News: Mikroteknologi och nanovetenskap related to Chalmers University of TechnologyWed, 25 Nov 2020 13:45:46 +0100 Delsing: It is easier to rule an electron than raise four daughters<p><b>​A doctorate in 1990, Assistant Professor in 1991, Senior Lecturer in 1994, Professor in 1997, all by the age of 37. Per Delsing’s academic journey has moved swiftly. Now he’s heading up the billion SEK project the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT), the aim of which is to build a functioning quantum computer within twelve years. “I have worked on fundamental research for a great many years, but it’s actually only now with WACQT that applications are starting to come from it, and that industry is interested”, he says.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">Like many others, Delsing works mainly from home in these times. He receives me at his home in Landvetter. We sit down in front of the stove, which is not currently lit – it is the height of summer after all.</span><br /></div> <div>“I usually sit here in front of the fire in my favourite armchair when I’m reading and writing, when I’m working at home or have some free time and am taking it easy,” he says about the place he has chosen for our meeting. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Per lives here with his wife Désirée, a language teacher. His four daughters have moved out and in the past few years Per and Désirée have had the pleasure of becoming grandparents to three grandchildren.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>There is a quotation hanging in his office at Chalmers from the former US president Lyndon B Johnson: “It is easier to rule a nation than raise two daughters”.</div> <div>“I can certainly sign up to that! But I’ve changed the quotation from two to four daughters and replaced “nation” by “electron”. So on my wall it states “It is easier to rule an electron than raise four daughters”. Over time I’ve added “photon” and “phonon” too, he laughs.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/pdelsing_300x450__artikelbild.jpg" alt="Picture of Per Delsing." class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />He is Professor of Experimental Physics and Head of the Quantum Technology Laboratory (AQP) at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience, MC2, at Chalmers. His research area is quantum physics with nanocomponents. <span style="background-color:initial">It started with single-electron tunnelling.</span></div> <div>“This research area has developed but still has many ‘golden threads’. As a doctoral student I worked on individual electrons. Early on things didn’t go well. I persevered for four years without getting anything to work and was almost ready to give up. But when we changed the material from tin and lead to aluminium, everything worked properly. The measuring equipment and everything else had already been prepared so a great many results came all at once. It was a ‘ketchup effect’!”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Per took a framed photograph of his father along with him to the photo shoot in Henrik Sandsjö’s studio at Röda Sten. Tore Delsing passed away in 2001 and was the person who opened Per’s eyes to technology and the natural sciences.</div> <div>“Dad was a timber logger until one of his fingers was sawn off in an accident and he received an insurance payout as a result. Thanks to that, he was able to study and become an engineer at Stockholm Technical Institute in Stockholm. It was in the 1940s and 1950s and studying wasn’t all that common at the time,” he says.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>We backtrack a few decades. Västerbotten. Way up in the countryside. A different Sweden. The firstborn son became a big brother when Per Delsing and his twin brother were born at the hospital in Umeå on 14 August 1959. </div> <div>“But I’ve actually never lived in Umeå. When Dad came and picked us up from the maternity ward, he took us to a new apartment in Lycksele. And after two and half years we moved to Malmö where I grew up,” he explains.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>As a qualified engineer Tore got a job at the hydroelectric power station on the banks of the Norrland rivers. After a couple of years he gained employment at the construction company Armerad Betong (later NCC) in Malmö and took his family there. They lived in the Kronprinsen district which had long housed Malmö’s highest building.</div> <div>“Yes, we had quite a long journey, but we maintained contact with our home district and spent four weeks there every summer in our holiday home, 1,500 km north. You couldn’t just nip back over a weekend,” he smiles.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>When he was five the furniture van was on the go again. The family then settled down in a residential district near Bulltofta airport. Mum Ann-Marie stayed at home when the children were small, but she was a trained tailor and gradually started working as a needlework teacher. She passed away a few years ago.</div> <div><strong>How would you describe your childhood?</strong></div> <div>“I was a bit of a street fighter when I was small. And I was interested in sport, and was involved in football and swimming. Competitive swimming too for a while,” explains Per.</div> <div>It was Dad Tore who inspired Per and his two brothers to understand that knowledge was both important and fun.  </div> <div>“Before we went to bed in the evening when we were small, he would come in to us and we’d have a quiz. All three of us thought this was great fun. It was important to take that with you into school. I remember us watching the moon landing together. I was nine years’ old. It was one of those moments, when I knew that ‘wow, I want to work on that’!” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>At secondary school Per created a chemistry box which he supplemented with ‘more advanced things’, as he expresses it with a smile. He used these to carry out various chemical experiments.</div> <div>“It was like having your own chemistry lab out in the garage. I produced gunpowder, did distillations and things like that.”</div> <div><strong>Did the garage survive?</strong></div> <div>“Yes,” laughs Per.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Per and his brother, who was two years’ older, followed one another. Both studied engineering physics at the Lund University Faculty of Engineering, and his brother even became a student guidance counsellor.</div> <div>“Two years into the course he came to me and told me about an exchange with ETH in Zürich. He said: ‘Nobody has applied, wouldn’t this be something for you?’” Per explains. </div> <div>He spontaneously answered no, he was enjoying it so much in Lund, but after a while he changed his mind and submitted an application after all. This was how Per Delsing ended up moving to Zürich after almost three years in Lund, and spent the rest of his engineering studies there.</div> <div>“I have never regretted it. ETH is a really good university.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Per’s realisation that he wanted to pursue research came early on, and after the years in Zürich he wanted to continue and take a PhD. So in 1984 he sat down and wrote three letters, one to Helsingfors, one to Copenhagen and one to Tord Claeson at Chalmers. They were the three universities where research was being undertaken into superconductivity at the time.</div> <div>“Tord called me as soon as he got the letter and thought I should come and meet him. I didn’t get much of a response from the others. I was offered a PhD student position at Chalmers.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>During his period of study in Lund, Per had met his future life partner Désirée. In 1984 Per moved to Gothenburg. Désirée followed one year later, and in 1987 the arrival of twins expanded the family.</div> <div>“Désirée actually grew up in the Kronprinsen district in Malmö where I also lived from the age of two and a half until I was five. Without knowing it, we had lived on the same estate!”</div> <div>Delsing publicly defended his doctoral thesis in 1990 with a thesis on ‘Single electron tunnelling in ultrasmall tunnel junctions’. Shortly afterwards he obtained a position as an assistant professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Gothenburg. Per stayed there for seven years before he applied to go back to Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In 2017 it was twenty years since he had become a professor of experimental physics at Chalmers, ‘specialising in tunnelling and single electronics’ as it was described at the time.</div> <div>Over the years many prizes, appointments and research grants have been bestowed upon Delsing: Wallenberg Scholar, the Swedish Research Council’s Distinguished Professor grant, the Göran Gustafsson Prize and the Gustaf Dalén Medal to name but a few. </div> <div>He is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA), as well as the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (KVA) and the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg (KVVS). Between 2007 and 2015 he was a member of the Nobel Committee for Physics. In 2014 he was also chair of the committee with all that it entails.</div> <div>“I am of course highly delighted with all these honours. But being elected to the Nobel Committee still stands out. It was a really great job, one that I’m really proud of and pleased with.</div> <div>A lot of the work on the committee is confidential, but Per explains that he was involved in and presented three Nobel prizes for Physics: Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene” (2010), David Wineland and Serge Haroche “for groundbreaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems” (2012) and Isamu Akasaki, Haroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources” (2014).</div> <div>“The committee normally consists of eight people who are experts in different areas so that the committee covers the entire field of physics. It is a considerable amount of work that has to be divided up between the members. As chair you also present the prize at the award ceremony,” Per explains.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>As a Distinguished Professor at the VR Per Delsing has been awarded ten years’ research funding up until 2025.</div> <div>“It is extremely important that you have the courage to pursue difficult subjects that may not work at all, and that wouldn’t be possible with three years’ funding.”</div> <div>Being awarded an ERC Advanced Grant from the European Research Council against fierce competition also meant a lot:</div> <div>“It was a major grant which was also international recognition.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Wallenberg-funded quantum computer investment WACQT is, of course, one of those things that Delsing is most proud about. Chalmers had the honour of hosting the centre. WACQT has two missions: to raise the level of expertise in quantum technology and to build a quantum computer. The team are working in parallel on both assignments. Since its inception in 2018, a lot has happened:</div> <div>“I would like to emphasise that there are a lot of us working in the centre in different roles. We have put a great deal of effort into building up the operation. We have now employed 58 people and have entered a different phase. We have established a structure for our way of working and have got industry on board in various collaborations. It feels really good, I definitely think that progress is being made,” explains Per.</div> <div>“I have worked on fundamental research for a great many years, but it’s actually only now with WACQT that applications are starting to come from it, and that industry is interested. After having worked on research which is of more academic interest, it’s really great that it’s actually turning into something that is of interest to industry and the general public.”</div> <div>He also thinks that the construction of a quantum computer is going well:</div> <div>“We can run certain algorithms on small processors now. It’s looking good, and we have been able to proceed with building larger processors.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Per seems to divide his time between many different activities. Apart from being a head of division and head of the WACQT unit, he supervises eight doctoral students.</div> <div><strong>How do you manage everything?</strong></div> <div>“The simple truth is that I don’t. Nor can you run as fast when you are 60 as you did when you were 40. I’m trying to get rid of some assignments. For instance, I’m not taking on any more doctoral students.”</div> <div>What do you enjoy most?</div> <div>“There’s a lot that is enjoyable. I think it’s extremely enjoyable to work with really intelligent people who you can have high-level discussions with. But those eureka moments when you realise that ‘that’s how it must be’ or that we’ve found what we had sought for two years is also a wonderful feeling.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>At some points in his career Per has been involved in groundbreaking scientific breakthroughs. The first one came during his time as a doctoral student.</div> <div>“I discovered single electron tunnelling oscillations. There were many others who tried to observe it, but I succeeding in being the first to do so in 1989,” he explains.</div> <div>In collaboration with Yale, an experiment was carried out in which they successfully developed an ultra-fast single electron transistor. </div> <div>“We built the circuit at Chalmers and then one of my doctoral students went to Yale and carried out the experiment. It was a very important step. A great deal of my research over the next ten years was based on this transistor. We performed many interesting experiments on it, which were also published in Science and Nature.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>A research breakthrough that attracted a great deal of attention was what is popularly called creating light out of a vacuum: the Dynamical Casimir Effect.</div> <div>“It was an important discovery that we were the first to achieve at Chalmers,” says Per.</div> <div>The results, which were published in Nature, were called a ‘milestone for which researchers have waited 40 years’, and it was ranked as the fifth greatest scientific breakthrough in the world in 2011 by the journal Physics World.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Three years later Delsing’s experimental research team succeeded, in collaboration with his colleague Göran Johansson’s theoretical group, in capturing sound from an atom, and showing that this sound can communicate with an artificial atom. This made it possible to demonstrate a quantum phenomenon with sound instead of light. A door that was previously closed to the world of quantum physics now opened.</div> <div>“We could place quantum dots (artificial atoms) on a piezoelectric substrate so that it was possible to connect the atom to sound instead of light. The results were published in Science, they have been well cited and have gained many followers. There are a lot of research groups working in that direction now,” he says.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>How does it feel to make such a discovery? Delsing describes it as having the hairs stand up on your arms once the realisation sinks in. Like managing to do a high jump or scoring a goal from a penalty kick in football.