Review paper in ROPP

Posted June 25, 2018 by Andrew Brown

Dr. Gabriele De Chiara has published an authoritative review paper in the journal Reports on Progress in Physics.

The paper, co-authored with Dr. Anna Sanpera of Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, surveys the latest developments in the field of quantum correlations, including entanglement, non-locality and discord in the analysis of many-body systems.

This is a rich and extremely active field encompassing topics from condensed matter physics to quantum information theory.

Reports on Progress in Physics publishes review articles covering all branches of physics, written by invited authors who are worldwide experts in their field.

CTAMOP researcher wins prestigious Springer Thesis Prize

Posted by Andrew Brown

Ricardo Puebla Congratulations to CTAMOP post-doc, Ricardo Puebla, who has been awarded a Springer Prize for his PhD thesis.

Springer Theses collects the “best of the best” PhD theses in Physics and Chemistry from around the world. Top-ranked research institutes select their best thesis annually for publication in this series. Nominated and endorsed by two recognized specialists, each thesis is chosen for its scientific excellence and impact on research.

Completed under the supervision of Martin Plenio at the University of Ulm, Ricardo’s PhD research focused on understanding how the well-established equilibrium properties of phase transitions can be extended into a nonequilibrium scenario, going beyond the celebrated Kibble-Zurek mechanism of defect formation.

Ricardo is currently undertaking a research project in the realm of open quantum systems funded by the DfE-SFI investigator programme, which involves disparate aspects of light-matter interacting systems, quantum simulation and quantum information processing.

New PRL on positronium interactions with atoms

Posted June 12, 2018 by Andrew Brown

Positronium (Ps) is a light ‘atom’ that consists of an electron and its antiparticle (positron). This simplest matter-antimatter system is of fundamental importance for testing quantum electrodynamics, and is widely used in condensed matter for probing voids and free space, and as a precursor for making antihydrogen at CERN. In spite of its importance, the interaction and collisions of low-energy Ps with normal matter, e.g., atoms or molecules, are not fully understood. Theoretically, the problem is made challenging by the effect of structure of both the projectile and target.

In their latest paper Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 183402 Dermot Green, Andrew Swann and Gleb Gribakin from the CTAMOP Antimatter and Atomic Many-body Theory Group present a new first-principles theoretical approach to describe Ps interactions with noble-gas atoms, which takes account of the distortion of the Ps and the atom during their interaction. Notably, they demonstrate that their approach gives the best agreement with experiment for the pick-off annihilation rate (where the positron from positronium annihilates with one of the atomic electrons), resolving a long-standing discrepancy between theory and experiment.

New Journal of Physics: 2017 Reviewer Award to CTAMOP member

Posted June 5, 2018 by Andrew Brown

Gabriele De Chiara has been awarded for the second year in a row the title of “Outstanding Reviewer” in 2017 for New Journal of Physics published by the Institute of Physics (IOP).

A full list of the awards can be found here.

“IOP is proud to recognize excellence in reviewing, and each year the journal editorial teams select the best reviewers of the year based on the quality, quantity and timeliness of their reviews.”

Editorial Role for CTAMOP Member

Posted April 3, 2018 by Andrew Brown

Prof. Mauro Paternostro has been appointed Editorial Board Member of the Springer journal EPJ Quantum Technology

The journal covers theoretical and experimental advances in subjects spanning the whole breadth of quantum technologies. Prof. Kai Bongs (University of Birmingham) has recently taken over the founding editor Prof. Gerard Milburn (University of Queensland) to lead the journal towards its consolidation as an attractive and authoritative stage for research outputs in the filed of quantum technology.

Mauro’s appointment is a token of the role that the Quantum technology Group at Queen’s is playing in the arena of quantum information processing and quantum technology.

Project TEQ funded by EC

Posted February 15, 2018 by Andrew Brown

A consortium involving CTAMOP researchers has been awarded nearly £4m in funding to test the quantum-superposition principle.

The consortium comprises researchers from CTAMOP, the University of Southampton, University College London, photonics technology company M Squared, and the University of Trieste and has been awarded €4.4m (£3.9m) from the European Commission.

