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Quantum Physics Fundamental and Applied Research

Final Activity Report Summary - QUFAR (Quantum physics fundamental and applied research)

The objectives of the project were to offer the possibility for PhD or shorter period students to apply at the Laboratoire Kastler Brossel. This laboratory has pioneered since the 1950 important advances in the field of light-matter interaction, from the seminal work of Alfred Kastler on optical pumping to the many recent developments, as for instance the work of Claude Cohen-Tannoudji's team on laser cooling and Bose-Einstein condensates. The two Nobel prizes attributed to these two group leaders in 1966 and 1997 prove both the exceptional scientific tradition and the outstanding present level of the laboratory. Furthermore, the laboratory has strong links with several European and non-European institutions, giving the fellows the possibility to establish their scientific formation at an international level.

The aim of the present Marie Curie Action was thus to encourage the early stage researchers coming from European Community or other eligible states to continue their scientific formation within the context of a PhD or a short training period, in one of the research groups working at the training site. The training was either oriented more specifically towards theoretical or experimental activities, depending on the fellow initial formation and wishes. The training site offered the possibility to apply in several domains of great interest in modern quantum physics. The themes proposed ranged from ultracold atoms and Bose-Einstein condensation to cavity quantum electrodynamics, study and manipulation of quantum fluctuations, metrology of simple systems, Coulombian system dynamics, and quantum optics. Some important applications of such fundamental issues are also developed, like the quantum treatment of information, the experimental study of optical micro- and nano-structures, the Magnetic Resonance Imaging with polarised helium, or the study of biological molecules.

Thirteen students were recruited during the project, including seven PhD students and six short-period students. They worked in the various research domains of the laboratory and their works was of great benefit for the scientific highlights of the laboratory in ultra-cold atomic and molecular gases, highly polarised fluids, quantum optics, ultimate sensitivity of displacement measurement, biophysical problems, and quantum chaos. Fellows published their significant scientific results, with thirteen papers in peer-reviewed international scientific journals, and ten conferences proceedings. They also produced periodic scientific reports within the annual activity reports of the project, PhD students defended their thesis or will defend their thesis during the next year.

Fellows recruited by the laboratory in the framework of the present Marie Curie Action had the opportunity to attend many courses taking place in the graduate studies programs of the Ecole Normale Superieure, the University Pierre et Marie Curie and the College de France, or advanced courses organised by the Ecole Doctorale de Physique de la Region Parisienne. They also attended the numerous seminars organised by the laboratory and by the Department of Physics of the Ecole Normale Superieure.