</div> <div>“Sometimes you’re looking for something special that you either find or don’t find, but if you see it, it’s quite obvious. I remember how, as a doctoral student, late one July evening I was standing looking at a curve that was being generated on an xy printer, as it was at the time. I knew that the curve should have a little peak, and suddenly saw the printer’s stylus start to go up and then down again. ”Wow, a peak”, I thought. Within a few seconds I realised that I’d got something there.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Other times researchers stumble over something quite different from what they were looking for.</div> <div>“It can take quite a while for you to understand what it was that happened and how it took place. Sometimes you find something that you didn’t expect and that’s almost more exciting.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Michael Nystås</div> <div>Photo: Henrik Sandsjö</div> <div>Photo of Per in his armchair: Michael Nystås</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Chalmers-scientists-create-light-from-vacuum.aspx">Read more about creating light from a vacuum</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;<span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/news/Pages/The-sound-of-an-atom-has-been-captured.aspx">Read more about capturing sound from an atom​</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;<span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><div><strong>Read a recent interview with Per Delsing by writer Ingela Roos &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong></div> <div><a href=""></a></div></span></div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">MORE ABOUT PER</h3> <div><strong>Born:</strong> In Umeå on 14 August 1959.</div> <div><strong>Lives:</strong> In a house in Landvetter.</div> <div><strong>Family:</strong> Married to Désirée, a language teacher. Four grown-up daughters and three grandchildren, who are three months, six months and two years’ old (in June 2020). “It all goes so fast”.</div> <div><strong>Job: </strong>Professor of Experimental Physics at Chalmers.</div> <div><strong>Leisure interests: </strong>Tennis, skiing and swimming. Very interested in humanity and evolution. “A scientific sideline.”</div> <div><strong>Listening and reading:</strong> “Mostly non-fiction, but I’ve read most of the books written by Henning Mankell and Jan Guillou. I don’t listen to as much music as I used to, I appreciate silence more. In Zürich I could play loud music and study at the same time. I can’t do that any more. I need silence around me when I have to try and understand something. My old favourites are Genesis, Supertramp and Elton John. My taste in music has stagnated over the years.” </div> <div><strong>Favourite place for inspiration:</strong> “My mother-in-law was born on Käringön island and we have a small holiday home there. We spend most summers on the island. I find inspiration from going out into the hills.”</div> <div><strong>Most proud about:</strong> “Apart from my children? In the scientific field, I’m most proud of having been elected to the Nobel committee. You are appointed to it because you are considered to really understand physics. It was recognition. It’s not just an appointment but it’s also highly stimulating work.”</div> <div><strong>Motivation:</strong> “An inquisitive desire to understand the natural world. On the one hand to understand why something happens in the natural world and on the other to be able to turn it round and use it in some way.”</div> <div><strong>First memory of engineering:</strong> “The moon landing.”</div> <div><strong>First memory of physics:</strong> “When I learnt what superconductivity was. For once my Dad couldn’t answer the question, but I had to find it out for myself. It was then I realised that I thought it was a really interesting and exciting subject.”</div> <div><strong>Best thing about being a researcher:</strong> “Being able to work on something that is so interesting and that you are passionate about, together with incredibly talented doctoral students and colleagues. To be entrusted with the task of developing knowledge during working hours.”</div> <div><strong>Challenges of the job: </strong>“Managing to do everything you would like to do.”</div> <div><strong>Dream for the future:</strong> “A great many of my dreams have been fulfilled. Of course, I had a dream of becoming a professor. I have also been able to achieve many of the discoveries I dreamt about. I dreamt of having grandchildren.”</div> <div><strong>Hidden talent:</strong> “I think I’m quite handy. I do quite a lot of practical work at home: carpentry, laying floors, electrical work.”</div>Wed, 25 Nov 2020 09:00:00 +0100öran wants to build Sweden&#39;s first quantum computer<p><b>​Physicist, researcher and TedX speaker. It is important to Göran Johansson to talk to others about his research. He is also one of the driving forces behind the construction of Sweden&#39;s first quantum computer. “The dream is to be able to solve a real problem with a quantum computer,” he says.​​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">Quantum physics has followed Göran Johansson like a golden thread throughout his academic career. He is Professor of Applied Quantum Physics and Head of the Applied Quantum Physics Laboratory (AQP) at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience, MC2, at Chalmers. </span><br /></div> <div>“Traditional mechanics felt comprehensible, but I didn’t feel the same about quantum physics. I thought it was strange. Which is why I have spent much of my life thinking about quantum physics in various contexts,” he says. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/gjohansson_300x450_listbild_artikelbild.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Picture of G Johansson" style="margin:5px" />Göran divides his time between a number of activities. As well as being Head of AQP, he is Deputy Head of the Excellence Initiative Nano (EI Nano), and one of the principal researchers in the billion SEK project the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT), the aim of which is to build a functioning quantum computer within twelve years. </div> <div>“We want to find the real problems that are best suited to a quantum computer. It would be fascinating to be able to use quantum physics to solve difficult problems like flying more efficiently, perhaps with fewer planes and fewer flights. We want to see whether a quantum computer can do the job better and we’ve carried out an initial theoretical calculation that shows that it works,” says Göran.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>WACQT has initiated partnerships with a number of companies such as Jeppesen and Volvo. Göran Wendin is the driving force behind a partnership with Astra Zeneca which may eventually lead to new medicines. Another project is in progress with researchers at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and concerns calculations for DNA sequencing.</div> <div>“These are all extremely difficult calculation problems with which a quantum computer could help,” explains Göran Johansson.</div> <div>At WACQT he also manages a graduate school with around thirty doctoral students.</div> <div><strong>How do you manage everything?</strong></div> <div>“Well, I don’t really. WACQT is a huge project in which I coordinate the theoretical work. And the core of operations is now up and running with a number of excellent corporate partnerships,” says Göran. </div> <div>What do you enjoy most?</div> <div>“Thinking about problems, discussing physics and supervising doctoral students. But just sitting on my own doing calculations can be a bit boring.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>We meet at the cosy Kafé Zenith in the Majorna district of Gothenburg. This is Göran’s home turf. He has spent a lot of time here. He knows the district like the back of his hand.</div> <div>“I thought it would be fun to meet in Majorna. My parents grew up in Majorna and we used to visit my grandparents here when I was small. When I left home, I moved to Klarebergsgatan street and lived there until we moved to Kommendörsgatan street, which is just 100 metres from here.”</div> <div>Part of what he loves about the area is its rich and varied cultural life.</div> <div>“Yes, there is much to enjoy here. I used to listen to new music and buy LPs at Bengans a stone’s throw from here.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Göran Johansson grew up in Påvelund, where his parents moved from the Frölunda Torg area. His mother was a domestic science teacher and his father a mechanical engineer who studied at Chalmers. Göran also has a sister who is four years older. He now lives with his wife Annika and their two children Adam, who is studying engineering physics at Chalmers, and Ellen, who is in the first year of upper secondary school, in a terraced house in Hagen, very close to Påvelund.</div> <div>“As you can see, I haven’t moved very far,” he says with a smile. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Göran developed an interest in technology at a young age. There is still something of the technical dreamer from his childhood in Påvelund in the 70s and 80s about Göran Johansson. He lights up when he talks about exploring science as a child, often with his father.</div> <div>“He has always been interested in technology. I used to get up early and go with him to his shed. He would bring home old electronic gadgets, and he let me cut off all the resistors and sort them. We watched popular science TV shows. I really liked Carl Sagan’s TV series ‘Cosmos’ and learned a lot from it. Above all, I was extremely interested in physics and wanted to understand how the world works. I have always wanted to find new things,” says Göran.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>He was also a member of the ‘Teknoteket’ technology club started by Staffan Ling and Bengt Andersson, the duo behind the children’s TV programme ‘Sant &amp; Sånt’.</div> <div>“You got a box of puzzles and books with a technology theme through the post every month. There were boxes on nuclear power, on genetic engineering and much more besides,” says Göran.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>He decided to take one of the first classic home computers along to the photo session at Henrik Sandsjö’s studio in Röda Sten, a Sinclair ZX81. It turns out to be the very machine that Göran bought aged eleven in London in 1981 on a trip with his family.</div> <div>“It was my first computer, and I’ve kept it all these years. It was on sale for half price in London! The next day I wanted to buy a game. At that time, you bought games on cassette tapes and I remember getting to the shop at closing time, putting my foot in the door and saying in my broken English “I want to buy a computer game”. They let me in to buy one,” he says. </div> <div>Göran gets enthusiastic:</div> <div>“Back then, you could buy magazines with program code for games that you could program yourself. When I connected the computer up at home, I suddenly realised that you could write on TV! It was a great feeling.”</div> <div>As a childhood memory, there is still a big sticker from ‘Teknoteket’ on the computer, a collage of stars, planets and Albert Einstein.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>After taking the natural sciences course at school at Sigrid Rudebecks Gymnasium, Göran began studying engineering physics at Chalmers.</div> <div>“I knew that I wanted to do that at a very early stage. I think it’s because my dad studied mechanical engineering at Chalmers. He was the first in his family to go to university. I remember him saying that “the engineering physics students really seem to know what they are talking about...”.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>His studies at Chalmers were interrupted after six months by 15 months’ military service in Sollefteå, but in February 1995 Göran graduated as an engineer. He was 23 years old and he wanted more.</div> <div>“I did some extra work on theoretical physics with Professor Bengt Lundqvist while I was studying and spent some time with the doctoral students. I didn’t really think that I learned all that much as an undergraduate and wanted to learn more. So it was quite natural to continue,” says Göran. </div> <div>This involved postgraduate studies with professors Göran Wendin and Vitaly Shumeiko as supervisors. They are now colleagues at MC2. Göran Johansson wrote his doctoral thesis in 1998: ‘Multiple Andreev Reflection – a Microscopic Theory of ac Josephson Effect in Mesoscopic Junctions’.</div> <div>“In the thesis, we gave a theoretical description of how current flows in a small superconductor. I thought we had discovered something new and was slightly disappointed when our theory was subsequently not used in experiments by other researchers. We had worked hard but no one really cared.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>His doctoral studies went fast and Göran then spent a few years in the late 90s as a research project manager at Ericsson Mobile Data Design.</div> <div>“I managed a research project on computer communication. It was about digital radio, and we were looking at how you could download data extremely fast on your mobile using the digital radio network,” he explains.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>However, his longing to do proper research again grew, and when Göran Wendin offered him the opportunity to be part of an EU project, he returned to Chalmers. </div> <div>“At Ericsson, I realised that I like solving mathematical problems. I now had the chance to be involved in a project with the aim of building a superconducting quantum computer that was actually based on the technology in my thesis. Now it was OK to do calculations with our small superconductors.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Göran then became a postdoc at the illustrious Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, where his family lived in 2002–2004. This was because the Institute was involved in the EU project. Göran thinks with hindsight that the working climate in Germany was quite tough.</div> <div>“It was also extremely exciting to carry on working with superconducting quantum computers, and my wife really liked it there. But when I was offered a position as Assistant Professor at Chalmers in 2004, we returned to Gothenburg.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>One aim of Göran Johansson’s research is to understand more about how quantum physics works and how its effects can be used in technological applications. He sees great value in presenting research to the general public, and appears as often as he can in various popular science contexts. He has given two TedX talks, in Gothenburg in 2017 and in Lund in 2018.</div> <div>“It is a challenge to explain something so difficult as easily as possible, and it was extremely useful to try and say something interesting in eight minutes... Great fun and slightly nerve-wracking,” he says.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>At Senioruniversitetet i Stockholm, which offers courses for pensioners aged 55 and over, he lectured about quantum computers to 300 people in a full cinema. And this year, he talked about the future on an expert panel at a science fiction festival. </div> <div>He knows that his research field is one of the most difficult and most challenging to explain. This is one of the things he has noticed in social situations:</div> <div>“People understand what I am talking about when it’s about computer communication and mobile surfing. As soon as I mention quantum physics, which I think is fun and in which I have a PhD, people stop listening,” he laughs. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>2020 saw the publication of the book ‘Kvantfysiken och livet’ (Quantum Physics and Life) (Volante Förlag), which Göran wrote with Göran Wendin, Joar Svanvik, Ingemar Ernberg and the science journalist Tomas Lindblad. This interdisciplinary book shows how a combination of quantum physics and medical research may form the basis of the next scientific revolution. It took several years to write.</div> <div>“First, we read papers and discussed among ourselves for a number of years. Then we each wrote a few chapters, which we then read and commented on. When Tomas entered the picture, he looked through all the chapters and made the style a little more consistent. It was a lot of work, but so great when it was finished. We are also talking about an English version,” says Göran.</div> <div>Most of the marketing activities have been postponed on account of the coronavirus pandemic. However, there is a piece on UR Play in which co-author Ingemar Ernberg is interviewed about the book by Tomas Lindblad. There are also plans to take part in the Aha festival at Chalmers in May 2021. Göran is on the festival organising committee.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In 2012, Göran Johansson was involved in a major innovation. Researchers at Chalmers had succeeded in creating light from a vacuum, a milestone in quantum mechanics that physicists had been anticipating for over 40 years. With the experimentalists Per Delsing and Christopher Wilson, Göran was able to demonstrate the dynamic Casimir effect.</div> <div>“It is an example of an interesting fundamental effect of quantum mechanics which describes how photons are generated from a vacuum when a mirror accelerates and moves at speeds close to the speed of light,” he explains.</div> <div>The researchers’ article was published in the journal Nature and attracted huge attention from Swedish and international media. The experiment was based on Göran’s theories, and they were able to capture photons that constantly emerge and disappear in a vacuum. The media described the discovery as ‘creating light from a vacuum’.</div> <div>“It was the most enjoyable project I have worked on and I got a real kick out of it. It was the first time I was involved in such a high-profile project. If you are published in Nature, doors open and you have the chance to be interviewed on Vetenskapsradion (a science programme on Swedish radio) and in other media. It means a lot and is a career boost,” says Göran.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Not long afterwards, he was awarded two prestigious prizes: the Albert Wallin Science Prize by the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg, and the Edlund Prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.</div> <div>“I was really happy. The Albert Wallin prize was my first prize, so of course it means a little more.”</div> <div><strong>I assume that you sometimes have some free time. What do you like doing?</strong></div> <div>“I am trying to be better at taking time off and switching off properly. I like family dinners and being out in nature,” he says.</div> <div>Running is another interest, and Göran has run the Göteborgsvarvet half marathon many times.</div> <div>“The first time I was still at school and I was unable to finish. That taught me that you have to have good shoes.”</div> <div>The Lidingöloppet cross country race, the Kiel Marathon and the Skogsmaran run between Skatås and Hindås along the Vildmarksleden trail are other competitions he has taken part in.</div> <div>“I like running a long way but not very fast,” he says with a smile.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Science fiction is one of Göran’s major interests, both literature and films. </div> <div>“This is one of my favourite film and literary genres. When I was small, I read every single science fiction book I could find in the library.”</div> <div>His favourites include Jules Verne and Isaac Asimov, in particular the latter’s Foundation trilogy and ‘I, Robot’. </div> <div>“Jules Verne was extremely prescient. And I’ve read all of Haruki Murakami! ‘The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle’ was the first of his I read. There is another that is a mixture of a hard-boiled detective novel and fantasy – ‘Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World’.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>He also recommends films such as ‘The Fifth Element’, ‘The Matrix’, ‘Interstellar’, ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Star Trek’. </div> <div>“The first Matrix film is still good. I watched it in the cinema with my daughter on its 20th anniversary. She liked it as well.”</div> <div>Göran has also been a guest reviewer of the TV series ‘Devs’ on the website of publisher Volante. A quantum computer plays an important role in the series.</div> <div>“It’s a nice thriller with good music that deals with quantum physics in a relevant, well-informed and appealing manner,” he says.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Given that he used to hang out at Bengans record shop, it is hardly surprising that Göran also loves music. When he was younger, he listened to a lot of synth. Depeche Mode, Lustans Lakejer and Ultravox were some of his idols. Later, his taste broadened to include Talking Heads, Kent and Olle Ljungström.</div> <div>“I saw an early recording with Broder Daniel of the Swedish TV show Valvet as a friend’s brother was in the band. ‘Shoreline’ is one of my favourite songs, by both Broder Daniel and Anna Ternheim.”</div> <div>Håkan Hellström is a big favourite with the entire family.</div> <div>“We listen to him all the time and had tickets for concerts in both June and August, but unfortunately they were postponed to 2021.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>At the end of the year, Göran Johansson will leave his position at EI Nano, which will then come under new leadership. The plan is to take his family to MIT in Boston towards summer 2021 and live there as a guest researcher for a year. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Michael Nystås</div> <div>Photo: Henrik Sandsjö</div> <div>Photo of Göran drinking coffee: Michael Nystås</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="">See Göran Johansson at TedX Lund on 14 November 2018</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">See the piece on the book ‘Kvantfysiken och livet’ on UR Play</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read more about the high-profile Nature article &gt;&gt;&gt;</div> <div><a href="">Chalmers researchers create light from a vacuum</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">Read Göran’s review of the TV series ‘Devs’</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;<span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">Read more about the Sinclair ZX81 home computer</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;</div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">ABOUT GÖRAN</span><br /></div> <div><strong>Born:</strong> Yes, 7 December 1971 in Påvelund.</div> <div><strong>Lives:</strong> Terraced house in Hagen, Gothenburg.</div> <div><strong>Family:</strong> Wife and two children.</div> <div><strong>Job:</strong> Professor of Applied Quantum Physics at Chalmers.</div> <div><strong>Career in brief:</strong> Has been trying to build a quantum computer since 2000.</div> <div><strong>Leisure interests:</strong> Running and forest walks. Family, music, film and books.</div> <div><strong>Favourite place for inspiration:</strong> Out in the forest. I switch off and am happy.</div> <div><strong>Most proud of:</strong> My children. I am pleased that they seem to enjoy life. In terms of research, the experiment on the dynamic Casimir effect.</div> <div><strong>Motivation:</strong> Curiosity.</div> <div><strong>Best thing about being a researcher:</strong> Being curious, exploring new things, thinking about how the world works and finding new solutions. I think that is really exciting.</div> <div><strong>Challenges of the job:</strong> Being innovative and asking the right questions that can be answered. I now have a role in which I also have to inspire others and get them to work well with each other. This is always a challenge. Everyone is motivated by different things. As with all jobs, it is easier if you like what you do. I try to help people feel that way.</div> <div><strong>Dream for the future:</strong> One dream is to find a problem that a quantum computer can solve. That would be fantastic. I look forward to spending a year at MIT. Otherwise I am very happy with my lot and think that I have found the right balance between administration and research. No radical changes are needed in my life. Maybe just to find a new dream in the future.</div> Tue, 24 Nov 2020 09:00:00 +0100 to the Information and Communication Technology of the future<p><b>​Anders Larsson and Jan Stake at MC2 are two of the Chalmers researchers who receive funding from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF). &quot;We will now, for the first time, be able to channel monitoring and adaptivity of signal parameters in real time to sustain the highest possible interconnect data throughput over temperature,&quot; says Anders Larsson, professor of photonics.</b></p>SSF distributes close to SEK 200 million to six different projects in a research effort for faster and energy-efficient Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The six projects are financed with between SEK 28 and 35 million each for five years, starting 2021.<br />&quot;Together, they have the potential to strengthen Sweden’s position in important areas for our industry and competitiveness,&quot; says Jonas Bjarne, research secretary at SSF, in a press release.<br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/anders_larsson_170112_350x305.jpg" alt="Picture of Anders Larsson." class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />Anders Larsson (to the right), professor at the Photonics Laboratory at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, is granted SEK 32 253 449 for the project &quot;Optical interconnects for harsh computing environments&quot;, which is about enabling more powerful computers and computing systems.<br />Larsson explains that optical interconnects are increasingly used to provide the interconnect bandwidth, bandwidth density, and energy efficiency needed in high-performance computing systems, whether being a large-scale datacenter or a single high-capacity signal processing unit. Future optical interconnects for datacenters, automotive networks, and advanced radar systems will require operation under more harsh conditions, at much higher temperatures and over a much larger temperature range. <br />&quot;This is a considerable challenge and calls for the development of a new generation high-temperature optoelectronic components and electronic ICs, more tolerant to temperature variations, and for exploring adaptivity to compensate for large variations of the optical channel response,&quot; says Anders Larsson.<br /><br />The project will enable this by bringing together leading expertise in optoelectronics, electronics, and optical communication. It involves four research groups at Chalmers led by Anders Larsson, Peter Andrekson, both at MC2, Lars Svensson at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and Henk Wymeersch at the Department of Electrical Engineering. <br />&quot;We will develop a new generation high-temperature lasers and driver/receiver ICs, tolerant to temperature variations, and explore, for the first time, channel monitoring and adaptivity of signal parameters in real time to sustain the highest possible interconnect data throughput over temperature,&quot; explains Anders Larsson.<br /><br />The project also involves close collaboration with Nvidia, Volvo Cars, and Saab Surveillance, companies in Göteborg dependent on this technology for future products in their markets: datacenters, vehicles, and radars.<br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/jan_stake_I0A6537_350x305.jpg" alt="Picture of Jan Stake." class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />Jan Stake (to the left), professor of Terahertz Technology and head of the Terahertz and Millimetre Wave Laboratory at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, is co-applicant in a project led by Joachim Oberhammer at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. <br />&quot;In the project, we want to demonstrate telecommunications at frequencies close to 1 THz, which has not been done before in Sweden. Achieving the goal requires new combinations of different technologies, and we collaborate with expertise at Chalmers, where they have developed some of the most prominent semiconductor devices for THz frequencies,&quot; says Joachim Oberhammer in an article on KTH's website.<br /><br />Jonas Bjarne, research secretary at SSF, underlines that four of the six proposed projects have the theme of energy efficiency in common. <br />&quot;This is strategically very important as the ICT sector’s dramatically increasing energy consumption is receiving increasing attention,&quot;, he says.<br /><br />Besides Larsson and Stake, Per Stenström, professor at the Computer Engineering division at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, is granted SEK 28 086 883 in the same announcement.<br /><div><br /></div> Photo of Anders Larsson: Henrik Sandsjö<br />Photo of Jan Stake: Anna-Lena Lundqvist<br /><br /><a href="">Read press release from SSF &gt;&gt;&gt;</a><br /><br /><a href="/en/departments/cse/news/Pages/principles-for-computing-memory-devices.aspx">Read news article about Per Stenström's project &gt;&gt;&gt;</a><br /><br /><a href="">Read news article about the KTH/Chalmers project &quot;THz kommunikation – NU&quot; (in Swedish) &gt;&gt;&gt;</a>Thu, 05 Nov 2020 09:00:00 +0100–spin-dynamics-studied-on-their-natural-timescale.aspx–spin dynamics studied on their natural timescale<p><b>​With the help of extremely short light pulses and coincidence technology, researchers from several Swedish universities have succeeded in following the dynamic process of when the electron&#39;s spin – its rotation around its own axis – controls how an atom absorbs light. Göran Wendin, at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, at Chalmers and Raimund Feifel, at the Department of Physics at the University of Gothenburg, are two of the contributors. The new results were recently published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.</b></p><div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/GoranWendin_171101_01_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Picture of Göran Wendin." style="margin:5px" />Professor Göran Wendin (to the right) is one of the driving forces within the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT), which is led by Chalmers and aims to build a Swedish quantum computer within twelve years. He is involved in several research projects, including this, financed by Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW).</div> <div>&quot;In fact, my contribution goes all the way back to my doctoral thesis from 1972 which explained the photo absorption cross section of the 4d-shell in xenon in the range 70-140 eV, studied by the present KAW collaboration,&quot; explains Göran Wendin.</div> <div> </div> <div>In the new study, the researchers have used attosecond light pulses and coincidence techniques to follow – in real time – how the electron spin (i.e. the angular momentum of the electron around its own axis) influences the absorption of a photon in a  many-electron quantum system, the xenon atom. An attosecond is a billionth of a billionth of a second.</div> <div> </div> <div>The study is using xenon, a heavy rare gas element that exists in small amounts in the atmosphere of the Earth. It is known to absorb soft x-rays of specific wavelength unusually efficiently. </div> <div>Physicists have named the effect a giant resonance and explained that it is caused by a strong collective response of the electron cloud when the atom is exposed to the x-rays. Especially intriguing is that the electron spin has a pronounced effect on the light absorption in this system.</div> <div> </div> <div>The present analysis combines precision in both time and energy to show that the strong absorption is explained by an excited state living less than 50 attoseconds. The influence of the electron spin, however, is due to a ten times longer-lived nearby state, which can be reached by a change of electron spin (called spin flip). </div> <div>The spin-flipped state serves as a switch and determines the state of the remaining ion. The results provide new insight into the complex electron-spin dynamics of photo-induced phenomena and might be of considerable interest to applied science such as spintronics.</div> <div> </div> <div>Photo of Göran Wendin: Johan Bodell</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Read the article in Nature Communications &gt;&gt;&gt; </h3> <div><a href="" target="_blank"> </a></div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More information &gt;&gt;&gt;</h3> <div>Anne L’Huillier, Department of Physics, Division of Atomics Physics, The Lund Attosecond Science Center (LASC), Lund University, 0705-317529,</div> <div>Eva Lindroth, Department of Physics, Stockholm University, 0736-795034,</div> <div>Göran Wendin, Quantum Technology Laboratory, Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT), Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, Chalmers, 031-7723189,</div> <div>Raimund Feifel, Department of Physics, University of Gothenburg, 0708-381689,</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More background &gt;&gt;&gt;</h3> <div>Inspired by his supervisor, legendary Chalmers Professor Stig Lundqvist (1925-2000), Göran Wendin in his thesis applied the many-body theories developed for collective excitations in atomic nuclei to the electron dynamics in heavy atoms. The point was that independent-electron models did not work – it was all pretty collective, and it explained the experimental data from the pioneering work with synchrotron radiation. Actually, Wendin was the one who in 1973 introduced the name &quot;giant dipole resonance&quot; to describe the phenomenon. </div> <div> </div> <div>While working in France 1981-83, Göran Wendin came in contact with Anne L’Huillier at the research institute Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA) in Saclay, France. Anne was doing her PhD work in the pioneering high-intensity laser group, and she wanted to do calculations for multiphoton ionization of rare-gas atoms, including xenon. Wendin became her theory supervisor, and they collaborated during the following 5 years and published a number of papers together. </div> <div> </div> <div>After that, Anne L’Huillier took off and became one of the world-leading experimentalists in the field, and she became deeply involved in the development to understand and make use of high-harmonic radiation for attosecond spectroscopy. The Nobel Prize for this kind of work was awarded to Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland in 2018. </div> <div><br /><a href="/en/centres/gpc/activities/lisemeitner"><span>Professor Anne L’Huillier is also honored with the Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award 2020, which is awarded to scientists who made breakthrough discoveries in p​</span>hysics.​</a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>If one sends intense infrared femtosecond laser pulses on a metal substrate, one can generate a comb of up to 100 overtones with 2 eV distance, covering a range of 200 eV, including the region of the xenon giant resonance. With these experiments one has a stopwatch ticking with attosecond resolution, meaning that one can follow electrons on their flight out of the atom.</div> <div> </div> <div>Related work that Göran Wendin did around 1975-85 had analyzed the giant resonance in term of atomic effective potentials, and that turned out to be very useful when relating the theoretical calculations of Eva Lindroth and her group at Stockholm University to experiment. The good old models for collective excitations – &quot;atomic plasmons&quot; – still provide the background for understanding the results of modern attacks on the atoms with optical and free-electron lasers.</div>Wed, 04 Nov 2020 09:00:00 +0100 Chalmers researchers receive funding for more research<p><b>​​43 Chalmers researchers have now learned about new grants after the Swedish Research Council published the successful applications. The Swedish Research Council will distribute a total of SEK 1.1 billion in natural and engineering sciences. The grants are for the period up to 2024.</b></p><div>​​<span style="background-color:initial">The Council’s funding mostly goes to research in biology, physics and chemistry, which receives nearly half of the research grants. The information released by the Swedish Research Council in the last week of October revealed that SEK 149 million of this year’s project grants will go to researchers at Chalmers. </span></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Here is the reaction of four of the 43 Chalmers researchers who have had their projects and research funded.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Philippe Tassin, Department of Physics</h2> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What is your project about?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>We want to use artificial intelligence in the development of nanophotonics, which is about how light can be used in various ways. Computer algorithms that can identify patterns in large volumes of data have advanced greatly in recent years. For example, neural networks, which function in a similar way to the human brain. Technology is as good as or better than people at things like face recognition or driving cars. We want to use similar algorithms to design metasurfaces, optical components that are much thinner than a hair. Using neural networks, we will design new metasurfaces with shapes that we cannot even imagine that will have entirely new optical properties. </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Why is it important to research this?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>The big challenge with photonic metasurfaces is that extremely powerful calculations are needed to find the structure that gives rise to a metasurface with the desirable properties. Even the most powerful computers in the world are often inadequate. Using neural networks, we will be able to develop new optical components, for example metasurfaces for optical tweezers that make it possible to hold and move small objects like cells and viruses with just light. Metasurfaces that are good at absorbing light can give us better solar cells, and thin optical membranes with extremely high reflection may be an important component of the quantum computers of the future.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Elin Esbjörner, Department of Biology and Biological Engineering</h2> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What is your project about?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are examples of common diseases that break down the brain. A typical characteristic of the diseases is that abnormal protein lumps are formed in the regions of the brain affected. This is linked to neuronal cell death. The protein lumps consist of fibres – amyloid fibrils. Previous research has taught us much about how they are formed and the focus has been on stopping the formation of fibrils and neutralising small protein lumps (oligomers) which have been shown to be particularly dangerous to the brain. Our previous research into the Parkinson’s protein alpha synuclein showed that fragments of fibrils are more toxic than long fibrils.  Consequently, this project will focus instead on the fibrils that have already been formed. We want to study how stable they are, the circumstances under which they can be broken down and whether unstable fibrils are more dangerous to the brain than stable fibrils. </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Why is it important to research this?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>There are currently around 160,000 dementia sufferers in Sweden, and around 20,000 people with Parkinson’s. It is expected that, in the future, more than 50% of Swedes may suffer from a neurodegenerative disease. So we need better medicines. Our aim is to map the factors that control the stability of the fibrils to see whether stabilisation of fibrils could be a successful treatment strategy for Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.  </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Riccardo Arpaia, Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience</h2> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What is your project about?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>A superconducting material has infinite electrical conductivity at very low temperatures. The discovery of high-temperature superconductors in 1986 showed that a material can be superconducting at temperatures above the boiling point of liquid nitrogen (-196°C). But no one has yet been able to explain why. It is obvious that we need an entirely new type of experiment to understand the mechanism behind high-temperature superconductivity. We want to solve the mystery by focusing on the charge order in these materials and its role in determining the properties of a material. Using experiments with synchrotron light, which makes it possible to measure the charge order of unique samples, we will check how the charge order can be changed by varying certain parameters such as mechanical strain and confinement.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <strong> </strong><div><strong> </strong></div> <strong> </strong><div><strong> </strong></div> <strong> </strong><div><strong> </strong></div> <strong> </strong><div><strong>Why is it important to research this?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>The unique electrical conductivity of superconductors, in which resistance and energy losses are zero, permits many technical applications. However, as superconductors require very low temperatures, they have to be cooled with liquid helium, which makes them expensive and difficult to use. The discovery of high-temperature superconductors was a great boost for superconductor research as, for the first time, it was enough to use liquid nitrogen to maintain the superconducting state. A superconductor that can function close to room temperature would have enormous potential. Consequently, there is great interest in improving understanding of how high-temperature superconductors work.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Ross King, Department of Biology and Biological Engineering</h2> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What is your project about?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>We aim to develop an AI system, Genesis, to automate the understanding of human cells. Genesis is a robot scientist, a laboratory system using artificial intelligence to perform automated repetitions of scientific experiments. The robot scientist creates hypotheses, selects effective experiments to distinguish between hypotheses, conducts experiments by using automated laboratory equipment and analyses the results. Genesis will have the capacity to perform 10,000 parallel cycles to create and test hypotheses. Our robot scientist will work with yeast cells. Most elements of yeast function as in humans, but yeast cells are much easier to work with. It is also easier to understand the mechanisms in yeast. So to find out how human cells function, it is best to understand how yeast functions first.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Why is it important to research this?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>AI systems have superhuman powers that supplement the work of human researchers. They are able to remember a large number of facts without errors, execute logical arguments without mistakes, execute almost optimum probability arguments, learn from large volumes of data, extract information from millions of scientific journals, etc. These powers mean that AI has the potential to change science and, via science, to make a difference in society, for example through better technology, better medicines and higher food safety. </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Here are all researchers at Chalmers University of Technology who was granted funding – sorted by department<span style="font-family:inherit;background-color:initial">:</span></h3> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering:</strong> Eleni Gerolymatou</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Department of Biology and Biological Engineering: </strong>Elin Esbjörner, Ross King, Johan Larsbrink, Ivan Mijakovic, Mikael Molin, Lisbeth Olsson, Santosh Pandit, Fredrik Westerlund</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering:</strong> Maria Abrahamsson, Martin Andersson, Ronnie Andersson, Ann-Sofie Cans, Bengt Nordén, Martin Rahm, Xiaoyan Zhang </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Department of Computer Science and Engineering:</strong> Robert Feldt, Morten Fjeld, Miquel Pericas, Alejandro Russo</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Department of Electrical Engineering:</strong> Alexandre Graell i Amat, Christian Häger, Max Ortiz Catalan</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Department of Industrial and Materials Science:</strong> Kenneth Runesson</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Department of Mathematical Sciences:</strong> Annika Lang, Hjalmar Rosengren</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience:</strong> Riccardo Arpaia, <span style="background-color:initial">Thilo Bauch,</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">Attila Geresdi, Helena Rodilla, Elsebeth Schröder, Victor Torres Company</span></div> <span></span><div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/They-received-grants-from-the-Swedish-Research-Council.aspx" target="_blank">Department of Physics:​</a></strong> Andreas Ekström, Paul Erhart, Henrik Grönbeck, Patrik Johansson, Mikael Käll, Eva Olsson, Philippe Tassin, Andrew Yankovich</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Department of Space, Earth and Environment:</strong> Tobias Mattisson, Pär Strand, Wouter Vlemmings</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icxlsx.png" alt="" />The full list of research grants is available on the website of the Swedish Research Council</a></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><span style="font-weight:700">Text:</span> Anita Fors<br /></div> <div><span style="font-weight:700">Photo:</span> <span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">Johan Bodell, Martina Butorac</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">och Anna-Lena Lundgren.​</span></div></div> <div> </div> <div> </div>Tue, 03 Nov 2020 00:00:00 +0100 sensing substrate reveals intimate secrets hidden in ion dynamics of bodily fluids<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, with collaborators from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI), have demonstrated a possibility to measure complex changes in ionic concentrations relevant for a series of neurophysiological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). The study recently appeared as a featured article in volume 20 (number 13) of the IEEE Sensors Journal.</b></p><div>​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/zoran_konkoli_IMG_8922__350x305.jpg" alt="Picture of Zoran Konkoli." class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />&quot;In brief, we managed to find a way to establish a dialogue with an ionic solution with zinc and copper ions. Through that dialogue we were able to ask the system complex questions about its state,&quot; explains Zoran Konkoli (to the right), Associate Professor at the Electronics and Materials Systems Laboratory (EMSL) at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, who led the project. </div> <div> </div> <div>The notion of time is extremely important in the researchers’ approach. In a nutshell, they have constructed an intelligent sensing substrate that accumulates information over time. In such a way, unrelated events that a single-instance measurement might miss are all accounted for. The method itself is a hybrid between supervised and unsupervised learning. </div> <div>&quot;We taught the system to speak in terms of &quot;bar-codes&quot;, an electrical response pattern, related to different ionic states. What we have achieved is a prime example of what can happen when computer science (machine learning, reservoir computing, compression algorithms), physics (multiscale modelling), the science of microfluidics, and biochemistry (intrinsic of the brain biochemistry) meet&quot;, explains Zoran Konkoli. </div> <div> </div> <div>The key idea is to operate an environment sensitive dynamical system in the reservoir computing mode and augment it with an auxiliary input channel. The concept of the auxiliary input channel is central to the approach used. Researchers refer to it as &quot;the drive&quot;. The drive signal aids the sensing substrate in communicating the accumulated information more clearly, e.g. in the same way a prompter helps an actor in the theater. </div> <div> </div> <div>The HUJI team designed ion-sensitive electronics components (an ion sensitive constant phase element). The Chalmers team provided the communication protocol, form of a useful auxiliary input and most importantly the bar-codes to look for, all these being essentially a library of useful voltage input-output patterns. </div> <div>&quot;What is interesting is that these were generated through extensive theoretical simulations of the system, where the parameters of the model were calibrated against separate experimental results. Once the model has been built, we could perform thousands virtual experiments. The signal libraries were built by using rather involved genetic optimization techniques,&quot; says Zoran Konkoli.</div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/shlomo_yitzchaik_350x305.jpg" alt="Picture of prof Yitzchaik." class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />Why bother with zinc and copper ions? The choice to focus on these ions was made under the guidance of the leader of the HUJI team, Professor Shlomo Yitzchaik <span style="background-color:initial">(to the left)</span><span style="background-color:initial">. As Professor Yitzchaik</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">explains, these ions are important biomarkers for a series of neurophysiological disorders:</span></div> <span></span><div></div> <div>&quot;Our studies showed that by monitoring zinc(II)-to-copper(II) ionic ratio in sera sample one can have useful information on the health condition of the patient. This method proved useful in monitoring the status of the neurodegeneration state of multiple sclerosis patients versus healthy ones. These sensors combined with the barcode methodology can open new avenues for the development of point-of-care sensing devices for immunological and inflammatory disorders, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, skin diseases, and cancer that relies on neuropeptides as a recognition layer. The great future for this technology lies in wearable sensors contacting the skin for physiology-based emotion and stress detection systems. The ability to detect the biomarkers present in sweat and process the biological information with the barcode technology may lead for future wearable sensors as affective systems that will improve our quality of life,&quot; he says.</div> <div> </div> <div>The study is a collaboration between scientists from Chalmers and Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI). From Chalmers, Vasileios Athanasiou and Zoran Konkoli contributed to the theoretical part of the research. Aldo Jesorka, Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, provided a very complex microfluidic component that the HUJI team used in their experiments. The work was supported by the EU FET Open grant RECORD-IT. </div> <div> </div> <div>Text: Michael Nystås and Zoran Konkoli</div> <div>Illustration: Vasileios Athanasiou and Zoran Konkoli</div> <div>Photo of Professor Shlomo Yitzchaik: Yoav Dudkevich</div> <div>Photo of Associate Professor Zoran Konkoli: Michael Nystås</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Contact:</h3> <div>Zoran Konkoli, Associate Professor, Electronics and Materials Systems Laboratory, Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, Chalmers University of Technology, </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Read the article in IEEE Sensors Journal &gt;&gt;&gt;</h3> <div>On Sensing Principles Using Temporally Extended Bar Codes</div> <div><a href=""></a></div> <div>doi: 10.1109/JSEN.2020.2977462</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">MORE ABOUT THE RESEARCH &gt;&gt;&gt;</h3> <div>The study demonstrates an indirect sensing concept on the one of the most challenging sensing problems: ion detection. In general, it is very hard to measure properties of ionic systems, especially if the ions of interest occur in very low concentrations and their number fluctuates in time. In the standard sensing setup, the flow of information is linear, from the object of interest, in this case an ionic solution, to the user who observes the system. Further, a typical measurement is a single instance event, in terms of time, though a repeated subsequent measurement might give an impression of continuity.</div> <div> </div> <div>This time, the researchers approached the problem differently. Instead of the traditional single instance &quot;measurement&quot; they thought more of a &quot;dialogue&quot; during which one interacts with the system over a longer time period. Such a temporally extended dialogue is much more informative than a single one-instance interaction. The biggest challenge was to develop a suitable language that can be used to communicate with the system of interest.</div> <div> </div> <div>As a guiding principle, the researchers used an indirect sensing algorithm developed within the RECORD-IT project coordinated by Zoran Konkoli, the SWEET algorithm, defined by three modules: (1) a dynamical system that interacts with the environment of interest (the sensing reservoir), (2) an auxiliary input channel that can be used to increase the intelligence of the system and query the system at the same time, and (3) a simple readout layer that is used to inspect the state of the sensing reservoir.</div>Wed, 14 Oct 2020 13:00:00 +0200 to new medical technology research lab<p><b>​When a new medical technology research lab is built up at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Dag Winkler, professor of physics and head of the Quantum Device Physics Laboratory (QDP) at MC2, will be one of the users.</b></p>&quot;The idea is that the new 21-channel system we are now building will be used at the new lab and coexist with the microwave measurements and treatments&quot;, explains Dag Winkler, who for many years also was head of department at MC2.<br /><br />Winkler's and his research colleagues' acclaimed project NeuroSQUID, is now preparing for its next phase. The project is funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and is a collaboration between researchers at Chalmers, The Sahlgrenska Academy and Karolinska Institutet. The project has been going on since 2014 and is led by Dag Winkler.<br /><br />Researchers at NeuroSQUID have developed a unique MEG instrument (magnetoencephalography) with seven channels for measuring and mapping the brain. The construction of a new system with 21 channels is currently underway; a system to be used in the upcoming research lab.<br /><br />The project's final doctoral student in this round, Silvia Ruffieux, recently defended her thesis &quot;High-temperature superconducting magnetometers for on-scalp MEG&quot;.<br />&quot;It is now important to bring in new funding and staff who can continue with the development of the new MEG system with 21 channels. New sensors will be needed to equip the system with, and a lot of work in the clean room will be required from now on. We are in a turning point both financially and in terms of personnel&quot;, says Dag Winkler.<br /><br />The new research lab is a major investment in clinical research, in collaboration between Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Chalmers, The Sahlgrenska Academy and Region Västra Götaland. New methods for diagnosis and treatment - and in the long run better care - will be results of the new lab, which is expected to be inaugurated in May 2021.<br /><br />Text: Michael Nystås<br />Photo: Peter Widing<br /><br /><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/health/news/Pages/New-research-lab-for-cancer-treatment-and-new-diagnostics.aspx">Read more about the upcoming research lab</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;<br /><br /><a href="">Read more about the NeuroSQUID project</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;Wed, 07 Oct 2020 05:00:00 +0200 program to stop the leaky pipeline of academia<p><b>​28 mentees and 28 mentors have just started their journey together in a brand-new mentoring program at Chalmers University of Technology. The purpose is to support female researchers in their personal and professional development, and to create good connections between junior and senior academic women.</b></p>​​<span style="background-color:initial">The mentoring program is an initiative by the two networks WiSE (Women in Science, based at the Department of Electrical Engineering), and WWACQT (Women in WACQT, within the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology). The program is supported by the Gender Initiative for Excellence at Chalmers, Genie.</span><div><br /></div> <div>“Our aim is primarily to promote personal and professional development for female PhD students and postdocs. The mentoring program will provide a framework for discussing challenges and problems in everyday research life, and thus foster an environment to make wiser career choices. Networking is a key component”, says Giulia Ferrini, representing WWACQT in the organizing committee of the mentoring program.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The program was launched at a digital kick-off on 25 September.<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Provide guidance through ups and downs</strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“We have wanted to start a program like this for many years”, says Hana Dobsicek Trefna from WiSE who held the introduction at the meeting. “As a junior in academia you soon realize that you need a role model that can provide new perspectives and guide you through the ups and downs of life. We are very pleased that this pilot finally is becoming a reality.”</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Academia is a leaky pipeline in the sense that many female researchers drop off to seek other career opportunities, before reaching senior positions. This is especially true in the technical fields, and that is also one of the reasons why the networks WiSE and WWACQT were founded, in 2011 and 2019 respectively. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“My lesson learned over the years is that support from different persons and constellations means a lot, both at work and in life. Based on this, I especially want to emphasize the importance of what you do in WWACQT, WiSE and Genie, and what a mentoring program can accomplish”, said Lena Gustavsson, professor emerita, in her keynote speech at the kick-off meeting.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Advice for mentees and mentors</strong></div> <div>Lena Sommarström, study and career guidance counsellor, experienced in organizing student mentor programs at Chalmers, shared her best practices for mentors and mentees. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“As a mentee, you should first ask yourself what you think you need to develop, and then share your thoughts with your mentor. Accepting the role as a mentor is an excellent opportunity for a senior person to further develop communications skills, practice active listening and mirror herself as a role model,” she said.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The participants also got the opportunity to meet for the first time in their new roles and say hello digitally to their match. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“I joined the program because I think it's valuable to hear tips and experiences from older and wiser colleagues”, says Marina Kudra, a mentee in the program and a doctoral student at Microtechnology and Nanoscience, who has found her match in Silvia Muceli, assistant professor at Electrical Engineering. “The fact that my mentor is a female I consider a big plus. She can help me see which challenges and advantages academia has to offer. I am looking forward to the journey.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In its first phase the program will run for one year and will then be evaluated. The participants are encouraged to continue their relations as long as the dialogue is rewarding and fruitful.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Yvonne Jonsson<br />Photo: Susannah Carlsson</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><a href="/en/about-chalmers/Chalmers-for-a-sustainable-future/initiatives-for-gender-equality/gender-initiative-for-excellence/Pages/Wise-Wwacqt%20mentorship/WiSE-WWACQT-Mentorship-Program.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the mentorship program</a></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/e2/network/wise/Pages/default.