Electrons, Cold Atoms & Quantum Circuits (888F3)

15 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

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.


100%: Lecture


60%: Coursework (Problem set)
40%: Examination (Computer-based examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.