Several teams explore the frontiers of their research areas, through broad international collaborations or industrial partnerships, and develop methods relevant for other fields or innovative technologies, building up on their expertise in fundamental physics.
Several teams of the Kastler Brossel Laboratory are leading research at the crossing between physics, biology and medecine. These works are often performed in close collaboration with other laboratories or institutes:
The team « Polarized Helium, Quantum Solids and Liquids » uses its expertise in optical pumping techniques to produce polarized Helium gas, that can be used for NMR imaging of lungs with potential applications for diagnosis in hospitals.
The team «Imaging in Biological and Complex Media » exploits wavefront shaping tools to control light in complex media. This has strong applications in biology and tissues imaging, where scattering strongly hinders the ability to image at depth and where the control of scattered light opens the possibility to image at unprecedented depth. Beyond imaging, the team also explores applications to optical trapping for microfluidics, and even for optical computing.
The team «Quantum Optics» has developed innovative methods for the manipulation of light, both in its temporal and spatial degrees of freedom. These technologies, of quantum inspiration, have potential applications for purely classical optics devices. For instance unitary, light reshaping methods led to the foundation of a startup company, CAILabs, that develops solutions for optical communications, such as a spatial multiplexer and demultiplexer.
The teams «Test of Fundamental Interactions and Metrology » and
« Quantum Fluctuations and Relativity » are both involved in the BGAR project, a project that has been accepted by CERN to study the effect of earth gravity on antimatter.
Another milestone will be the launch in April 2017 of the cold atom space clock PHARAO/ACES towards the international space station. This European project which involves members of the « Ultracold Fermi Gases» team, will test a central prediction of Einstein’s general relativity, the effect of gravitation on the clock rate. It will also search for time variations of fundamental physical constants, such as the fine structure constant.
The team « Quantum fluctuations and relativity » is involved in several large-scale collaborations (MICROSCOPE, STE-QUEST, MAQRO …) aiming at testing general relativity, a theory that describes the laws of gravitation but is to date incompatible with quantum theory.
The team «Optomechanics and quantum measurement» is part of the Virgo collaborations, an italian-french collaboration which develops the second generation of the gravitational wave detector. The detection of gravitational waves, predicted by General Rlativity, would have a huge impact in physics, whith major implications for astrophysics and cosmology.