Thursday 18 April 2019
A team of University of Otago/ Dodd-Walls Centre scientists have created a novel device that could enable the next generation of faster more energy efficient internet. Their breakthrough results have been published in the world’s premiere scientific journal Nature this morning.
The internet is one of the single biggest consumers of power in the world. With data capacity expected to double every year and the physical infrastructure used to encode and process data reaching its limits there is huge pressure to find new solutions to increase the speed and capacity of the internet.
Principal Investigator Dr Harald Schwefel and Dr Madhuri Kumari’s research has found an answer. They have created a device called a microresonator optical frequency comb made out of a tiny disc of crystal. The device transforms a single colour of laser light into a rainbow of 160 different frequencies - each beam totally in sync with each other and perfectly stable. One such device could replace hundreds of power-consuming lasers currently used to encode and send data around the world.
The work was born out of Dr Schwefel’s previous research at the prestigious Max Planck Institute in Germany and his collaboration with Dr Alfredo Rueda who did some of the preliminary research.
The internet is powered by lasers. Every email, cell phone call and website visit is encoded into data and sent around the world by laser light. In order to cram more data down a single optical fibre the information is split into different frequencies of light that can be transmitted in parallel.
Dr Kumari says the current infrastructure is struggling to cope with demand as internet consumption increases significantly.
“Lasers only emit one colour at a time. What this means is that, if your application requires many different colours at once, you need many lasers. All of them cost money and consume energy. The idea of these new frequency combs is that you launch one colour into the microresonator a whole range of new colours comes out,” Dr Kumari says.
“It’s a really cool energy saving scheme,” says Dr Schwefel, “It replaces a whole rack of lasers with small energy efficient device.”
He expects the devices to be incorporated in sub-oceanic landing stations where all the information from land based fibres is crammed into the few sub-oceanic fibres available in less than a decade, perhaps within a few years.
“To develop the device for the telecommunications industry we will need to start working with major telecommunications companies,” Dr Schwefel explains. “We have started the process by collaborating with a New Zealand-based optical technology company.”
This breakthrough is the first milestone in a government funded collaboration between scientists at the University of Otago and the University of Auckland who are part of the Dodd-Walls Centre for Quantum and Photonic Technologies - a virtual organisation gathering New Zealand’s top researchers working in the fields of light and quantum science. The research project has been awarded nearly one million dollars of Marsden Fund money to develop and test the potential of microresonator frequency combs.
The optical frequency combs are based on a very unusual optical effect that happens when the intensity of light builds up to extremely high levels. You send a single colour of visible light into the crystal disc along with a microwave signal and because the crystal disc is such high quality, the light and microwave radiation gets trapped inside. The light and microwave radiation keeps pouring in and bouncing around and around inside the crystal. In most situations light never changes colour but in this case the intensity becomes so high that the light and the microwave radiation start merging and making different colours. The phenomenon is known as a non-linear effect and it has taken the team many years to optimise.
The only other group in the world making devices of competing quality is a collaboration from Harvard and Stanford Universities in the US, also published in this month’s Nature, but currently Drs Schwefel and Kumari hold the record for the most efficient device. Essentially this means that their crystals don’t leak any light. The trick is to have an extremely high quality crystal. Harald’s group are a world experts in crafting crystal discs in his University of Otago lab.
The internet is just one of the possible applications for the new optical frequency combs. Another use is high-precision spectroscopy — using laser light to study and identify the chemical composition, properties and structure of materials including diseases, explosives and chemicals. Dr Kumari’s next mission will be to explore this application amongst other possibilities.
“This is a very very exciting project to be working on,” says Dr Kumari. “Optical frequency combs have literally revolutionised every field of applications they have touched. You can use them for vibrational spectroscopy, distance measurement, telecommunications. I’m looking forward to seeing how we can use ours.”
14 February 2019
Congratulations to Dodd-Walls Centre Board Member, Ian Taylor, on being named New Zealand Innovator of the Year for 2019
11 February 2019
23 November 2018
Nature Communications Publication - Observation of bound state self-interaction in a nano-eV atom collider
Congratulations to Ryan Thomas, Matthew Chilcott, Amita Deb and Niels Kjaergaard on another Nature Communications publication.
8 November 2018
Huge congratulations to Dodd-Wall Centre Members who were successful in the latest round of Marsden Grants for 2018.
