Rydberg Rydberg interactions and electromagnetically induced transparency to demonstrate controlled rotation of the qubits in a partially mixed ensemble.

Projects currently on offer may be found here.

Current/recent research projects

  • Experimental implementation of DQC1 “testing the power of discord”

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
variable months
full time
36 months
part time
72 months

Course contact details

Administrative support
+44 (0)1908 659036