Dr Matt Himsworth presents “What lurks beneath our feet?” for the Winchester Cafe Scientiqiue
Are there secret tunnels, diamond reserves or even a sinkhole ready to gobble us up? Surprisingly we know very little about what is below us, even the stuff that we put there! Science is coming up with increasingly clever ways to explore what lurks in the dark underground. This talk will discuss a recently developed technique that uses atomic clocks to measure the variation in gravity that dense or hollow objects produce. We aim to use this in a number of areas from helping civil engineers plan construction works to monitoring tectonic fault lines.
I started the Integrated Atom Chip Group in January 2011 after receiving a prestigious research fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering and EPSRC to explore enabling technologies for integrated atom chips. Previous to this I was a postdoc in the group of Axel Kuhn in Oxford working on atom-photon interactions, specifically tailored single photon sources from Cavity QED, slow and stored light in vapour cells and fast controllable dipole traps. I was at Southampton from an undergraduate all the way to my first postdoc position, obtaining a PhD along the ways, titled “Coherent Manipulation of Ultracold Rubidium”, in the group of Tim Freegarde