- Computing with Walls of Light - Associate Professor Stephane Coen (PI) & Dr Miro Erkintalo (AI), University of Auckland $935,000
- Hot Entanglement with Cold Atoms - Dr Mikkel Andersen (PI) & Dr Ashton Bradley (AI), University of Otago $935,000
- SPASER - Towards Practical Nanolaser Devices - Dr Boyang Ding (PI), University of Otago $300,000 (Fast-Start)
- Next-Generation Small Molecule Acceptors for use in Organic Solar Cells - Associate Professor Geoff Waterhouse (AI) $300,000 (Fast-Start)
1 November 2018
New Fellow of the Royal Society Te Apārangi - Professor Cather Simpson
Professor Cather Simpson is internationally renowned for her contributions to fundamental new knowledge about how light interacts with matter. A Professor of Physics and Chemistry at the University of Auckland, her research has achieved seminal insight into multi-disciplinary areas ranging from ultrafast dynamics of heme proteins, laser-generated force on sperm, and laser beam-shaping to transform materials at the microscale. She also applies that research to address important practical challenges, and thereby generates transformative impact through both. Since 2012, she has delivered 11 plenary and keynote lectures and garnered $23.9m in external research funding as principal investigator. She is founding inventor in two science startup companies, including Silicon Valley award-winner Engender. In 2016, she was Kiwinet’s Baldwins Researcher Entrepreneur and BNZ Supreme winner, and a Ministry of Primary Industries Champion. Stellar outreach and teaching, including a National Teaching Excellence award, complement her exceptional research strengths.
19 October 2018
Congratulations to Dr Simon Poole and his team at Finisar Corporation (NASDAQ: FNSR) for winning the Australian Prime Minister Prize for Innovation for 2018. Simon is the Chair of the Dodd-Walls Centre’s Industry Advisory Board.
Simon and his team have invented technologies that make global internet connections faster.
The global internet we rely on is carried by optical fibres that link continents, countries and cities. The speed and volume of internet traffic was limited by the need to convert data from light to electrical signals for switching and processing. To tackle the speed problem, the Finisar team created light-bending switches using prisms, liquid crystals and silicon, which have dramatically improved the capacity and reliability of the internet. One switch can handle one million simultaneous high definition streaming videos.
The team are now working to boost the capacity of their devices further to meet the demands of 5G and the Internet-of-Things.
18 October 2018
OSA Frontiers in Optics Awards Ceremony in Washington, DC.
2 October 2018
Quantum Shorts - the International Short Film Festival, is open for entries - Closing Date 1 December 2018
24 September 2018
03 September 2018
Dodd-Walls Centre investigator Frédérique Vanholsbeeck awarded Diversity & Inclusion Advocacy Recognition award from the Australian Optical Society
Dodd-Walls Centre principal investigator Dr Frédérique Vanholsbeeck has been recognized by the Australian Optical Society (AOS). Dr Vanholsbeeckhas been awarded the OSA Diversity and Inclusion Advocacy Recognition award based on her profound influence on the practices of her university and more generally in New Zealand science, and through her work on the AOS Council. She has been a vocal promoter of gender parity in selecting invited conference speakers, based on her belief that this is central to giving these conferences, and scientific fields they represent, a positive image to junior female students. Amongst other things, as AOS Councillor she promoted a policy that AOS only sponsors events that have appropriate gender and diversity policies, and she has argued to ensure that each AOS prize has at least one female applicant.
Dr Vanholsbeeck is a senior lecturer at The University of Auckland and has been a member of the Dodd-Walls Centre since 2015.
15 August 2018
Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking interviews DWC Investigator Maarten Hoogerland on his major international breakthrough
14 August 2018
14 August 2018
DWC Investigator Maarten Hoogerland's article Precision spectroscopy of helium in a magic wavelength optical dipole trap was published in Nature Physics today
24 July 2018
09 July 2018
DWC PhD candidate Dominik Vogt's Thesis added to Dean's List
04 July 2018
Congratulations to Dominik Vogt from The University of Auckland who has passed his oral examination, and has now handed in the final version of his thesis ‘Development and Characterization of Waveguides and Whispering-Gallery Mode Resonators for Terahertz Radiation’. The reports from the examiners were so favourable that the thesis has been added to the Dean’s List reserved for the top 5% of PhD students. Dominik’s supervisor Associate Professor Rainer Leonhardt is delighted that Dominik will continue to work for the DWC as a Research Fellow, with his main emphasis on THz devices based on a Si platform.
