Dil Fridge arrives

Our Helium-3 Dilution Refrigerator has arrived. It will be installed over the next few weeks. When working, it will enable us to cool our experiments to within a fraction of a degree of absolute zero.


US Ambassador visits lab

It was a pleasure to have a chat with US Ambassador to NZ Scott Brown, and to show him the lab.


Farewell Hamish

It is with sadness that we farwell Hamish McDonald, who has been doing his MSc with us over the last year looking at different photon echo memory techniques.

Hamish is going to a exciting position with Buckley Systems manufacturer of scientific and industrial magnets and high vacuum systems based in Auckland.


Marsden Success

Our proposal “Hybrid quantum systems based on rare earth ion dopants” has been funded ($790k). This should keep us busy for a little while.


Summer studentships available

There are a number of summer studentships available, in and around the quantum optics group, for more information please contact Jevon in room 315.

1) Build a fiber based fluorescent probe

Collaborators in the medical school are wanting to measure the fluorescence from green fluorescent protein in mouse brains. To do this they want a fiber based probe that excites the tissue with blue light and detects the green fluorescence.

2) Build an atomic clock

The simplest atomic time/frequency standards are based on the laser spectroscopy of alkali metals (in particular cesium and rubidium) in vapour cells. This project is funded by a NZ company that uses such atomic clocks extensively in their products, and is interested in knowing more about them. You would make a bench-scale frequency standard to serve as a test bench for testing new ides.

3) Work with Photonic innovations.

Photonic Innovations Limited is a spin-out from the Physics Department of the University of Otago, specialising in spectroscopic detection of dangerous gases.

We invite applications from suitably qualified and enthusiastic students of science for a summer internship, to investigate and improve our products.

Research Problem

In order to improve the detection limits for weakly-absorbing gas species, Photonic Innovations’ products utilise a multi-pass optical cell, folding a very long optical path into a compact device. However, this arrangement is very sensitive to the alignment and positions of the optical components.

The project is to investigate, qualitatively and quantitatively, the changes in the optical cell as the temperature of the cell is varied over the broad range of temperatures that our devices might encounter in service. This will involve theoretical simulations and experiments to characterise the cell, and suggesting improvements to the design to minimise the effects of temperature changes.


The project will be completed in Photonic Innovations’ Dunedin Research and Development Laboratory for ten weeks over the summer break, starting early November 2015. The final result of the project will be a detailed report on the work completed, compiled from notes taken during the work. The standard University Summer Project stipend will be issued. The candidate must be intending to enrol as a student during the 2016 academic year.

E-mail your application to Dr Ojas Mahapatra,, attaching a Curriculum Vitae (including academic results) and a brief cover letter, to be received before 22nd October.

4) Much more …

Get in touch with Jevon if you want to see the lab and discuss other projects.


Workshop on coherent light-matter interaction

We have decided to use Dieter Suter’s vist as an excuse to orangise a get together of local groups interested the interaction between light and atoms or atom-like objects.

Quantum Science Otago is kindly funding the workshop.


The workshop will be held on Monday 28th of September


09:00Pick up your name tag
09:20Openning remarks
09:30Dieter Suter (Dortmund)Optimising the efficiency of microwave resonators for electron spin resonance
10:15Morning tea
10:45Matt Sellars (ANU)Developing a non-classical light source based on rare-earth doped crystals
11:30Lincoln Turner (Monash)Measuring and controlling spinor condensates with magnetic resonance
13:45Auguié / Darby (VUW)Enhanced optical absorbance of dye molecules adsorbed to metallic nanoparticles
14:15Stephen Chen (Otago)Microwave-optical quantum state conversion using rare earth ion dopants
14:45Mike Reid (Canterbury)Modelling of energy levels in low-symmetry quantum-information candidate materials
15:15Afternoon Tea
15:45Milos Rancic (ANU)Characterising erbium sites in silicon
16:15Harald Schwefel (Otago)Microwave-optical quantum state conversion using whispering gallery mode resonators
16:45Close / Lab Tours

There will probably be a workshop dinner to follow but hasn’t been organised yet.


St Margarets College on the University of Otago campus.


Welcome to our new webpage

Welcome to our new webpage. It is pretty plain at the moment but should slowly acquire content. If you have any comments suggestions please let Jevon know.


Dieter Suter visit

We are very pleased to have Prof. Dieter Suter visiting as a William Evans fellow for the next month.

Dieter will be giving a number of talks during his time with us including a lecture series on Quantum Computing and a research talk at our workshop on 28 September.

While he is staying with us he will be camped in Craig Rogers office.