Blog Archives

IPAS Researcher Interviewed by SCI

IPAS scientist Dr Giuseppe Tettamanzi was privileged to be invited by
the Chemistry and Industry magazine, a publication of the Society of Chemical Industry in London, for his scientific comments on the the novel metal-air transistors research which will pave the way for future electronics. Dr Tettamanzi is leading an international research team that has recently developed a ground breaking single electron pump which put forward for future quantum information procession applications including in defence, cybersecurity and encryption and big data analysis.
For more information about Dr Tettamanzi’ s innovative research, please click here.

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IPAS DECRA wins Fulbright Future Scholarship

Congratulations to Dr Ben Sparkes who was awarded Fulbright FutureScholarship. Dr Sparkes will spend 3 months working with Prof Alex Gaeta at Columbia University in the City of New York on a project titled “Changing Colours in Optical Fibres: The Key to Long-Distance Quantum-Secured Communications”.

Dr Ben Sparkes is an ARC DECRA fellow working within the Precision Measurement Group at IPAS.  His research has focused on developing a quantum memory device to maximise the distance of quantum cryptography, which will boost the security of communications for government,business and the broader community.  He is also the co-founder of the “Amazing University of Adelaide Laser Radio” outreach activity, where high school students construct a device that transmits audio signals over a laser beam using basic electronics components. Dr Sparkes was named South Australian Tall Poppy of the year at the 2018 SA Government Science Excellent Awards in August.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship foreign exchange scholarship program of the US, aimed at increasing binational collaboration, cultural understanding, and the exchange of ideas.

Ramsay Fellow to build world’s fastest charging battery

The University of Adelaide’s newest Ramsay Fellow, Dr James Quach, will harness the unique properties of quantum mechanics with the aim of building the world’s first quantum battery, a new super battery with the potential for instantaneous charging.

Once built, the quantum battery could replace conventional batteries used in small electronic devices. Eventually it is hoped larger quantum batteries could provide opportunities for the renewable energy sector.

Dr Quach, who is an expert in quantum physics, has joined the University of Adelaide’s School of Physical Sciences for four years under a Ramsay Fellowship. He will be working within the Precision Measurement Group in the University’s Institute for Photonics & Advanced Sensing (IPAS).

The Ramsay Fellowship was established in 2008 with a bequest by the Ramsay family, founders of the Kiwi Polish Company (later Kiwi International), to reduce the brain drain from our shores and advance scientific research.

Dr Quach says that unlike ordinary batteries, which take the same amount of time to charge no matter how many you have, the theory is that quantum batteries would charge faster the more you have of them.

“If one quantum battery takes one hour to charge, then two would take 30 minutes, three would take 20 minutes, and so on. If you had 10 thousand batteries, they would all charge in less than a second,” says Dr Quach.

Although it seems counterintuitive, this is possible thanks to a feature of quantum mechanics known as entanglement.

“Quantum mechanics deals with interactions at the very smallest of scales, at the levels of atoms and molecules – at this level you get very special properties that violate the conventional laws of physics,” says Dr Quach.

“One of those properties is ‘entanglement’. When two objects are entangled it means that their individual properties are always shared – they somehow lose their sense of individuality.

“It’s because of entanglement that it becomes possible to speed up the battery charging process,” he says.

The idea for a quantum battery was first discussed in a 2013 research paper. Since then there have been other papers on the subject, but Dr Quach says he will “take the theory from the blackboard to the lab”.

“Entanglement is incredibly delicate, it requires very specific conditions – low temperatures and an isolated system – and when those conditions change the entanglement disappears,” he says.

“With the support of the academic community in Adelaide, interstate and globally, I aim to extend the theory of the quantum battery, construct a lab conducive to the conditions needed for entanglement, and then build the first quantum battery.”

This revolutionary battery could be used in small electronic devices such as a watch, phone, iPad or computer or any other product that relies on stored energy.

“The long-term aim is to scale up, to build bigger batteries which will support renewable energy technologies by making it possible for continuous energy supply no matter the weather conditions – rain, hail or shine,” Dr Quach says.

The Ramsay Fellowships are open to Australian citizens with a PhD or equivalent qualification in the natural sciences, with preference given to applicants aged 35 years and under.

