Physics and astronomy

Electrons, Cold Atoms & Quantum Circuits

Module code: 888F3
Level 7 (Masters)
15 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Lecture
Assessment modes: Coursework, Open examination

Topics covered include:

  • Basics of Penning trap technology. Motion and eigenfrequencies of a trapped particle.
  • Electrostatics and design of planar Penning traps. 
  • Electronic detection of a single trapped particle. 
  • The continuous Stern-Gerlach effect. Measurement of the Spin. 
  • Applications 1: Measurement of the electron's g-factor. Test of QED.
  • Applications 2: Measurement of the electron's mass. Mass spectrometry.
  • Trapping of neutral atoms with magnetic fields: Ioffe-Pritchard traps and the atom chip. 
  • Basics of Bose-Einstein condensation. 
  • Matter wave interferometry in atom chips: the adiabatic RF dressing technique.
  • Introduction to circuit-QED. Superconducting microwave resonators and artificial atoms.
  • Coherent quantum wiring of electrons, cold atoms and artificial atoms in a chip.


Level 5: (F3239) Quantum Mechanics 1 [T2]
Level 6: (F3225) Quantum Mechanics 2 [T2]
Level 7: (897F3) Atom Light Interactions [T1]

Module learning outcomes

  • Ability to design a basic planar Penning trap and a basic electronic detection system for trapped electrons or ions.
  • Understand and know the techniques used in ultra high precision measurements in Penning traps.
  • Ability to design a basic planar magnetic trap for ultra-cold neutral atoms and Bose-Einstein condensates.
  • Understand the adiabatic RF technique and how to apply it for coherent matter-wave interferometry applications in an atom chip.