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read about WiSE - Women in Science</a> </div> <div><a href="/en/centres/wacqt/Pages/Women-in-WACQT.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read about WWACQT - Women in WACQT, within the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology</a></div></div> <div><a href="/en/about-chalmers/Chalmers-for-a-sustainable-future/initiatives-for-gender-equality/gender-initiative-for-excellence/Pages/default.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read about Genie - <span style="background-color:initial">Gender Initiative for Excellence </span>​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/WACQT/WiSE+WWACQT%20logo.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:400px;height:120px" /><br /><br /><br /></div> <div></div>Wed, 07 Oct 2020 00:00:00 +0200 most sensitive optical receivers yet for space<p><b>​Communications in space demand the most sensitive receivers possible for maximum reach, while also requiring high bit-rate operations. A novel concept for laser-beam based communications, using an almost noiseless optical preamplifier in the receiver, was recently demonstrated by researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.</b></p>In a new paper published in the scientific journal Nature: Light Science &amp; Applications, a team of researchers describes a free-space optical transmission system relying on an optical amplifier that, in principle, does not add any excess noise – in contrast to all other preexisting optical amplifiers, referred to as phase-sensitive amplifiers (PSAs).<br /><br />The researchers’ new concept demonstrates an unprecedented receiver sensitivity of just one photon-per-information bit at a data rate of 10 gigabits per second.<br />“Our results show the viability of this new approach for extending the reach and data rate in long-distance space communication links. It therefore also has the promise to help break through the present-day data-return bottleneck in deep-space missions, that space agencies around the world are suffering from today,” says Professor Peter Andrekson, head of the research group and author of the article together with PhD Ravikiran Kakarla and senior researcher Jochen Schröder at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, at Chalmers University of Technology.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/Super-sensitive-receiver_fig2_665x330.jpg" alt="Picture of research." style="margin:5px" /><br /><em>Fig 2. </em><span><em>Illustration of the difference between the spot size on Earth when using laser beam or a radio wave beam transmitter on the Moon. The diffraction of power with a laser beam is visibly substantially smaller.</em><span style="display:inline-block"><em> Illustration: Yen Strandqvist</em></span></span><br /><br />Substantially increasing the reach and information rate for future high-speed links will have big implications for technologies such as inter-satellite communication, deep-space missions, and earth monitoring with light detection and ranging (Lidar). Systems for such high-speed data connections are increasingly using optical laser beams rather than radio-frequency beams. A key reason for this is that the loss of power as the beam propagates is substantially smaller at light wavelengths, since the beam divergence is reduced. <br /><br />Nevertheless, over long distances, light beams also experience large loss. For example, a laser beam sent from the Earth to the Moon – around 400,000 kilometres – with a 10 cm aperture size, will experience a loss of power of around 80 dB, meaning only 1 part in 100 million will remain. As the transmittable power is limited, it is of critical importance to have receivers that can recover the information sent with as low power received as possible. This sensitivity is quantified as the minimum number of photons per information bit necessary to recover the data without error. <br /><br /><strong><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/peter_andrekson_170112_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Picture of Peter Andrekson." style="margin:5px" />The new concept from Chalmers</strong><br />In the new concept from Chalmers, information is encoded onto a signal wave, which along with a pump wave at different frequency generates a conjugated wave (known as an idler) in a nonlinear medium. These three waves are launched together into the free space. At the receiving point, after capturing the light in an optical fiber, the PSA amplifies the signal using a regenerated pump wave. The amplified signal is then detected in a conventional receiver.<br />“This approach fundamentally results in the best possible sensitivity of any pre-amplified optical receiver and also outperforms the current performance of all other state-of-the-art receiver technologies,” says Peter Andrekson (to the right). <br /><br />The system uses a simple modulation format encoded with a standard error correction code and a coherent receiver with digital signal processing for signal recovery. This method is straightforwardly scalable to much higher data rates if needed. It also operates at room temperature, meaning it can be implemented in space terminals and not only on the ground. <br /><br />The theoretical sensitivity limits of this approach are also discussed in the paper and compared to other existing methods, with the conclusion that the new approach is essentially the best possible for a very broad range of data rates.<br /><br />Illustrations: Yen Strandqvist<br />Photo of Peter Andrekson: Henrik Sandsjö<br /><br /><strong>Contact</strong><br />Peter Andrekson, Professor of Photonics, head of the Photonics Laboratory, Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, Chalmers University of Technology,  <br /><br /><strong>Read the article &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong><br />Ravikiran Kakarla, Jochen Schröder, and Peter A. Andrekson. One photon-per-bit receiver using near-noiseless phase-sensitive amplification. Nature: Light Science &amp; Applications 9, 153 (2020). <br /><a href=""> </a><br /><br /><strong>Funding &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong><br />This work was supported by the Swedish Research Council (grant VR-2015-00535), the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, and the European Research Council (project ERC-2018-PoC 813236).<br /><br /><strong>More about the research &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong><br />A widely studied approach uses power-efficient pulse position modulation formats along with nanowire-based photon-counting receivers needing cooling down to only a few Kelvin while operating at speeds below 1 Gbit/s. However, to achieve multi-Gbit/s data-rates that will be required in the future, systems relying on pre-amplified optical receivers together with advanced signal generation and processing techniques used in optical fiber communications are also being considered.<br /><br />With their new method, the Chalmers researchers demonstrated an unprecedented error-free, “black-box”-sensitivity of one photon-per-information-bit at a data rate of 10 Gbit/s. With 10 Watts of transmitter power, this receiver would allow for a link loss of 100 dB at this data rate. For transmission to/from Mars, a system with 10 Watt could support a data rate in the order of 10 Mbit/s, which is about 1000 faster than today rates (0.5–32 kbit/s).<br /><br /><strong>Watch news feature about the research on TV4 &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong><br /><a href=""></a>Thu, 01 Oct 2020 07:00:00 +0200 grants enable new cutting-edge research<p><b>​Three research groups at Chalmers University of Technology will receive SEK 96 million from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. It enables major basic research efforts on violent collisions between neutron stars, the origin of cosmic dust and its fate, and the light sources of the future that can be created with the help of lasers and artificial surfaces that are thinner than a light wavelength.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">With this year's call, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has during the years 2011–2020 granted funding for 218 basic research projects totaling SEK 6.8 billion. These are the three projects that will start at Chalmers.<br /></span> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">&quot;Creation of heavy elements in neutron-star mergers&quot;</h2> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20200701-20201231/Andreas_Heinz_200924_250x350px.jpg" alt="Andreas Heinz." class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px 10px" />Violent collisions of neutron stars are believed to be the origin of, for example, gold and platinum. Now, subatomic physicists at Chalmers will explore how such heavy elements are formed, to understand how the laws of subatomic physics influence the collision of neutron stars. Recent breakthroughs in astronomical observations, especially the detection of gravitational waves, together with advances in instrumentation for subatomic physics experiments offer unique research opportunities.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We will be able to understand how nuclear fission impacts the creation of heavy elements in the collision of neutron stars. I am thrilled to be a part of this endeavor and grateful to the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation for making this research possible,” says Andreas Heinz, Associate Professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research project has been granted SEK 29,600,000 for five years. The project is led by Andreas Heinz, associate professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers. Professor Thomas Nilsson and doctor Håkan T. Johansson, both from the same department, are also participating in the project.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Major-grant-to-explore-heavy-element-creation-in-neutron-star-mergers.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Major grant to explore heavy element creation in neutron-star mergers</a></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>”The Origin and Fate of Dust in our Universe”</span></h2></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20200701-20201231/KraibergKnudsenKirsten_fotoMarkusMarceticM3A6854_250x350px.jpg" alt="Kirsten Kraiberg Knudsen." class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px 10px" />Cosmic dust grains are microscopic particles that affect virtually every process in the Universe, from the formation of planets and stars to black holes and entire galaxies. Without dust, our solar system would not have formed. But where do the dust grains come from, and how do they develop?  Four researchers at Chalmers and University of Gothenburg will try to answer this in a joint project.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;The fact that we can combine our special competencies in this project means that we can cross subject boundaries to deal with a very fundamental question in astronomy, namely what is the origin and fate of dust in the universe&quot;, says Kirsten Kraiberg Knudsen at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The five-year long project is granted SEK 27,700,000. Kirsten Kraiberg Knudsen, who is an associate professor of extragalactic astronomy, is the Principal Investigator and the work will be carried out in collaboration with colleagues professor Wouter Vlemmings and professor Susanne Aalto at Chalmers, and professor Gunnar Nyman, at the University of Gothenburg.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/see/news/Pages/KAW-grant-cosmic-dust.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />On dusty roads through the Universe</a></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">”Metasurface-Emitting Lasers: Tomorrows Light Sources for Applied Photonics”</h2> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20200701-20201231/Mikael_Kall_200924_250x350px.jpg" alt="Mikael Käll." class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px 10px" />The light sources of the future can be created with the help of lasers and artificial surfaces – meta surfaces – thinner than a wavelength of light. Optics research is facing a revolutionary development, where vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) are becoming the laser of choice for a rapidly increasing number of applications. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“By combining world-leading expertise on VCSEL and nanophotonics research, we take on the challenge of merging the fields of semiconductor laser technology and flat optics based on 2D nanophotonic metasurfaces to realize monolithic metasurface emitting lasers (MELs). We believe that this new miniaturized light source will be powerful, versatile, compact, cost- and energy-efficient,” says professor Mikael Käll at the Department of Physics.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research project has been granted SEK 38,100,000 over five years. Professor Mikael Käll is the Principal Investigator and the work will be carried out in collaboration with professor Åsa Haglund, professor Anders Larsson, associate professor Philippe Tassin and associate professor Ruggero Verre. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Bright-prospects-for-revolutionary-optics-research.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Bright prospects for revolutionary optics research</a></div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation </span></h3> <div><span style="background-color:initial">... is the largest private funder of scientific research in Sweden, and one of the largest in Europe. The Foundation’s aim is to benefit Sweden by supporting Swedish basic research and education, primarily in medicine, technology and the natural sciences. This is achieved by awarding grants to excellent researchers and projects.</span><br /></div> <div>More than SEK 29 billion in grants has been awarded since the Foundation was established, with annual funding of around SEK 2,0 billion in recent years.</div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the pressrelease from Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Text</strong>: <em>Anita Fors, Mia Halleröd Palmgren and Christian Löwhagen</em></div> <div><strong>Photo:</strong> <em>Anna-Lena Lundgren and Markus Marcetic/ Young Academy of Sweden​</em></div> Wed, 30 Sep 2020 09:00:00 +0200 New Spin on Topological Quantum Material<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, with collaborators in Germany and China, have discovered a new spin polarization in Tungsten di-telluride (WTe2), a topological Weyl semimetal candidate. These experimental findings can pave the way for the utilization of spin currents in developing the next generation of faster and energy-efficient spintronic and quantum technologies. The results are recently published in the journal Advanced Materials.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">Topological quantum materials have attracted significant attention in condensed matter physics and information technology because of their unique band structure with topologically protected electronic states. After the realization of graphene and topological insulators, recently, Weyl semimetals were discovered with topological electronic properties. In contrast to the Schrödinger equation used to describe the electronic behavior in conventional materials and the Dirac equation for graphene and surface states of topological insulators, in Weyl semimetals, they follow the Weyl principles, proposed by Herman Weyl in 1929.