Source: The University of Adelaide.

Scientists Pump Up Chances for Quantum Computing

University of Adelaide-led research has moved the world one step closer to reliable, high-performance quantum computing.

An international team has developed a ground-breaking single-electron “pump”. The electron pump device developed by the researchers can produce one billion electrons per second and uses quantum mechanics to control them one-by-one. And it’s so precise they have been able to use this device to measure the limitations of current electronics equipment.

This paves the way for future quantum information processing applications, including in defence, cybersecurity and encryption, and big data analysis.

“This research puts us one step closer to the holy grail – reliable, high-performance quantum computing,” says project leader Dr Giuseppe C. Tettamanzi, Senior Research Fellow, at the University of Adelaide’s Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing.

Published in the journal Nano Letters, the researchers also report observations of electron behaviour that’s never been seen before – a key finding for those around the world working on quantum computing.

“Quantum computing, or more broadly quantum information processing, will allow us to solve problems that just won’t be possible under classical computing systems,” says Dr Tettamanzi.

“It operates at a scale that’s close to an atom and, at this scale, normal physics goes out the window and quantum mechanics comes into play.

“To indicate its potential computational power, conventional computing works on instructions and data written in a series of 1s and 0s – think about it as a series of on and off switches; in quantum computing every possible value between 0 and 1 is available. We can then increase exponentially the number of calculations that can be done simultaneously.”

This University of Adelaide team, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, Aalto University in Finland, University of New South Wales, and the University of Latvia, is working in an emerging field called electron quantum optics. This involves controlled preparation, manipulation and measurement of single electrons. Although a considerable amount of work has been devoted world-wide to understand electronic quantum transport, there is much still to be understood and achieved.

“Achieving full control of electrons in these nano-systems will be highly beneficial for realistic implementation of a scalable quantum computer. We, of course, have been controlling electrons for the past 150 years, ever since electricity was discovered. But, at this small scale, the old physics rules can be thrown out,” says Dr Tettamanzi.

“Our final goal is to provide a flow of electrons that’s reliable, continuous and consistent – and in this research, we’ve managed to move a big step towards realistic quantum computing.

“And, maybe equally exciting, along the way we have discovered new quantum effects never observed before, where, at specific frequencies, there is competition between different states for the capture of the same electrons. This observation will help advances in this game-changing field.”

For full media release, please click here.

 

IPAS Quantum Communications broadcast on Radio Adelaide

To elaborate on the IPAS’s vision and research program, Dr Ben Sparkes, who is working on quantum atom-light interactions at IPAS, was invited for an interview with Radio Adelaide’s Subatomic program with Rohan Neagle. Dr Sparkes discussed the quantum optics research taking place at IPAS and its potential to increase the distance of absolutely-secure quantum communications using our novel hollow-core optical fibres.

For the interview podcast, please click here.

Quantum machanics

 

IPAS made headlines this week on ABC NEWS

Sparkes_O'Connor

Prof Andre Luiten explained that IPAS’s vision is about exploiting the power of light, to make the world healthier, wealthier and safer. He particularly focused on the critical need for pathways to translate research outcomes from the lab into the real-world.

The segment highlighted two specific projects from the Precision Measurement Group:

The Quantum Mechanics project led by Dr Ben Sparkes, looking at ways to use photonics, or the technology that allows the generation and control of light, to protect sensitive data: a critical feature in applications such as defence and banking.

The Sapphire Clock team, led by Prof Andre Luiten and A/Prof Martin O’Connor,  is building a clock so accurate that it only loses a second once every 40 million years. This has a very important application in supporting Australia’s defence by allowing a performance increase of the Jindalee Over the Horizon Radar.

Watch the news segment here and read full article here.

Sapphire clock

 

Thebaton Senior College at IPAS

On Monday 27 November 2017, IPAS was delighted to host the IPAS Laser Labs tour for a group of high achieving science students from Thebarton Senior College. The students were welcomed and guided to the Quantum Atom Fibre and Sensing and Spectroscopy Labs by  Dr Ben Sparkes  and Sarah Scholten.The students were inspired and amazed with different demonstrations of next generation light transmission and novel gas sensing methods. All the best for our science students and looking forward to welcome you to the IPAS community in the future!