Precision spectroscopy of Rydberg atoms for quantum state engineering and sensing

About this project

Project description

Rydberg atoms are highly excited atoms, where a valance electron has a large principal quantum number. They have exaggerated properties, interacting very strongly with each other via the dipole-dipole interaction and exhibiting strong interactions with external fields. These properties lead to both high levels of control, where interactions can be turned on and off locally using precision lasers, and to novel sensitivity in precision measurement of DC to microwave fields. Over the last decade, Rydberg atoms have thus emerged as a leading candidate for scalable quantum computation and for quantum-enhanced sensing.

This experimental PhD project will explore, develop, and apply tools and protocols for utilising Rydberg state mediated entanglement to realize robust quantum gates and high precision sensors, which could work as a full-fledged resource for universal quantum computation. Additionally, the project aims to precisely measure the decoherence caused by external electric and magnetic fields, with the aim to realise quantum-enhanced measurements.

The experimental tools and protocols designed as part of this PhD will be implemented and studied in the laboratory. IITD is building an experiment that will trap arrays of many single ultra-cold Cesium atoms, each of which can be individually controlled and manipulated. Long-range interactions can be introduced into the array by exciting the atoms into Rydberg states. UQ is developing quantum sensors based on Rydberg states of Rubidium atoms. In both experimental laboratories, long range interactions and the controlled application of dissipation and decoherence can be used to generate various entanglement states. The project will explore the role of long-range interaction, dissipation and decoherence in neutral atoms, and how these can be manipulated to demonstrate a quantum advantage in computing and sensing.


• Protocols to utilise Rydberg atom mediated long-range interactions, measurement, and dissipation to realise entangled states.
• Understand how to realize Rydberg states in an array of single cold atoms and in an ensemble of thermal atoms.
• Develop quantum machine protocols demonstrating a quantum advantage using arrays of single atoms.
• Demonstration of protocols for Rydberg atom-based quantum devices with potential quantum advantage for sensing.
• A better understanding of how to utilise Rydberg atoms to realise a quantum advantage for use in quantum technology.

Information for applicants

Essential capabilities

Motivated physics student with a passion for research, and an interest connecting experiment and theory

Desireable capabilities

Strong background in quantum mechanics, atomic physics, optics and experimental physics. Previous research experience in ultracold atom physics is a bonus.

Expected qualifications (Course/Degrees etc.)

Honours or Masters degree in physics

Additional information for applicants

note: i-students must have own scholarship to apply (CSIR, UCG-NET, etc)

Project supervisors

Principal supervisors

UQ Supervisor

Dr Tyler Neely

School of Mathematics and Physics
IITD Supervisor

Assistant professor Bodhaditya Santra

Department of Physics