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Lecture - Distinguished Professor Peter Hannaford AC: Crystallizing Time with Lasers

  • 4 May 2023
  • 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
  • Level 3, Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre (AMDC) Building, 475 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn or Online

The discovery of the laser by Ted Maiman in 1960 was greeted as a gift from the gods, to be able to pour watts of tuneable coherent light into just a few kilohertz along a line almost as straight as a geodesic. The laser has since revolutionised our daily lives, but it has also revolutionised scientific research. For instance, lasers now allow us to chill a cloud of atoms down to within just a few nanokelvin of absolute zero and to enter the strange quantum world of the Bose-Einstein condensate, predicted by Einstein in 1925 and realised in the laboratory some 70 years later. More recently, it has been predicted, by Krzysztof Sacha in Krakow, that a Bose-Einstein condensate, when periodically driven, can spontaneously reorganise its motion so that it evolves with a period some tens of times longer than the period of the drive, to form a new state of quantum matter – a ‘time crystal’.

In this lecture, Professor Hannaford will describe an experiment currently in progress at Swinburne to create such a big time crystal, which promises to allow us to extend condensed matter science to the fourth dimension – time!

Light refreshments will be served after the lecture. Register here

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