Quantum Technologies for Fundamental Physics

Quantum Technologies for Fundamental Physics (QTFP) is a £40 million Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF) programme that aims to transform our approach to understanding the universe and its evolution.

The QTFP programme aims to demonstrate how quantum technologies can be utilised to investigate key fundamental physics questions such as the search for dark matter, the nature of gravity and measurements of the quantum properties of elementary particles, thus ensuring the UK remains a first rank nation in the physics and quantum communities around the world.

Seven projects have been funded under this programme:

  • Laser and lenses


    Quantum-enhanced Interferometry for new physics

    Principal investigator: Harmut Grote

    Using quantum technologies we can now explore new fields of physics, seeking answers to long-standing questions like “what is dark matter?” and “is space-time quantised?”

  • Experiment using blue and red laser beams
    Strontium optical lattice clock experiment


    A network of clocks for measuring the stability of fundamental constants

    Principal investigator: Giovanni Barontoni

    Using quantum technology we can now network ultra-advanced atomic clocks to investigate the origin of dark matter and dark energy, which constitute 95% of the universe, but have so far eluded any detection.

  • Experimental equipment
    Low-noise cryogen-free cooler


    Determination of absolute neutrino mass using quantum technologies

    Principal investigator: Ruben Saaykan 

    The QTNM project aims to harness recent breakthroughs in quantum technologies to solve one of the most important outstanding challenges in particle physics – determining the absolute mass of neutrinos.

  • QSHS

    Quantum sensors for the hidden sector

    Principal investigator: Ed Daw

    Amplifiers operating at the quantum limit are essential for probing the astrophysics of the hidden sector. With this technology, we could solve the dark matter problem.

  • AION

    A UK atom interferometer observatory and network

    Principal investigator: Oliver Buchmuller

    Using ultracold strontium atom interferometers as quantum sensors to tackle open questions in fundamental physics, such as the nature of dark matter, the existence of new fundamental interactions, and novel sources of gravitational waves.

  • Scientist adjusting device
    Nuclear demagnetisation experiment


    Quantum enhanced superfluid technologies for dark matter and cosmology

    Principal investigator: Andrew Casey

    Combining Quantum Technology with ultralow temperatures we can now search for dark matter in a mass regime that is strongly motivated by theory, but inaccessible using current techniques.

  • Laser and lenses


    Quantum simulators for fundamental physics

    Principal investigator: Silke Weinfurtner

    Using a novel high-precision interferometric scheme to observe the surface dynamics of quantum fluids, we will elucidate unifying features of quantum phenomena around rotating black holes and rotating fluid flows.