The Physics of Information and Quantum Technologies Group promotes research and advanced training aiming at understanding and exploiting the role of quantum physics, of thermodynamics, and of relativity in the encoding, detection, transmission and processing of information, as well as at exploring the insights quantum information brings into fundamental physics.
Namely, our team develops research in Quantum Information, Computation and Simulation, in Relativistic Quantum Information, in Quantum Thermodynamics and Nanoenergetics, and in Quantum Effects in Biology and Open Quantum Dynamics, in the context of a variety of international projects and a doctoral programme.
The Group is part of Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), a national research institute rated Excellent in its international assessments. It is located in Instituto Superior Técnico (IST, the School of Science and Engineering of the University of Lisbon), in Lisbon, Portugal (see Contact to find out how to reach us).
We explore light as a tool in classical physics, such as when it can be used to push or pull individual particles (think of where a comet's tail comes from!), or for exploring the dynamics of colloidal particles (such as cells, bacteria, or test spheres), or even light's ability to be used in sensing of very small numbers of particles.
Of course, there's a world beyond the classical and we also consider light's role in quantum physics, where photons can be used to slow down neutral atoms, in a process known as laser-cooling, or combined with magnetic fields to spatially trap and cool atoms in a magneto-optical trap, where temperatures of about 100 microKelvin are routinely obtained in the lab. All of these techniques are crucial in the development of future quantum-based technologies relying on neutral ground state or Rydberg atoms.
In general, we study the interaction between light and matter in a number of regimes, including cold atomic systems, whispering gallery mode microresonators and biologically-relevant samples, to gain a better understanding of the processes involved and to manipulate or trap micron and nanoscaled particles using light fields. A common technique across our work is the use of optical nanofibres as the interface tool between the light source and the sample under investigation. Researchers in our unit need/acquire a huge range of skills from optics, atomic physics, simulations, photonics, electronics, vacuum, cryogenics, nanotechnology, interfacing, programming, and so on, and there are some opportunities to gain skills in biophysics and other interdisciplinary topics such as sensing and imaging. While much of our research focus is fundamental in nature, we use skills that are highly relevant to industry with a focus on nanofabrication, optics, automation, system modelling and control.
Inac, a joint CEA-UGA research institute, is a major actor in fundamental research on condensed matter, soft matter and cryogenics in Grenoble.
Most of its activities in physics, chemistry and at the interface with biology are included under the banner of nanoscience. It has programmes in several strategic areas: low carbon energy, information technology, heath technology, global defence and security, development and use of large facilities, cryogenics for space and for large facilities.