Opportunities for students
We have opportunities for students wishing to pursue a Masters and Doctoral degree with us, as well as for Post-Doctoral Fellowships. Please consider the following opportunities:
NRF Freestanding, Innovation and Scarce Skills Development Fund
Calling all prospective Masters and Doctoral candidates, the NRF is offering scholarships for full-time Masters and PhD students for 2017. Applicants can apply online at: https://nrfsubmission.nrf.ac.za
WITS DEADLINE: 15 July 2016
How much information can we pack into a photon? In this project we will attempt to demonstrate high bandwidth optical communication using patterns (spatial modes) of light. The optical link will be in both free space and in fibres. This work is in collaboration with a local communications company as well as the CSIR, U. Jena (Germany) and the U. Glasgow (Scotland).
Can we use high-dimensional entanglement as a resource for secure quantum communication? Entanglement holds such promise, yet is frustratingly fragile. In this project we will attempt means to cover a large distance with photonic quantum states entangled in high-dimensions. Quantum key distribution and quantum teleportation will be the main aims. This work is in collaboration with the CSIR, UKZN and Heriot-Watt U. (Scotland).
Interaction free measurement
Is it possible to detect an object without any interaction with it? In this project we will implement the “bomb” thought experiment (following Elitzur-Vaidman) with light entangled in orbital angular momentum to detect objects by quantum interference, e.g., light sensitive biological matter.
Can we image a 2D object with a single pixel detector? In this project we will use our entanglement experiment to demonstrate ghost imaging, and use digital holograms to enable single pixel detection of the image. This work is in collaboration with the U. Glasgow (Scotland).
Can we image sub-nanometre structures such as those within biological cells? Combining the techniques used in generating quantum entanglement together with those used to achieve optical trapping, the spatial resolution of sub-nanometre structures may be improved.
Can we implement quantum walks with classical light? In this project we will use spin and orbital angular momentum light in the form of vector fields to realize >100 steps in a quantum walk, exceeding the present maximum by an order of magnitude. This work is in collaboration with UKZN, the U. Calgary (Canada) and the CSIR.
Can we use light as a glue to build 3D objects with nano-structured materials? In this project we will use holographic optical trapping and tweezing to manipulate nano materials into organized structures. This work is in collaboration with the MPRI (Wits).
Is it possible to slow the rotation of molecules with orbital angular momentum? Doppler-free spectroscopy slows molecules down in their linear momentum, enabling higher resolution. In this project we will consider the argument for using light’s angular momentum to achieve rotation-free spectroscopy. This work is in collaboration with the U. Stellenbosch.
Is it possible to build a quantum computer with classical light? Non-separability, the quintessential property of quantum entanglement, is not unique to quantum mechanics. In this project we will explore which quantum protocols can be implemented with non-separable classical light fields, which we refer to as classical entanglement. This work is in collaboration with UKZN.
Can lasers be made to output any desired optical field? In particular, can we create arbitrarily selected vector beams directly from a laser? In this project we will explore intracavity control of both the dynamic and geometric phase of light to generate high-order Poincare sphere beams directly from a laser. This work is in collaboration with the U. Caen (France), the U. Naples (Italy), the CSIR and an international laser company.
Can we make accelerating electron wave packets that are non-radiating? Using tools traditionally associated with light, we wish to created structured electron wave packets that “break” the rules of physics. This work is in collaboration with the U. Ottawa (Canada).
Can we use the principles of aerodynamics to manipulate light with air? By combining computational fluid dynamics with optics we will create novel gas and flame lenses for focusing of high power laser beams. This work is in collaboration with the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories (Oxford, England).
How do we experimentally realize the mathematical solutions to the Helmholtz equation? To date solutions in eleven coordinate systems have been found, but only a few of them have been demonstrated experimentally. In this project we would like to explore the experimental implementation of optical beams in coordinate systems that up to now have only been studied theoretically. This work is in collaboration with the National Institute of Optics Electronics and Astrophysics (Mexico).
In addition to the above we have active research in topics such as non-diffracting light, accelerating light, the Hall effect for light, self-healing light fields, digital holography, and creation and detection tools for laser light. We are also interested in creating educational portals for outreach.Download