- Award made: November 2019
Dionysis Adamou, 5th year Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Quantum mechanics limits the precision to which any measurement can be taken. Quantum states of light are vital for the future of metrology and sensing as they enable measurements with sensitivity below what can be achieved with classical radiation. Specifically, squeezed states are quantum states of light featuring uncertainty in one of the field observables, lower than the Heisenberg limit. Detecting squeezed states of light requires the development of appropriate detectors with extremely low-noise electronics and high quantum efficiency.
Dionysis Adamou received an award of £750 for his project to design, simulate and test a balanced photodetection scheme for the measurement of pulsed squeezed states by the Ultrafast Nonlinear Optics Team. The electronics must be designed very carefully, so that the noise is far lower than the quantum noise, with a dynamic range able to record the light squeezing. The small number of squeezed photons generated by the optical set-up Dionysis is investigating make the detection extremely challenging. To this end, he is sourcing photodiodes able to achieve 98% quantum efficiency at telecom wavelengths from the only company that provides them (Voxtel, US).