Quantum optics techniques support experiments in biology and medicine

14 06/2013

Friday, 14 Jun. 2013, 15:30 - 16:30

Presenter: Hans A. Bachor - Australian National University, Canberra
Host: J. Schmiedmayer
Where: Atominstitut Hörsaal, Stadionallee 2, 1020 Wien

Optical imaging has long been the driver for some of the most sensitive measurements. Quantum optics has made excellent progress in exploring the limits and creating new tools for communication, metrology and image processing, through both new ideas and new technologies. Can this support some parts of biology and medicine, which are areas that pose many fascinating and important research questions?

This talk starts with some examples how a combination of the latest technology of fast wavefront control, complex data processing and new concepts of multimode quantum effects has led to significant advances for secure optical communication, metrology and potentially quantum logic[1]. It follows with two examples of experiments on living organisms that have benefited directly from these advances. The first is a quantum enhancement of the measurement of the mobility of components inside a living cell, by creatively combining optical tweezers, squeezed light, and optimal mode detection [2]. The second example shows advances in in the investigation of information flow within a living brain cell [3] by stimulating neurones in a mouse brain 3D .

These are examples of new and unexpected links between rapidly evolving research fields, biology, neuroscience and photonics. This interplay of ideas and resources might be able to address some of the most interesting challenges ahead.


[1] S. Armstrong, J‐F. Morizur, J. Janousek, B. Hage, N. Treps, P.K. Lam, H.‐A. Bachor: Programmable multimode quantum networks. Nature Communications 3, 1026. Doi: 10.1038/ncomms2033 (2012)

[2] M.A. Taylor, J. Janousek, V. Daria, J. Knittel, B. Hage, H.‐A. Bachor, W.P. Bowen: Biological measurement beyond the quantum limit. Nature Photonics 7, 229‐233. Doi: 10.1038/nphoton.2012.246 (2013)

[3] M. A. Go, C. Stricker, S. Redman, H.‐A. Bachor, V.R. Daria: Simultaneous multi‐site two‐photon photostimulation in three dimensions. J. Biophotonics 5, 745‐753 (2012)