02 July 2018
15 June 2018
Universal suffrage is a human rights issue, but WINNING the right to vote was a movement that required vision and gutsy leadership. This year is the 125th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in New Zealand. At this year’s Dodd-Walls Symposium (www.doddwalls.ac.nz) at Auckland on Tuesday, June 26th, an open-to-the public (6:00-7:30 PM) presentation and discussion will be held on the theme of Women’s leadership in science and industry: 125 years on from the suffragists. The Dodd-Walls Centre hereby extends an invitation to all to join this celebration and forward-looking discussion.
Three extraordinary leaders will give their personal perspectives on the theme as women with exemplary leadership records, vision, and drive: Professor Margaret Brimble (University of Auckland and first NZ woman to be elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of London), Dr Frédérique Vanholsbeeck (University of Auckland, Senior Researcher of the Dodd-Walls Centre and NZ Food Safety Science & Research Centre), and Ms Charlotte Walshe (CEO of Jade Software and a Board member of NZTE).
Date: Tuesday, 26 June 2018, 6:00 to 7:30 PM
Location: The University of Auckland Business School, 12 Grafton Road, Room OGGB3
ALL WELCOME. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
20 June 2018
DWC Investigators Niels Kjaergaard & Amita Deb's Revolutionary imaging technology wins 2018 Proof of Concept grant
15 June 2018
29 May 2018
25 May 2018
17 May 2018
Professor David Hutchinson interview on Radio New Zealand on International Day of Light.
Professor Artur Ekert, Dodd-Walls Centre International Science Advisory Board member's interview on RNZ on "Cyber Security in the Quantum Computing Age".
Monday 14 May 2018
When the Auckland harbour bridge lights up at 12.01 am on Wednesday 16th May, it will signal the beginning of world-wide celebrations for the International Day of Light. The six-minute Vector light and sound show will depict light and energy from the earliest origins of human settlement in New Zealand, through the Maori creation story, to the possibilities for a future world harnessing the true potential of energy and light technologies. Chair of the New Zealand Committee for the International Day of Light, Professor David Hutchinson, today announced that with Vector lighting up of the bridge, New Zealand would once again lead the world in the celebrations of a United Nations light event. “Three years ago New Zealand led the world in celebrating the International Year of Light, the initiative of New Zealander Professor John Dudley, who worked for many years to secure an International Year of Light to raise awareness of the achievements of light science and its applications. This time, the UN is celebrating the first official International Day of light, and once again, New Zealand leads the celebrations.”
15 May 2018
9 May 2018
DWC International Science Advisory Board Member, Prof Artur Ekert, discusses the dangers of the quantum age with RNZ's Jesse Mulligan.
04 May 2018
Professor Artur Ekert, one of the inventors of quantum cryptography, will be speaking on Wednesday 9th May at the Otago Museum (5.30pm Hutton Theatre). The talk, "Is there a perfect cipher?" is for a general audience. Artur is the Director of the Centre for Quantum Technology in Singapore and a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford. He is visiting the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies at the University, with whom he is a member of the Science Advisory Board.
19 April 2018
DWC Board Member Physicist Professor Richard Blaikie shares his perspectives on what social science and the humanities can bring to the physical sciences and the role of te ao Māori in research in Aotearoa.
Flight to the Lights competition winners excited to see the southern lights over Antarctica
23 March 2018
The Dodd-Walls Centre sponsored 10 students from across New Zealand to take a seat on the Air New Zealand Dreamliner flight to the skies over Antarctica. The students had great views of the aurora and learned about the science behind the lights from experts from the Dodd-Walls Centre and Otago Museum. The Dodd-Walls Centre is committed to research excellence and science outreach, encouraging more kiwis to appreciate and engage in science and the amazing world around us.
Check out some amazing Southern Lights footage in this article from the Otago Daily Times. Video credit: Brad Phipps, Photo credit: Taichi Nakamura
Leading the way to terahertz whispering-gallery mode photonics
13 March 2018
DWC investigator Rainer Leonhardt and his PhD student Dominik Vogt present a featured article in APL Photonics about ultra-high quality (Q) terahertz (THz) whispering-gallery modes (WGMs) in a silicon resonator, also showcased in AIP Scilight. The achieved quality factor exceeds by far any other reported resonant structure in the terahertz frequency range, leading the way to THz WGM photonics.
