School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics

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MPhys student Jack Griffiths receives commendation at prestigious University event

Jack was the recipient of the SAgE faculty commendation for his Summer research work “Metastability in a prototype atomtronic circuit”

Maths, Stats, and Physics MPhys student, Jack Griffiths, was the recipient of the SAgE faculty commendation for his Summer research work “Metastability in a prototype atomtronic circuit” at the University’s prestigious “Celebrating Student Research Scholarships and Expeditions” presentation evening on 4 December.

Atomtronics is an emerging applied field of quantum physics, associated with understanding, harnessing and utilizing for applications, the dynamics of a system of coherent waves of matter in a closed controllable circuit. Its final goal is to deliver on novel quantum technologies with ultracold neutral atoms -- which promise unprecedent precision measurements -- in a manner somewhat analogous, but distinct, to (charged) electronic technologies.

The particular work, supervised by Prof. Nick Proukakis and Dr. Tom Bland, saw Jack create a theoretical model of an experimentally realised, state-of-the-art prototype quantum sensing device with ultracold quantum matter, experimentally studied at the Los Alamos National Laboratory [ C. Ryu, et al. Experimental Realization of Josephson Junctions for an Atom SQUID. Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 20530 (2013) ].

The Atomic QUantum Interference Device (“AQUID” or “atomic SQUID”) is an ultra-sensitive sensor for measuring very small rotations (which could, e.g., be useful in spacecraft or submarines), and is an example of quantum technology in action. Such physics is now being further numerically tested within the Joint Quantum Centre (JQC) Durham-Newcastle, with the aim of interpreting currently unexplained experimental decay seen in such devices, and thus ultimately finding ways to further enhance their sensitivity. Such ongoing research is pivotal in advancing our understanding and use of such quantum technologies.

A photo of Jack Griffiths standing next to his project poster

published on: 17 December 2019