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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/E036473/1
Title: The Midlands Ultracold Atom Research Centre
Principal Investigator: Tendler, Professor S
Other Investigators:
Fromhold, Professor TM Beton, Professor PH Gunn, Professor JMF
Cruise, Professor AM Grierson, Professor D
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Physics & Astronomy
Organisation: University of Nottingham
Scheme: Science and Innovation Awards
Starts: 01 January 2008 Ends: 31 December 2013 Value (£): 5,220,645
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Cold Atomic Species Condensed Matter Physics
Quantum Fluids & Solids Surfaces & Interfaces
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
We propose to generate a step change in the capacity and impact of UK research at the interface between cold atoms, condensed matter, and optical physics by establishing an interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence. This vast new field, recognised by the 1997 and 2001 Nobel Prizes in Physics, is driving a revolution in quantum physics and progress is accelerating at an astonishing rate. In order for the UK to seize the immense opportunities on offer - for both innovative fundamental science and resulting breakthrough technology - there is an urgent need to set up interdisciplinary groups, which will produce a large immediate increase in capacity by combining new appointments with existing staff and ensure long-term sustainability by attracting and training the next generation of scientists.Despite the international explosion of work in cold-atom physics, the UK makes a small and diminishing percentage contribution to this field. In contrast to overseas competitors, the UK's research also lacks coherence as existing groups all have either atomic or condensed matter backgrounds. Expansion of research at the cold-atom/condensed matter interface is essential for the UK to exploit a major scientific opportunity - highlighted in the 2005 International Review of UK Research in Physics and Astronomy - and maximise capacity by engaging existing condensed matter physicists.The proposed Centre of Excellence will achieve this by fusing complementary strengths and infrastructure at Birmingham and Nottingham into a critical-mass activity supporting a unique combination of 6 new cold-atom experimentalists working with 17 existing condensed matter physicists. It will build on our established research in cold-atom theory, nano-fabrication, many-body theory, and the study of semiconductor, superconductor, spintronic and carbon-based/soft matter devices. Individually, these activities are all internationally leading. Together, they provide an outstanding environment for a new interdisciplinary cold-atom group (the largest in the world), whose power and impact will provide an unparalleled range of capability and address in detail many recommendations of the International Review. EPSRC/HEFCE funding of ~4.9m will be supplemented by support of ~3.8m from the two Universities and access to our 30m condensed matter and supercomputing infrastructure. The combined University contribution is thus almost 45 % of the total project cost, which makes the proposal highly cost-effective for the funding bodies and demonstrates the strength of the institutional commitment to the formation of the new Centre.Leading cold-atom experimentalists outside the UK (including MIT's Nobel-Prize winning group) have already realised that our expertise and infrastructure are valuable for their work and sought to collaborate with us. The environment that we offer could also greatly increase the volume, scope, and impact of interdisciplinary cold-atom work in the UK. We are applying for a Science and Innovation Award to unlock this potential and provide the new directions required to keep UK quantum coherence research world leading for the next 20 years. This area is crucial to the research strategy of both Departments and Universities. Over the past 2 years we have, in discussion with EPSRC and HEFCE, developed detailed plans to set up an inter-University cold-atom group with precisely the same objectives as this Quantum Coherence call.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Impacts
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Summary
Date Materialised
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Project URL: http://mpa.ac.uk/muarc/
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk