The proposed team leader, Dirk Bouwmeester, currently runs a successful quantum optics and interdisciplinary laboratory at the University of California in Santa Barbara. The Marie Curie Excellence Grant will be instrumental in attracting and supporting this international group (the team leader intends to accept an offer from the University of Leiden). The proposed research is at the interfaces between engineering, biology, and physics with a specialisation in quantum optical measurements. The topics are, quantum entanglement, nanosystems for solid-state cavity quantum electrodynamics, optical control of micromechanical systems, and energy transport in biological molecules. Those topics are of interest both from a fundamental science as well as from an applied physics point of view.
The research will enable ultra-high position measurements with possible applications in gravitational-wave and macroscopic quantum superposition detection. Furthermore, the application of the laws of quantum physics for new computational and secure communication methods will be explored. Those topics are excellent for attracting, teaching and training young scientists and for establishing new collaborations. The team includes researchers from the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Israel, US, South Korea and has collaborations with groups in France, England, Scotland, Germany and the US.
The University of Leiden will provide the quantum optics infrastructure together with the technical support to construct unique micro-mechanical systems. The new group will be embedded in the renowned Leiden-Delft center for quantum information science which will provide the required state-of-the-art materials and clean-room facilities. To further improve the collaborations and to promote the mobility of young scientists a program is planned by which graduate students and postdoctoral students can visit other groups and scientists from other groups can visit the new group for 1-3 month periods.
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