Scientists Seek Ultimate Control over Light

Tuesday 01 Jul 08
In a new project at DTU and the University of Copenhagen, scientists will attempt to attain control over the smallest particles of light – photons. The supercomputers of the future as well as unbreakable codes are some of the possible end results of this undertaking.

The project is supported by VILLUM KANN RASMUSSEN FONDEN (VKR) with ten million kroner and is organized as a collaboration between Associate Professor Anders S. Sørensen of the Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen University, Associate Professor Ulrik Andersen of DTU Fysik, and Associate Professor Peter Lodahl of DTU Fotonik.


In this project, scientists will pursue a new method of acquiring control over light. Nano technology makes it possible to produce nanowires, which are capable of focussing photons much more efficiently than has been possible with other technologies. The new technology presents a significant number of advantages and opportunities for new experiments.


Quantum Computers and Unbreakable Codes

Photons will be made to exchange information with artificial atoms via the nanowires’ ability to focus light tightly. Such a coupling makes it possible to code information in a radically new way utilizing quantum mechanics. It is expected to be applicable in future quantum computers, which will be able to do calculations that are impossible for conventional computers, and for transmitting information with completely unbreakable codes. Another possible application lies within optical communication where the photon transistor becomes possible. Today all electronics is controlled by transistors that operate based on electrons while a photon transistor will be based on light. The advantage of using photons compared to electrons is the potential increase in information capacity.


A New Way of Thinking

The project is based on a theory, which has recently been developed by Associate Professor Anders S. Sørensen in collaboration with scientists from. The theory provides a completely new way of approaching the task of controlling light, and preliminary experiments show that the principles behind the theory work.


The project receives 10 million kroner over 4 years from VILLUM KANN RASMUSSEN FONDEN.



For further information, please contact:

From July 2nd: Associate Professor Ulrik Lund Andersen, DTU Fysik.

Telephone +45 4525 3306