UKNQT Sensors and Metrology Hub

State-of-the-art lab technology into deployable practical devices

UK National Quantum Technologies Programme

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UKNQT Sensors and Metrology Hub

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  • The quiet revolution of quantum sensors
    “The beauty of quantum technology is that we are far from its physical limits” states Professor Kai Bongs, Director of the UK National Quantum Technology Hub for Sensors and Metrology, in the August edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). ... read more
    Source: UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Metrology – NewsAugust 30, 2019
  • Government announces £23.5m for UK Quantum Technology Hub
    A new wave of funding has been announced by the Government for research into quantum technologies. The Treasury has today committed £94 million to the National Quantum Technologies Programme, which comprises four Quantum Technology Hubs across the UK. The announcement means that the UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Timing, ... read more
    Source: UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Metrology – NewsJuly 11, 2019
  • Professor Kai Bongs from the University of Birmingham awarded this year’s Institute of Physics Dennis Gabor Medal and Prize of the IoP
    The Institute of Physics (IOP) is the UK and Ireland’s professional body for practicing physicists, and has a rich history of supporting and nurturing talent, providing learning resources to schools, colleges and higher education institutions (HEIs), and of advising science and education policy makers. Its awards recognise, celebrate and reflect ... read more
    Source: UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Metrology – NewsJuly 3, 2019
  • Fast-track access to the Partnership Resource Fund
    We are pleased to announce that fast-track access to the Partnership Resource Fund is now available for proposals of up to £10,000. The objective of the fund is to spread the opportunity to maximise the success of quantum sensors, either within the UK National Quantum Technology Hub for Sensors and ... read more
    Source: UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Metrology – NewsMay 28, 2019
  • Government Minister visits the Quantum Technology Hub
    The UK National Quantum Technology Hub for Sensors and Metrology were delighted to receive Chris Skidmore, Minister of State for the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, on Friday 17th May 2019. The visit, led by Dr Simon Bennett, Director of the Quantum Technology ... read more
    Source: UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Metrology – NewsMay 22, 2019
  • Sensors on satellites
    On Friday 26 April, 60 speakers and guests gathered at the Edgbaston Park Hotel to explore how quantum technologies can be used in satellites to measure gravity. Measuring gravity from space has the potential to change the way we are able to predict major geological events such as earthquakes, which ... read more
    Source: UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Metrology – NewsApril 30, 2019
  • Apply for a PhD studentship in Translational Quantum Technology
    Are you a student/supervisor interested in translating science into real-world applications in industry? The doctoral training at the UK National Quantum Technology Hub for Sensors and Metrology aims to incorporate an industrial engagement component to complement the academic study, by encouraging students to undertake an industrial secondment at an appropriate ... read more
    Source: UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Metrology – NewsApril 15, 2019
  • Boosting local innovation with quantum technologies
    Creating a regional Quantum Technology Innovation Hub is the key aim for the recently-launched Centre for Innovation in Advanced Measurement in Manufacturing (CIAMM) project. The project, launched in autumn 2018, is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with support from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership ... read more
    Source: UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Metrology – NewsApril 3, 2019
  • Register now for Satellite gravity measurement industry event
    The UK National Quantum Technology Hub for Sensors and Metrology will be hosting a workshop on Friday 26th April, titled Quantum Technologies for Satellite Gravity Measurement. This workshop will explore the potential offered by quantum technologies for the next generation of gravity sensors as well as future space missions, and ... read more
    Source: UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Metrology – NewsMarch 26, 2019
  • Register now: Industry event showcasing funding opportunities for SMEs
    The UK National Quantum Technology Programme for Sensors and Metrology will be hosting an industry event on Thursday 10th January at Edgbaston Park Hotel. This event is particularly aimed at SMES, to build awareness of the facilities, knowledge and expertise available through the University of Birmingham. These opportunities have the potential ... read more
    Source: UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Metrology – NewsDecember 14, 2018
Project Description

Sensors can be found in our everyday lives, from smart phones and cars to industrial applications in manufacturing, engineering and imaging.

Led by the University of Birmingham, the Quantum Technology Hub in Sensors and Metrology brings together expertise in physics and engineering from the Universities of Birmingham, Glasgow, Nottingham, Southampton, Strathclyde and Sussex with over 70 industry partners.

The Hub’s teams are working to transform laboratory-based research into technology. They are developing smaller, cheaper, more accurate and energy efficient components and systems to build and sustain a supply chain which will have a potentially transformative impact across business and society as a whole.
Quantum superposition lies at the heart of quantum theory, allowing two classically distinct and exclusive alternatives to coexist. This well tested cornerstone of quantum mechanics will be exploited to produce quantum sensors based on laser cooling and trapping methods. These methods, for which the Nobel Prize was awarded in 1997, are used to prepare atoms and ions in a well-controlled motional state.

Tailored laser or microwave pulses are then used to create superposition states and recombine them after some measurement time, leading to interference in final state populations. The form of the pulses, laser geometry, and traps determines the measurement type. Separating the paths vertically, or so that they enclose an area, enables the measurement of gravity and rotation respectively.

Superposing different spin, or energy, states allows magnetic fields or time to be determined. In each case, the result is read out by state-selective detection of the relative population of the final states.

Project Details
  • Institute: UKNQT Sensors and Metrology Hub
  • Founded: 2014
  • Capabilities: Gravity sensors, magnetic sensors, rotation sensors, clocks, imaging, lasers, atomics
  • Home: www.quantumsensors.org
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