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>In these Weyl semimetals, the conduction and valence bands cross at specific points in momentum space, known as Weyl nodes. These nodes are topologically secured with opposite chirality in bulk with linear band dispersions. The appealing revelation in a Weyl semimetal is the presence of nontrivial surface states that connect the projections of Weyl nodes on the surface, called Fermi-arc. It has been shown that such a Weyl semimetal candidate WTe2 hosts unique electronic transport phenomena such as chiral anomaly, unconventional quantum oscillations, colossal magnetoresistance, spin Hall effect, and quantum spin Hall states, which opens a new era for physics experiments. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/saroj_prasad_dash_350x305.jpg" alt="Picture of Saroj Dash." class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />In the present experiment​, researchers at Chalmers detected an unconventional spin current in Weyl semimetal WTe2, which is parallel to the applied electric field. The generated spin polarization in WTe2 is found to be different from the <a href="/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Spin-Hall-effect-in-Weyl-semimetal-for-Energy-efficient-Information-Technology.aspx" target="_blank">already known​</a> conventional spin-Hall and Rashba-Edelstein effects. </div> <div>&quot;Such a new spin-polarization component can be possible due to its broken crystal symmetry combined with large Berry curvature, spin-orbit interaction, and novel spin-texture of WTe2,&quot; explains Associate Professor Saroj Prasad Dash (to the left), who leads the research group at the Quantum  Device Physics Laboratory (QDP), the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The spin polarization in WTe2 is electrically detected by using both direct and its inverse phenomenon, obeying Onsager reciprocity relation. A robust and practical method for electrical creation and detection of spin polarization is demonstrated and utilized for efficient spin injection and detection in a graphene channel up to room temperature. </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/bing_zhao_2020_350x305.jpg" alt="Photo of Bing Zhao." class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" /><br />&quot;These findings open opportunities for utilizing topological Weyl materials as non-magnetic spin sources in all-electrical 2D spintronics&quot;, states Bing Zhao (to the right),  researcher at QDP, and the first author of the paper.</div> <div>He continues:</div> <div>&quot;Moreover, the findings have great potential for utilizing topological semimetals in spintronic circuits and quantum technologies. The electrical creation and detection of spin polarization in topological Weyl semimetal can be useful for switching magnetization of ferromagnets for its use in the spin-orbit torque effect in spintronic memory and logic technologies. Furthermore, such layered topological semimetal can be combined with superconductors and ferromagnets to use in topological quantum technologies&quot;.</div> <div> </div> <div>The devices were nanofabricated in the state-of-the-art  cleanroom facility at MC2, and measured at the Quantum Device Physics Laboratory. Theoretical calculations were performed in collaboration with Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics, Halle, Germany, and University of Science and Technology Beijing, China. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Chalmers researchers acknowledge financial support from the European Union Graphene Flagship, Swedish Research Council, VINNOVA 2D Tech center, and AoA Materials and EI Nano program at Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Illustration: Bing Zhao et al</div> <div>Photo of Saroj Prasad Dash: Oscar Mattsson</div> <div>Photo of Bing Zhao: Private</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>For further information &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong></div> <div>Saroj P. Dash, Associate Professor, Quantum Device Physics Laboratory, Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden, +46 31 772 5170,</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Read the full paper in Advanced Materials &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong></span><br /></div> <div>Unconventional Charge–Spin Conversion in Weyl‐Semimetal WTe2, Bing Zhao, Bogdan Karpiak, Dmitrii Khokhriakov, Annika Johansson, Anamul Md Hoque, Xiaoguang Xu, Yong Jiang, Ingrid Mertig, Saroj P. Dash; Advanced Materials, 2000818 (2020). <br /><a href="" target="_blank">​</a></div>Thu, 24 Sep 2020 09:00:00 +0200 ultrastrong coupling at room temperature<p><b>​Physicists at Chalmers, together with colleagues in Russia and Poland, have managed to achieve ultrastrong coupling between light and matter at room temperature. The discovery is of importance for fundamental research and might pave the way for advances within, for example, light sources, nanomachinery, and quantum technology.​​​​</b></p><div>A set of two coupled oscillators is one of the most fundamental and abundant systems in physics. It is a very general toy model that describes a plethora of systems ranging from guitar strings, acoustic resonators, and the physics of children’s swings, to molecules and chemical reactions, from gravitationally bound systems to quantum cavity electrodynamics. The degree of coupling between the two oscillators is an important parameter that mostly determines the behaviour of the coupled system. However, the question is rarely asked about the upper limit by which two pendula can couple to each other – and what consequences such coupling can have.<br /><br /></div> <div>The newly presented results, published in Nature Communications, offer a glimpse into the domain of the so called ultrastrong coupling, wherein the coupling strength becomes comparable to the resonant frequency of the oscillators. The coupling in this work is realised through interaction between light and electrons in a tiny system consisting of two gold mirrors separated by a small distance and plasmonic gold nanorods. On a surface that is a hundred times smaller than the end of a human hair, the researchers have shown that it is possible to create controllable ultrastrong interaction between light and matter at ambient conditions – that is, at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. <br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/DenisBaranov_port.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:135px;height:173px" /><br /></div> <div>” We are not the first ones to realise ultrastrong coupling. But generally, strong magnetic fields, high vacuum and extremely low temperatures are required to achieve such a degree of coupling. When you can perform it in an ordinary lab, it enables more researchers to work in this field and it provides valuable knowledge in the borderland between nanotechnology and quantum optics,” says Denis Baranov, a researcher at the Department of Physics at Chalmers and the first author of the scientific paper. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">A unique duet where light and matter intermix into a common object​</h2> <div> <span style="background-color:initial">To understand the system the authors have realised, one can imagine a resonator, in this case represented by two gold mirrors separated by a few hundred nanometers, as a single tone in music. The nanorods fabricated between the mirrors affect how light moves between the mirrors and change their resonance frequency. Instead of just sounding like a single tone, in the coupled system the tone splits into two: a lower pitch, and a higher pitch. The energy separation between the two new pitches represents the strength of interaction. Specifically, in the ultrastrong coupling case, the strength of interaction is so large that it becomes comparable to the frequency of the original resonator. This leads to a unique duet, where light and matter intermix into a common object, forming quasi-par</span><span style="background-color:initial">ticles called polaritons. The hybrid character of polaritons provides a set of intriguing optical and electronic properties.</span></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The number of gold nanorods sandwiched between the mirrors controls how strong the interaction is. But at the same time, it controls the so-called zero-point energy of the system. By increasing or decreasing the number of rods, it is possible to supply or remove energy from the ground state of the system and thereby increase or decrease the energy stored in the resonator box. </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">The discovery allows researchers to play with the laws of nature</h2></div> <div>What makes this work particularly interesting is that the authors managed to indirectly measure how the number of nanorods changes the vacuum energy by “listening” to the tones of the coupled system (that is, looking at the light transmission spectra through the mirrors with the nanorods) and performing simple mathematics. The resulting values turned out to be comparable to the thermal energy, which may lead to observable phenomena in the future.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“A concept for creating controllable ultrastrong coupling at room temperature in relatively simple systems can offer a testbed for fundamental physics. The fact that this ultrastrong coupling “costs” energy could lead to observable effects, for example it could modify the reactivity of chemicals or tailor van der Waals interactions. Ultrastrong coupling enables a variety of intriguing physical phenomena,” says Timur Shegai, Associate Professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers and the last author of the scientific article. </div> <div>In other words, this discovery allows researchers to play with the laws of nature and to test the limits of coupling.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/TimurShegai_port.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:135px;height:173px" /><br /></div> <div>“As the topic is quite fundamental, potential applications may range. Our system allows for reaching even stronger levels of coupling, something known as deep strong coupling. We are still not entirely sure what is the limit of coupling in our system, but it is clearly much higher than we see now. Importantly, the platform that allows studying ultrastrong coupling is now accessible at room temperature,” says Timur Shegai.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>Text: </strong>Mia Halleröd Palmgren</div> <div><strong>Portrait photos by:</strong> Johan Bodell (Timur Shegai) and Helén Rosenfeldt (Denis Baranov)</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the press release and download high resolution images.​​</a><br /><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">For more information, contact: </h2> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Denis-Baranov.aspx">Denis Baranov</a>, Post Doc, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 31 772 32 48, <a href=""></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a>Timur Shegai,</a> Associate Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 31 772 31 23, <a href="">​</a></div> <div><div><br /></div></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More on the research and the scientific paper</h2> <div><ul><li>​The article <a href="">Ultrastrong coupling between nanoparticle plasmons and cavity photons at ambient conditions ​</a>has been published in Nature Communications. It is written by Denis Baranov, Battulga Munkhbat, Elena Zhukova, Ankit Bisht, Adriana Canales, Benjamin Rousseaux, Göran Johansson, Tomasz Antosiewicz and Timur Shegai. </li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">The researchers work at the Department of Physics and the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience at Chalmers, at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and at the Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw.</span><br /></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">The nanofabrication was performed at Chalmers. The interactions between light and matter were observed by using infrared microscopy. </span><br /></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">The research at Chalmers was funded by the Swedish Research Council. </span><br /></li></ul></div> Wed, 23 Sep 2020 06:00:00 +0200 research lab for cancer treatment and new diagnostics<p><b>​A new medical technology research lab will be built at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, starting this fall. The lab is a major investment in clinical research, and a collaboration between the hospital, Chalmers, Sahlgrenska Academy and Region Västra Götaland.</b></p><div>​<span></span><span style="background-color:initial">New methods for diagnosis and treatment – and in the long run better healthcare – will be results of the new lab, which is expected to be completed in May 2021. The lab will house research equipment with microwaves and biomagnetic sensor technologies. Microwave research will initially focus on new treatment methods for head, throat and neck cancer, as well as non-invasive diagnosis of bleeding in brain and muscles, and breast cancer. For the biomagnetic sensors, functional studies of the brain are planned, with magnetoencephalography for patients suffering from diseases like epilepsy and dementia, and studies of heart rhythm disturbances with magnetocardiography.</span></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span></span>&quot;Define needs and develop solutions&quot;</h2> <div><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div>The new lab will provide improved opportunities for researchers from clinics, academia and industry in the west of Sweden to collaborate and conduct research projects with the patient in focus.</div> <div> </div> <div>“Chalmers gives high priority to strengthening the collaboration between the areas of medicine and technology, and the new lab is one more piece in this puzzle. When engineers and clinicians spend time in the same environment, and are really given the opportunity to interact, they are able to together define needs and develop solutions”, says Stefan Bengtsson, President at Chalmers University of Technology.<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Health/Udda%20format/Stefan-Bengtsson_200.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><div>The research lab will be run by MedTech West, a biomedical technology research platform that has also been in charge of planning. MedTech West is owned by Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Chalmers, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Region Västra Götaland and the University of Borås. Chalmers has also deepened collaboration with the other parties through newly launched Health Engineering Area of Advance, where close dialogue is conducted to develop new forms of collaboration in both research and education.