The full story can be found here

New Postgraduate Project Available

Posted November 24, 2017 by Ian Stewart

A new project proposal for PhD study in the Centre for Theoretical Atomic Molecular and Optical Physics (CTAMOP) have now been made available through the centre’s website. The closing date is 15th December 2017.

Full details of the project can be found in the postgraduate studies section of the website and from there applications can be submitted online. We are happy to receive applications from all interested parties.

If you would like to discuss a project with a potential supervisor, contact details can be found in the project descriptions. For general queries about PhD study, please contact Prof. Mauro Paternostro.

Two new Doctors from CTAMOP

Posted November 20, 2017 by Andrew Brown

Two CTAMOP PhD students have successfully navigated their PhD vivas.

Michael Turkington, who has been working with Connor Ballance on heavy species R-matrix calculations in support of fusion diagnostics defended his thesis on 30th October. Dr. Martin O’Mullane from the University of Strathclyde was the external examiner.

Ruari McCloskey returned to the department from his job at Allstate insurance on 17th November to defend his thesis on dynamic and logical irreversibility in open quantum systems. Ruari was co-supervised by Mauro Paternostro, Alessandro Ferraro, and Gabriele De Chiara, and was examined by Dr. Bassano Vacchini from Milan University.

Congratulations to both Michael and Ruari and their supervisory teams.

Back-to-back(!) PRLs for CTAMOP researcher Dermot Green

Posted by Andrew Brown

Two papers from EPSRC Fellow and CTAMOP member Dermot Green have appeared back-to-back in the highly prestigious pages of Physical Review Letters.

The papers Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 203403 (2017) and Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 203404 (2017) describe the processes of positron cooling and annihilation in room-temperature noble gases, simulated using accurate positron-atom data calculated with the many-body theory developed by the Antimatter and Atomic Many-Body Theory Group at QUB.

The work has enabled the first simultaneous probing of the energy dependence of the positron scattering cross sections, annihilation rates and annihilation gamma spectra, has yielded the best description of long-standing experimental results to date, and has resolved outstanding “puzzles” in the field: e.g., establishing that the significant discrepancy between gas-cell and trap-based measurements of the “thermal” positron annihilation rate in Xenon is a result of the rapid annihilation of low-energy positrons leading to a quasi-steady-state positron momentum distribution that differs from the Maxwell-Boltzmann one.

John Bell Lecture 2017

Posted October 26, 2017 by Andrew Brown

John Bell Day 2017 will take place on Monday 6th November. The anniversary of the publication of Bell’s ground breaking theorem is marked by a public lecture, which is hosted this year by the Chief Executives’ Club at Queen’s and the Royal Irish Academy. The event will take place at Riddel Hall, Queen’s University Belfast, on Monday 6 November 2017, from 5.30pm.

The guest speaker will be Professor Antonio Acín, Group Leader of Quantum Information Theory, at the Institute of Photonic Sciences, based in Barcelona. He will explore the impact from John Stewart Bell’s work and the advances now being made in quantum computing, in an address entitled: ‘Quantum Information and Communication: The Legacy of John Bell’.

John Stewart Bell, a Belfast scientist and Queen’s graduate, who worked at CERN, made one of the most profound discoveries of science. ‘Bell’s Theorem’ resolved a decades old dispute involving Albert Einstein and showed that Einstein’s views on quantum mechanics were incorrect. Bell’s work laid the foundation for quantum information technology which will revolutionise the world of computing, particularly in the areas of financial services and cyber security.

As information devices, such as smart phones become smaller and smaller, Professor Acín and his team are working at the cutting edge of Quantum Information Theory to explore the possibilities and limitations that Quantum Physics may offer for future developments.

Professor Sally Wheeler, interim Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at Queen’s and Senior Vice-President of the Royal Irish Academy will give the welcome address and introduce the guest speaker.

Pre-lecture refreshments will be available from 5.30pm, and the talks will begin at 6pm.

To secure a place please email

Bell Lecture 2017

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