01 February 2018
Prof Bernd Krauskopf reports that the Sixth Annual Meeting of ANZAMP, hosted by the Department of Mathematics of the University of Auckland, was held earlier in 2018. Sponsored by the DWC, this was the first time this conference was hosted in New Zealand, providing an excellent opportunity to showcase NZ’s varied research activities in mathematical physics.
DWC Industry Advisory Board Chair Dr Simon Poole recognised in Australia Day Honours
30 January 2018
DWC members extend congratulations to Dr Simon Poole, on the occasion of his Australia Day 2018 Honour. Dr Poole has bee recognised as Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia. The honour recognises his distinguished service to science in the field of photonics research and development, as an academic, and to the telecommunications industry through advisory roles and board memberships.
DWC MSc student receives University of Otago Division of Science 2017 Excellence Award
24 January 2018
DWC MSc student Milena Horvath (now a PhD student with the Hanns-Christoph Nägerl Group, University of Innsbruck) received the University of Otago Division of Science 2017 Excellence Award for 'Best Paper by a Postgraduate Student'. Congratulations Milena and co-authors DWC Investigators Amita Deb and Niels Kjærgaard! Above-threshold scattering about a Feshbach resonance for ultracold atoms in an optical collider
DWC PhD student Fang (Rachel) Ou, awarded The Royal Society Te Apārangi Leader Award
23 January 2018
The 10th HOPE Meeting will be held in March 2018, in Yokohama, Japan and is an opportunity for Fang to engage in interdisciplinary discussions with Nobel Laureates and other distinguished scientists pioneering the frontiers of knowledge. Fang is in the second year of her PhD working on fluorescence spectroscopy techniques under the supervision of DWC Investigator, Frédérique Vanholsbeeck. Congratulations Fang!
Using ultra-fast laser manufacturing, DWC Investigator Cather Simpson will lead a project to develop portable and handheld devices for skin cancer diagnosis with the potential to provide a non-invasive method to detect cancerous skin lesions. If we've piqued your curiosity, check Cather's Star Trek Gadget on our Media Page
Lighthouse Event 29 November
DWC Investigators hosted representatives from the High-Value Manufacturing sector in the newly inaugurated DWC Prototyping Facility in Auckland on 29 November. Drinks, canapes, robust debate and discussion focusing on how Universities can assist the sector ensured a very interesting and thought provoking evening. Guest speakers were: Andrew Somervell - VP Products & Technology, F&P Healthcare; Berri Schroder - Entrepreneur and Investor and Greg Shanahan - Co-founder, Veriphi, TIN Managing Director. Find out more about Lighthouse Events
2017 DWC Industry New Ideas Competition Winners
Congratulations to DWC Industry "New Ideas" competition prize winners Rakesh Arul, University of Auckland (below left) and Adrian Delgado, University of Otago (below right) pictured receiving their awards and $1000 prize from John Harvey, DWC Industry Team Leader.
28 November 2017
We are delighted to congratulate the following DWC Investigators on their success in the 2017 Marsden Funding round, announced earlier in November. The Marsden funding round is open to a diverse range of research topics and for DWC members and their physics research to be so successful, it is an outstanding achievement. Congratulations!
Dr Harald Schwefel (Otago) and Dr Miro Erkintalo (Auckland) - Microresonator frequency combs through second-order nonlinearities $910,000
Dr Ashton Bradley (Otago) and overseas collaborators - Making, Probing, and Understanding Two-Dimensional Quantum Turbulence $905,000
Professor Uli Zuelicke (Victoria) and collaborators - Supercharging electromagnetism: Tuneable magnetoelectricity in unconventional materials $905,000
Dr Amita Deb (Otago) - Single photon control of optical phase using ultracold Rydberg atoms $300,000 (Marsden Fast Start)
Dr Kai Chen (Victoria) – Photoluminescence shines a light on the exemplary optoelectronic properties in hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites $300,000 (Marsden Fast Start)
20 November 2017
Congratulations to DWC Investigator Rainer Kunnemeyer's PhD Student, Harpreet Kaur, winner of the 3MT (Three minute thesis) competition at Waikato University. Harpreet also took out the People’s Choice Award. On 29 September, Harpreet presented at the 3MT Asia-Pacific Competition in Brisbane and was one of fifteen participants chosen for the Editor's choice award which will be published in leading scientific magazine COSMOS.
Harpreet's presentations described the PhD work she is doing on fruit quality sensing. Well done, Harpreet!
17 November 2017
Congratulations to DWC Investigator Blair Blakie and his Summer Students Nanako Shitara and Shreya Bir on the publication of their video abstract “Domain percolation in a quenched ferromagnetic spinor condensate” in the Institute of Physics New Journal of Physics. This is an incredible achievement for two very young and bright students!
25 October 2017
17 October 2017
Congratulations to DWC PhD student Ryan Thomas who was presented with the Hatherton Award at the RSNZ Awards Dinner on 9 October. The Hatherton Award is for the best scientific paper by a PhD student at any NZ university in the field of chemical sciences, physical sciences, mathematical and information sciences. Our congratulations also go to Associate Professor Niels Kjaergaard, Ryan’s PhD Supervisor (pictured below with Ryan Thomas).
4 September 2017
DWC Director Prof David Hutchinson, features in an article in the latest edition of the Otago Post. This article highlights the value of our postgrad students and the wealth of opportunity for involvement as part of the DWC.
Congratulations DWC Professor Blair Blakie
11 August 2017
DWC Professor Blair Blakie became an official Visiting Fellow of the Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) last week at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Innsbruck. Congratulations to Blair on this honour! The last appointee was Professor Crispin Gardiner (formerly Director of the DWC), so New Zealand represents 50% of their four visiting fellows so far.
10 August 2017
Ag at Otago and Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonics and Quantum Technologies collaborate to host a two day workshop on Enterprise and Innovation for University of Otago postgraduate students.
The workshop, led by Dr Chris Kirk, Univentures Ltd and who has considerable expertise in this area, commenced yesterday and will re-convene on 16 August 2017. The workshop will identify ways scientific discoveries and ideas can be translated into practical outcomes.
22 July 2017
Chatham Islanders could be forgiven for believing they are living largely alone, in the most easterly part of New Zealand, more than 800km from the South Island. But some visitors will be arriving there next week — a high-powered team of science outreach educators from the Otago Museum and University of Otago.
The "mini-expedition" will include museum director, physicist and astronomer Dr Ian Griffin, Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonics and Quantum Technologies director Prof David Hutchinson and museum science presentation co-ordinator Amadeo Enriquez-Ballestero. They will fly to the remote islands from Wellington on Monday and return late next week.
Prof Hutchinson and Mr Enriquez-Ballestero said they were excited about undertaking the "Extreme Science" project trip, backed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Unlocking Curious Minds funding. They aimed to inspire young school pupils on the Chathams with what science and technology could already tell them about their world, and potential employment prospects. Museum science engagement director Dr Craig Grant said he also hoped the wider Chathams community "might see how new technologies can help offset some of the challenges of their remoteness, and enable them to take advantage of their unique location", such as linking the science of astronomy with night sky watching and "astrophotography" tourism.
Prof Hutchinson, of Otago University, stressed the expedition aimed "to build a relationship", and the funding included support for one of the teachers on the Chathams "to visit us back here at the university".
A telescope and seismometer would be taken to the Chathams and left behind with other science equipment. The legacy was important, he said. The team viewed this "as the start of a long relationship, not a one-off visit that is then forgotten".
31 July 2017
As part of the Education Outreach programme, Otago Museum and DWC members took science out to Chatham Islands children last week during a week of stargazing, exploring quantum physics and blowing stuff up! Amadeo Enriquez Ballestero, Discovery World Co-ordinator at Otago Museum spoke with Jesse Mulligan from RNZ.
24 July 2017
DWC members recently had the pleasure of meeting Dianna Cowern, more commonly known as "Physics Girl" who was in NZ for a number of invited events. Dianna's passion for Physics (especially quantum mechanics) and her clever and fun Youtube videos have resulted in a massive worldwide following. While in New Zealand, Dianna kindly took time out from her busy schedule for an interview with Graeme Hill from Radio Live.
Enterprise & Innovation Workshop (9th and 16th August)
22 June 2017
Ag@Otago in collaboration with The Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonics and Quantum Technologies will host a two day workshop on Enterprise and Innovation for Postgraduate students at the University of Otago, on Wed 09 & 16 August. The workshop will be led by Dr Chris Kirk, Univentures Ltd, who has considerable expertise in this area.
Six places are available for Postgraduate students, whose research is aligned with the Ag@Otago Research Theme. Anybody who is interested in attending these workshops should contact Emeritus Professor Frank Griffin, Director Ag@Otago: firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
The workshop will identify ways that your scientific discoveries and ideas can be translated into practical outcomes. Details of the overall structure of an Enterprise and Innovation workshop programme will be made available to interested participants on request.
Time stretch and its applications
02 June 2017
Observing non-repetitive and statistically rare signals that occur on short timescales requires fast real-time measurements that exceed the speed, precision and record length of conventional digitizers. DWC Principal Investigator Neil Broderick and collaborators have written a paper on Time Stretch and its applications in Nature Photonics (in PDF format).
24 May 2017
View the DWC Interface Challenge video.
The Dodd-Walls Centre and the MacDiarmid Institute connected their top scientists with some of New Zealand’s most innovative companies to showcase what they could do for them. The Interface Industry Challenge was launched late last year asking companies to come up with commercial problems they couldn't solve within their own technological capability, which the Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs) would help solve for free.
The CoREs are virtual institutions that draw on the talent of top scientists from anywhere in the country in a particular research area. The Dodd-Walls Centre specialises in photonic and quantum technologies while the MacDiarmid Institute focuses on materials science and nanotechnology. Having signed non-disclosure agreements, the two CoREs are working on proofs of concept to solve problems for seven companies they’ve matched to various scientists. The scientists are now starting to produce some solutions the companies can use as a competitive advantage, and in some cases may even lead to new intellectual property.
The directors of both institutes, Professor David Hutchinson from the DWC and MacDiarmid’s Professor Thomas Nann say New Zealand industry needs to keep innovating to stay ahead. The challenge was a fun way of letting companies know what scientific help they could tap into, and both CoREs hope funding the initial research now will benefit them with longer-term research partnerships. The seven companies involved range from larger companies such as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Buckley Systems to start-ups Avertana, Lanaco, Aquafortus Technologies and Invisi Shield.
Andy West, a director on the boards of Aquafortus and Lanaco, says it is unusual to get free research from CoREs and that’s helpful for both companies he's helping govern which are still at the stage of “burning capital and are yet to enter full revenue profitability,” although Lanaco is close. Lanaco is a materials science company that uses fine wood blended with synthetic fibres to produce what it dubs as the world's most breathable air filter, while Aquafortus Technologies is developing water extraction technology involving organic chemistry which could potentially extract water from liquid waste materials and help desalination. “We have access to some extremely clever people across a range of universities as CoREs are not normally in just one site – they draw the best people from around the country in any given field. And we have access to really expensive scientific equipment we couldn’t afford ourselves,“ Dr West says.
DWC Associate Investigator Dr Justin Hodgkiss recently talked to Kathryn Ryan at Radio New Zealand about the Interface Challenge and the benefits to New Zealand when scientists and businesses collaborate - listen to the interview
19 May 2017
Extreme hydrothermal conditions at an active plate-bounding fault; DWC Investigator, Professor Neil Broderick, is among a group of scientists who have recently had their paper published in "Nature".
Extremely high temperatures and fluid pressures have been measured in a borehole in the Alpine Fault in New Zealand, a Nature paper reports. The fault is expected to rupture in a magnitude-8 earthquake in the next few decades and the study could have broad implications for understanding earthquakes and fault zone geology.
The Alpine Fault is a major plate boundary fault that runs most of the length of New Zealand’s South Island. The fault produces large earthquakes approximately every 300 years, and it last ruptured in 1717. Rupert Sutherland and colleagues drilled a scientific borehole into the fault to examine the hydrothermal conditions therein.
They collected comprehensive rock, mud and seismological observations and found that temperatures and fluid pressures in the borehole were much higher than expected, particularly in the ‘hanging wall’ above the fault, where the average temperature gradient reached around 125 degrees Celsius per kilometre of depth. Values above 80 degrees Celsius per kilometre tend to be associated with volcanic regions, but there is no evidence for volcanism near this site. The authors conclude that these extreme hydrothermal conditions result from rapid fault movement, which transports rock and heat from greater depths, and fluid movement through fractured rocks, which concentrates heat into valleys.
19 May 2017
The Dodd-Walls Centre is thrilled to announce that Harald Schwefel was awarded winner of the Quantel Laser: Bright Ideas Competition at the 2017 CLEO Laser Science to Photonic Applications event in San Jose. Having reached the final round of four entrants, Harald presented to the Panel at CLEO, and was delighted to win the competition and receive US$30,000 of laser equipment. Congratulations Harald!
