Northwestern Events Calendar


Colloquium: Swapan Chattopadhyay : Quantum Sensors for Fundamental Science: Atomic Interferometry as a Probe of the Early Universe and the Dark Sector

When: Friday, March 1, 2019
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM Central

Where: Technological Institute, L211, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Yassaman   (847) 491-7650

Group: Physics and Astronomy Colloquia

Category: Academic


'Quantum Sensors' fundamentally exploit the macroscopic 'entanglement' of wave functions in quantum systems and can potentially reach far higher sensitivities and resolutions than devices operating on purely classical principles. A class of such quantum sensors (e.g. superconducting circuits embedded in superconducting microwave cavities, atomic beam interferometers, specially designed NMR materials, Nitrogen-vacancies in Diamond, etc.) have the revolutionary potential of offering us the capability of laboratory based exploration, detection and measurement of phenomena that manifest in very "weak processes" in nature (e.g. the "dark" sector of the universe or primordial gravitational wave background radiation from very early universe, or weak biological, geological and environmental signals, etc. ) and of superior 'computing', for the benefit of both fundamental and information science. Advances in quantum sensors position us uniquely for laboratory-scale mezzo-scale scientific experiments for fundamental science and for developing prototype 'quantum computer' test-beds. After a brief introduction to Quantum Sensors and emerging exciting quantum initiatives and developments at Fermilab and across the nation, following a few recent US Department of Energy Round Tables on quantum sensors for fundamental science, quantum information science and advanced computing (some of which I co-chaired), I will outline in some detail a specific 100 meter-drop Atomic Interferometer experiment, MAGIS-100, being developed at Fermilab (where Northwestern is a collaborator) as a quantum sensing probe of the ‘early universe’ and the ‘dark sector’ and development of ‘single-electron’ quantum disentanglement experiments at Fermilab’s IOTA test accelerator complex.


Professor Swapan Chattopadhyay is a particle and beam physicist, noted for his pioneering contributions to innovative particle colliders, synchrotron radiation sources, free electron lasers and ultrafast x-ray sources in the femto- and atto-second regimes. Currently Chattopadhyay is a Distinguished Scientist in the Director’s Senior Leadership Team at Fermilab (USA). Concurrently he holds a joint appointment with Northern Illinois University (USA), where he is Professor and Director of Accelerator Research and holds the Presidential Chair for Research, Scholarship and Artistry. He is a Visiting Professor of Physics in the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences division at the University of Oxford and in the Berkeley Center for Theoretical Physics at UC Berkeley, an honorary Scientific Associate at CERN (Geneva, Switzerland) and past Inaugural Director of the Cockcroft Institute, UK (2007-2014) where he held the Sir John Cockcroft Chair of Physics jointly at the Universities of Liverpool, Manchester and Lancaster. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Institute of Physics (UK), Royal Society for Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce (UK) and corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburg, UK. He served as the Associate Laboratory Director for Accelerators at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (USA, 2001-2007), as the Founding Director of the Center for Beam Physics, a Senior Staff Scientist and a Professor in the Graduate School at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California at Berkeley (USA, 1984-2001), and as a Scientific Associate at CERN (1982-1984). Prof. Chattopadhyay received his PhD in Physics from University of California at Berkeley in 1982, following his undergraduate Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the University of Calcutta and Indian Institute of Technology (Kharagpur) in India, respectively. He has served at various times as a Visiting Professor of physics at University of Virginia at Charlottesville, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, Harvard University, and Imperial College London and continues to serve on various national and international advisory committees and boards.

Seminar Speaker: Swapan Chattopadhyay, NIU & Fermilab

 Host: Geraci

Keywords: Physics, Astronomy, Seminar, Colloquium

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