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Unique environment</h2></div> <div> </div> <div>Investments in the lab are made together with the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, and it is strategically very important for western Sweden. The lab will contain an electrically and magnetically shielded examination and treatment room, where research will be conducted. This room is the first of its kind outside Swedish capital Stockholm, and the unique setting creates long-term conditions for the development of research areas that require an environment close to patients. Collaboration between different cutting-edge competencies is also a cornerstone of the lab.<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Health/Udda%20format/Ann-Marie-Wennberg_200.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><span style="background-color:initial">“This is an important step in the right direction. Together, we drive healthcare forward through research in collaboration with other strong players”, Ann-Marie Wennberg, CEO and Professor at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, comments.</span><br /></div> <div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Broad applications</h2></div> <div> </div> <div>The innovative medical technology tools planned to already be in place in the coming six months may be of great use in many areas. Examples include neuroscience, oncology, trauma, cardiology and psychiatry.</div> <div> </div> <div>“The lab’s technologies, and state-of-the-art expertise from Chalmers and collaborating companies, will give our researchers from the Sahlgrenska Academy excellent opportunities to lead their research in new directions. The lab will be a completely new arena where we can develop our important collaboration with prominent researchers at Chalmers, says Agneta Holmäng, Dean at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.<br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Facts about the new research lab</strong><br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The new research collaboration lab will be a total of 36 square meters in size, and consists of a magnetically shielded examination and treatment room, a so-called MSR (Magnetically Shielded Room). Magnetic shielding from the outside world is required for the superconducting biomagnetic sensors used in MEG (magnetoencephalography) and MCG (magnetocardiography) to successfully capture the very weak magnetic fields emitted by the brain and heart. Previously, there is only one MSR used for medical research in Sweden, located at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. The room will also be electrically shielded, which is required for microwave research.<br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The inauguration is expected to take place in May 2021. The research lab will be located in the Radiology Department’s premises on entrance level, in the new Image and Intervention Centre (BoIC), Blå Stråket 5, at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.</div> <div> </div> <div>MedTech West is a collaborative research platform, with the task of strengthening medical technology research in western Sweden. The research platform was founded in 2009 by Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Region Västra Götaland, Chalmers University of Technology, the University of Gothenburg and the University of Borås.<br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Text: </strong>Mia Malmstedt, Helene Lindström</div> <div> </div> <div>Photo of Stefan Bengtsson: Johan Bodell. Photo of Ann-Marie Wennberg: Sahlgrenska University Hospital. Photo of Andreas Fhager, and of Paul Meaney and Samar Hosseinzadegan: Henrik Sandsjö.</div> <div> </div> <div>​<br /></div> <div> </div>Tue, 15 Sep 2020 13:00:00 +0200 of Advance Award for wireless centre collaboration<p><b>​Collaboration is the key to success. Jan Grahn and Erik Ström, who have merged two Chalmers competence centres, GigaHertz and ChaseOn, to form a consortium with 26 parties, know this for sure. Now they receive the Areas of Advance Award 2020 for their efforts.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">A competence centre is a platform for knowledge exchange and joint projects. Here, academia and external parties gather to create new knowledge and innovation. The projects are driven by need, and can be initiated from industry – who have a problem to solve – or from the research community, as new research results have generated solutions that may be applied in industry.</span><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Stronger as one unit</h2> <div>The competence centre GigaHertz focuses on electronics for high frequencies, while ChaseOn focuses on antenna systems and signal processing. They overlap in microwave technology research, which is relevant for communication and health care, as well as defense and space industry. And even if some areas differ between the two centres, numerous points of contact have been developed over the years. The two directors – Jan Grahn, Professor at Microtechnology and Nanoscience, and Erik Ström, Professor at Electrical Engineering – saw that close collaboration would result in obvious advantages. In 2017, the two centres therefore formed a joint consortium, bringing together a large number of national and international companies.</div> <div>“Formally, we are still two centres, but we have a joint agreement that makes it easy to work together”, says Erik Ström.</div> <div>“For Chalmers, it is a great strength that we are now able to see the whole picture, beyond departmental boundaries and research groups, and create a broad collaboration with the companies. This is an excellent example of how Chalmers can gather strength as one unit”, says Jan Grahn.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Multiplicity of applications</h2> <div>Technology for heat treatment of cancer, detection of foreign objects in baby food, antenna systems for increased traffic safety, components to improve Google’s quantum computer, 5G technology and amplifiers for the world’s largest radio telescope… The list of things that have sprung from the two competence centres is long. The technical development has, of course, been extreme; in 2007, as GigaHertz and ChaseOn were launched in their current forms, the Iphone hit the market for the very first time. Technology that today is seen as a natural part of everyday life – such as mobile broadband, now almost a necessity alongside electricity and water for most of us – was difficult to access or, at least, not to be taken for granted.</div> <div>The companies have also changed, which is noticeable in the flora of partners, not least for GigaHertz.</div> <div>“In the early 2000s, when our predecessor CHACH centre existed, the collaboration with Ericsson was dominant. Today, we collaborate with a much greater diversity of companies. We have seen an entrepreneurial revolution with many small companies, and even though the technology is basically the same, we are now dealing with a multiplicity of applications”, says Jan Grahn.</div> <div>As technology and applications developed and changed, the points of contact between the two centres grew, and this is also what initiated the merger:</div> <div>“When we started, in 2007, we were competing centres. The centres developed completely independently of each other, but have now grown into one. The technical convergence could not be ignored, we simply needed to start talking to each other across competence boundaries – which in the beginning was not so easy, even though today we view this as the obvious way forward”, says Erik Ström.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Research to benefit society</h2> <div>The knowledge centres are open organisations, where new partners join and collaborations may also come to an end. Several companies are sometimes involved together in one project. Trust and confidence are important components and take time to build. One ground-rule for activities is the focus on making research useful in society in the not too distant future.</div> <div>Chalmers Information and Communication Technology Area of Advance can take some of the credit for the successful collaboration between GigaHertz and ChaseOn, according to the awardees.</div> <div>“Contacts between centres were initiated when I was Director of the Area of Advance”, says Jan Grahn.</div> <div>“The Areas of Advance show that we can collaborate across departmental boundaries, they point to opportunities that exist when you work together.”</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">They believe in a bright future</h2> <div>The competence centres are partly financed by Vinnova, who has been nothing but positive about the merger of the two. Coordination means more research for the money; partly through synergy effects and partly by saving on costs in management and administration.</div> <div>The financed period for both GigaHertz and ChaseOn expires next year. But the two professors are positive, and above all point to the strong support from industry.</div> <div>“Then, of course, we need a governmental financier, or else we must revise the way we work. I hope that Vinnova gives us the opportunity to continue”, says Erik Ström.</div> <div>“The industry definitely wants a continuation. But they cannot, and should not, pay for everything. If they were to do so, we would get a completely different type of collaboration. The strength lies in sharing risks in the research activities by everyone contributing funds and, first and foremost, competence”, says Jan Grahn.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">“Incredibly fun”</h2> <div>Through their way of working, Erik Ström and Jan Grahn have succeeded in renewing and developing collaborations both within and outside Chalmers, attracting new companies and strengthening the position of Gothenburg as an international node for microwave technology. And it is in recognition of their dynamic and holistic leadership, that they now receive the Areas of Advance Award.</div> <div>“This is incredibly fun, and a credit for the entire centre operation, not just for us”, says Erik Ström.</div> <div>“Being a centre director is not always a bed of roses. Getting this award is a fantastic recognition, and we feel great hope for the future”, concludes Jan Grahn.<br /><br /><div><em>Text: Mia Malmstedt</em></div> <div><em>Photo: Yen Strandqvist</em></div> <br /></div> <div><strong>The Areas of Advance Award</strong></div> <div>With the Areas of Advance Award, Chalmers looks to reward employees who have made outstanding contributions in cross-border collaborations, and who, in the spirit of the Areas of Advance, integrate research, education and utilisation. The collaborations aim to strengthen Chalmers’ ability to meet the major global challenges for a sustainable development.<br /><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/centres/ghz/Pages/default.aspx">Read more about GigaHertz centre</a></div> <div><a href="/en/centres/chaseon/Pages/default.aspx">Read more about ChaseOn centre​</a></div> <div>​<br />Areas of Advance Award 2019: <a href="/en/news/Pages/Areas-of-Advance-Award-given-to-research-exploring-the-structure-of-proteins.aspx">Areas of Advance Award for exploring the structure of proteins​</a></div> Thu, 10 Sep 2020 08:00:00 +0200 atoms merge quantum processing and communication<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and MIT in the US, among others, have demonstrated a new quantum-computing architecture that makes it possible to both perform quantum computations and communicate quantum information between distant parts of the quantum processor, all with low losses. The results were recently published in the renowned scientific journal Nature.</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/anton_IMG_8889_350x305.jpg" alt="Picture of Anton Frisk Kockum." class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />&quot;We showed that quantum bits can communicate through a waveguide without the quantum information being lost&quot;, says Anton Frisk Kockum (to the right), researcher at the Applied Quantum Physics Laboratory at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, at Chalmers, and one of the authors of the article.<br /><br />A challenge for scaling up quantum computers is to enable communication between quantum bits (qubits) that are far apart. Coupling qubits to a long waveguide is usually detrimental, since it provides a channel through which quantum information can leak out. The solution the researchers found was to use “giant atoms”, a new regime of light-matter interactions.<br /><br />“Natural atoms are usually much smaller than the wavelength of the light they interact with. However, an experiment in the group of Professor Per Delsing at Chalmers in 2014 showed that an artificial atom made from superconducting circuits can connect to a waveguide at multiple points spaced wavelengths apart. When calculating how two such giant atoms would behave, we found that interference effects due to emission from the multiple coupling points could prevent the atoms from decaying into the waveguide, but still allow them to talk to each other via the waveguide. This was now demonstrated in the experiment carried out at MIT”, explains Anton Frisk Kockum.<br /><br />The researchers used the interference effects of the giant atoms to demonstrate both that the individual atoms could be protected from losing quantum information into the waveguide and that the two atoms could be entangled, with 94% fidelity, through their protected interaction via the waveguide. <br /><br />This is the first time that anyone has even reported a number for the fidelity of a two-qubit operation with qubits strongly coupled to a waveguide, since the fidelity for such an operation would be low if the qubits were not giant. The ability to perform high-fidelity quantum-computing operations on qubits coupled to a waveguide creates exciting new opportunities. <br />“It is now possible to prepare a complex quantum state in the qubits, and then quickly adjust the interference effect in the giant atoms to turn on the coupling to the waveguide and emit this quantum state as photons that can travel a long distance”, says Anton Frisk Kockum.<br /><br />The study is a collaboration between scientists from Chalmers (the theoretical part), MIT, and the research institution RIKEN in Japan. From Chalmers, Anton Frisk Kockum contributed.<br /><br />The work was partly supported by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and The Swedish Research Council. The experiments were performed at the Research Laboratory for Electronics at MIT.<br /><br />Photo of Anton Frisk Kockum: Michael Nystås<br />Illustration: Philip Krantz, Krantz NanoArt<br /><br /><strong>Contact:</strong><br />Anton Frisk Kockum, Researcher, Applied Quantum Physics Laboratory, Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, Chalmers University of Technology,<br /><br /><strong>Read the article in Nature &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong><br /><a href="">Waveguide quantum electrodynamics with superconducting giant artificial atoms</a><br /><br /><a href="">Read more about the research project</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;<br /><br /><strong>Further reading &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong><br /><a href="">Propagating phonons coupled to an artificial atom</a>. Gustafsson et al., Science 346, 207 (2014)<br /><a href="">Decoherence-Free Interaction between Giant Atoms in Waveguide Quantum Electrodynamics</a>. Kockum et al., Physical Review Letters 120, 140404 (2018)<br /><br /><a href="">Press release from MIT</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;Wed, 02 Sep 2020 09:00:00 +0200