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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R000158/1
Title: QUAntum teraheRTZ Sensor using rydberg atoms
Principal Investigator: Weatherill, Dr KJ
Other Investigators:
Adams, Professor CS
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Physics
Organisation: Durham, University of
Scheme: Technology Programme
Starts: 01 March 2017 Ends: 28 February 2018 Value (£): 165,199
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Electronics
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The project will develop a novel terahertz (THz) detector using Rydberg atoms, which will be compact, inexpensive, room-temperature, and have high sensitivity, potentially down to single photon level. It will exploit recent breakthroughs in manipulating and interrogating atoms in Rydberg quantum states. To this aim, a "proof of concept" prototype will be built and characterised. Rydberg atoms are highly excited atoms that have one or more electrons in quantum states whose energy-level structure is similar to that of the hydrogen atom. Atoms in Rydberg states are characterised by strong response to electromagnetic fields, in particular to fields at microwave and terahertz frequencies (0.01-10 THz or 30-30000 micrometers), in effect acting as THz optical transducers. High-sensitivity THz detectors are typically bulky and require cryogenic cooling, making them unsuitable for many applications and severely limiting the uptake of THz technologies, especially in industrial settings. The Rydberg THz detector will address this problem, offering a transformative technology for THz sensing and imaging and providing a platform for industrial applications in nondestructive testing and quality control.
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