Sunday, February 25, 2024

Cold Atom Technique Promises Portable Quantum Sensing

By Nidhi Agarwal

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The University of Birmingham and Aquark Technologies technique makes quantum sensing portable and durable, paving the way for commercial use.

Cold Atom Technique Promises Portable Quantum Sensing

Researchers at the University of Birmingham have pioneered a breakthrough in producing cold atoms, utilising a novel technique devised by Aquark Technologies. This innovative approach, dubbed Supermolasses by Aquark, leverages laser cooling without needing an external magnetic field, promising to enhance the portability and durability of cold matter platforms for commercial applications. The University’s successful independent replication of the Supermolasses technique marks a significant milestone achieved within the framework of the Innovate UK-supported Gravity Array project.

Under Innovate UK’s Project, the Gravity Array initiative is a collaborative effort between Aquark Technologies and the University of Birmingham. It melds Aquark’s revolutionary super molasses atom cloud generation with the University’s quantum gravity sensing expertise. The project aims to forge a novel capability for operating multiple low-power sensor heads with a unified laser and control system, facilitating deployment in distant or extreme environments and significantly cutting the cost of extensive monitoring operations.

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The team is now focused on further analysis and validation of the technique, with plans to integrate it into a low-power sensor head for testing in late 2024. These upcoming trials aim to showcase the practical applications of the Supermolasses method and other project innovations in border security, infrastructure and environmental monitoring, covert surveillance, and energy.

Aquark Technologies Co-Founder and CEO, Dr Andrei Dragomir, speaking about the project, said: “Gravity Array is an incredibly exciting opportunity for Aquark as it demonstrates not only our strong desire to collaborate with the best but also looks to utilise some of the new capabilities that make our method of atom cloud generation unique and independently verify its benefits.”

Professor Michael Holynski, Principal Investigator of the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Sensors and Timing and project lead of the Gravity Array project from the University of Birmingham, added: “It is fantastic to see progress on techniques that have the potential for reducing the cost of quantum sensor systems.”

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