Quantum Technology for a Networked World: Clocks, GPS and all That

Date/Time: Fri.1st Fabruary 2013 / 14:00- - ()

Speaker: Sir Peter Knight (Principal of the Kavli Royal Society International Centre, and Imperial College, London)

The 21st Century has seen the emergence of a networked world, connected by global fibre-optic communications and mobile phones, with geo-location provided through GPS, and all this has changed our lives more dramatically than at any time since the industrial revolution. Quantum-enabled technology is at the heart of this change. I will describe how communications depend on lasers that are shot noise limited, geo-located and synchronized by atomic clocks that depend on atomic coherence. New developments in quantum technology, and in particular miniature atomic clocks that utilize concepts such as coherent population trapping have the potential for even more dramatic applications. Some of these include comms systems immune to GPS jamming (of real importance for global security), as well as quantum sensors for medical applications (including cardiography, neurophysiology, etc), sensitive magnetometry, gyros, and geophysical surveying. I will describe the basic quantum phenomena being exploited as well as prospects for exploitation.