19 May 2017
DWC Investigator Dr Maarten Hoogerland was a contributing author of the following article recently published in Optica.
Large-scale quantum networks could allow a wide variety of applications in quantum computing and simulation. We have demonstrated the operation of a single node for use in such a network. A fiber ring cavity contains a nanofiber section, which mediates atom–light interactions through the evanescent field. We observe collective enhancement of the coupling rate between the ensemble of atoms and the light in the fiber.
This work, published in “Optica”, represents an important step toward implementing such a large-scale all-fiber quantum network.
3 April 2017
The workshop PDNOC-2 is the second part of a tandem workshop on Pattern Dynamics in Nonlinear Optical Cavities organised by the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden in collaboration with the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonics and Quantum Technologies (DWC) and the New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study (NZIAS). PDNOC-2, which will take place in Auckland in the period 6-16 June 2017, will focus on the dynamics of patterns in different semiconductor cavities, in fiber laser setups and in materials with nonlinear optical properties.
15 March 2017
DWC Physicists Neils Kjaergaard and Ryan Thomas were recently interviewed by ABC Australia.
9 March 2017
The equipment Dr Mikkel Andersen and fellow researchers have developed to control individual atoms looks like the stuff of historic science fiction. There are seven lasers and a host of other scientific apparatus in a large machine, and when one researcher let a wire fall in front of a powerful laser it promptly began to smoke in a slightly alarming manner. But the equipment in a lab in a University of Otago science block has helped Dr Andersen and his team do what has not been done before; control individual atoms, making them appear wherever they want them to.
23 February 2017
DWC Director, David Hutchinson, talks to Radio New Zealand about what we can learn about quantum physics from bacteria.
New gas sensing using photonic technology
13 February 2017
Dunedin-based Photonic Innovations has acquired complementary gas detection technology that makes workplaces such as meat processing companies and cool stores safer. The technology was acquired from Auckland company Southern Photonics. Both companies use lasers for detecting gases instead of chemical sensors, which were part of the safety problem at Pike River mine. Photonic Innovation chief executive Dr Ojas Mahapatra said lasers are more reliable and cheaper to operate.
Read full story by following these links
- Photonic adds to hazardous gas laser arsenal
- Gas detection firm averting tragedy
- Source of putrid gas smell narrowed down to two sites
Otago Museum to celebrate Women and Girls in Science
9 February 2017
To celebrate the annual United Nations International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Otago Museum, in collaboration with the Dodd Walls Centre of Research Excellence, is hosting a group of Year 11 Otago students this Friday 10 February for a behind-the-scene visit at the Museum. The student’s tour will include a visit to the Museum’s Collection and Conservation labs, Discovery World Tropical Forest, and will finish with a Women in Science panel discussion and question and answer session.
The panel will consist of female staff members from both the Museum and the University of Otago who trained in science and are now involved in a wide range of activities, from researching climate change in Antarctica, to taxidermy, to caring for thousands of butterflies in Australasia’s only three-level live butterfly house. This includes Bianca Sawyer (Physics), Alison Heather (Physiology), Lisa Craw (Geology) and Nysa Mildwaters (Otago Museum).
Nathalie Wierdak, Otago Museum Outreach Coordinator, is pleased that the Museum and the Dodd Wall Centre are be able to offer this event to female students in the region. “This week’s event is an exciting one – not only does it mark a significant date in our science calendar, it once again highlights the importance of encouraging females of all ages to pursue a career in science,” says Wierdak.
3 February 2017
Matthew McGoverin moved on after completing his PhD in Science under DWC Investigator, Dr Mikkel Andersen to be come a teacher at Havelock North High School. Matthew has won the prestigious Woolf Fisher Fellowship Award. Congratulations on such a wonderful achievement Matthew from all of us here at the Dodd Walls Centre!
1 February 2017
Nobel Laureate, Professor Bill Philips, Professor Ian Walmsley and University of Otago and Dodd-Walls Centre PhD student, Bianca Sawyer were interviewed by TVNZ whilst attending the 10th Annual Symposium of the Dodd Walls Centre.
1 February 2017
The news that Nobel prize winner, Professor Bill Philips was in Dunedin to attend the DWC Symposium caught the eye of local Dunedin Television Channel 39.
1 February 2017
Professor Ian Walmsley of Oxford University was interviewed by Radio NZ National Afternoons whilst attending the Dodd Walls 2017 Symposium.