Members from CEFOP got to atend two interesting talks in the auditorium “Alamiro Robledo” at Universidad de Concepción. One of them was “Advances on a hybrid quantum system of neutral atoms coupled to a superconducting circuit: the atomic and optical side” by Pablo Solano, and the other was “Photons, atoms and quantum leaps. Basis for quantum communications networks Elements “, by José Manuel Brito; both former members of our Center.
The initiative was born of the exhibitors themselves, as a way to socialize with their former colleagues, the scope of work that each has been developing abroad and especially the learning they have achieved durong their research development.
Pablo Solano, who got his undergraduate and master’s degree at Universidad de Concepción, and later, because of his interest in developing research in Experimental Physics in particular Atomic, traveled to specialize in United States where he currently continues his studies aimed at Doctor degree from University of Maryland. “In Latin America, there is generally no resources for Atomic Physics, for the involved costs, so I went to America and there I’ve joined a project that interested me, because it attempts to combine Atomic Physics in Condensed Matter Physics, then we want to achieve is couple the superconducting atoms, which we call ‘hybrid quantum systems’. It is an ambitious project and in its first stage, in which we are now, it’s engineering physics, because we want to build a system that is not yet built”, he said about the project in which he has already invested nearly two years of his Ph.D. of a total average of six years, though the project itself has four years of development, it is expected that the next four years they can applicate obtained results.
As the scientist explained, research is conducted at the Joint Quantum Institute, JQI, a center that was formed between University of Maryland and the National Institute for Standards and Technology, a governmental agency. “Academically, my PhD will be delivered by University of Maryland, but research takes place in the JQI. In the US, funding for research comes from the State, for example from the Department of Energy, as well as private companies that are interested in developing technology”, he explained.
Regarding the applicability of the knowledge acquired during his experience in the US and the reality of research that is developed in our country, Solano said it all comes down to funding. “The difference is not in the building, because there are very capable people here. The problem is the amount of money you want to invest. So it is perfectly possible to do here the theoretical aspect of what is done there. And, after that, to decide whether you want to implement, because they are long-term projects where there are decisions to invest money in a certain area and not in others. For example, in Australia, it was decided to invest all the money in Optics Atomic and Molecular (Amop). They are decisions made at government level”, said the researcher.
José Brito explained his motivation to share his doctoral knowledge and socialize it with members of CEFOP. “There are areas where work can be further developed in CEFOP. The work I do still maintains a link with issues that the idea of quantum communication networks they work here, especially because in our work, we do interface of photons and atoms, and the portion of photons is an area in which CEFOP is very strong; and the part of atoms is something that has not been much explored, but they are complementary things. So one of the reasons why I chose this topic was to use the knowledge that I previously had”, he said.
The scientific also said that while once completed his doctorate, he has the intention to stay a while in Germany developing some technologies for applying the results of his investigation, and for medium-term, he intends to return to Concepción. “I think we have to integrate the knowledge that we have accumulated. Not only me, but a whole generation that have formed mainly in experiments, and we see that it is a generation that is very interested and also today we are in a situation where there are more resources, more possibilities for new experiments”, the researcher emphasized.
The analysis of the situation of investigative scientist development in our country in comparison with what happens in Germany is optimistic. “I think that gap is shrinking more and more. The challenge is also to see how you can innovate, because it is difficult to compete in subjects Germany already spent 20 years working on. So one has to find the lock-ups, gaps where there are things that have not yet been investigated and where there are very interesting phenomena, not only for us but also for the global scientific community. There are issues that require further development and an appropriate strategy would point to them”, Brito stressed.