Morgan W. Mitchell

Institut de Ciències Fotòniques

Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

Born in 1968 in Palo Alto, California, USA, Morgan Mitchell earned his PhD in Physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1999 with a thesis on the quantum optics of photon-photon interactions. In the group of Serge Haroche and Jean-Michel Raimond in Paris he worked on experimental cavity quantum electrodynamics with cold atoms. At Reed College he developed ultra-low power entangled photon sources, and in the group of Aephraim Steingberg in Toronto he demonstrated the first multi-photon NooN states and quantum process tomography. In 2004 he joined ICFO as a Junior Group Leader. His group "quantum optics with cold atoms and non-classical light" uses narrow-band quantum light sources and cold atomic ensembles to study interaction of light and matter at the most fundamental, quantum mechanical level. He was awarded an ERC Starting Grant in 2011, recognized with a Vanguardia de la Ciencia award in 2012, Ehrenfest Prize and Kavli Publication Prize in 2016.

Research interests

I work on experimental quantum optics, quantum information and especially quantum sensing. Quantum sensing uses quantum effects to improve the sensitivity of the most demanding measurements. To study the interaction of light and matter at the quantum level, I use cold atoms and high coherence, atom-tuned quantum light sources. For this, my group has developed ultra-bright sources of entangled photon pairs, atom-tuned polarization squeezing and a quantum-noise-limited atomic ensemble system. We have demonstrated quantum non-demolition measurements using dynamical decoupling to reduce decoherence, and interaction-based measurements beyond the so-called "Heisenberg limit." The quantum optics of optical magnetometers, currently the best sensors for low-frequency magnetic fields, is of particular interest. Recently I demonstrated the first application of quantum optics to improve magnetometer sensitivity, and a high-spatial-resolution magnetometer based on cold atoms.  Spin-offs from this research include extremely fast, high-quality ranodm number generators, used in loophole-free Bell tests. 

Selected publications

- Colangelo G, Ciurana FM, Bianchet LC, Sewell RL & Mitchell MW 2017, 'Simultaneous tracking of spin angle and amplitude beyond classical limits', Nature, 543, 7646, 525.

- Colangelo G, Ciurana  FM, Puentes G, Mitchell MW & Sewell RJ 2017, 'Entanglement-Enhanced Phase Estimation without Prior Phase Information', Physical Review Letters, 118, 23, 233603.

- Ciurana MF, Colangelo G, Slodicka L, Sewell RJ & Mitchell MW 2017, 'Entanglement-Enhanced Radio-Frequency Field Detection and Waveform Sensing', Physical Review Letters, 119, 4, 043603.

- Bera MN, Acín A, Kus M, Mitchell MW & Lewenstein M 2017, 'Randomness in quantum mechanics: philosophy, physics and technology', Rep. Prog. Phys., 80, 124001.

- Zielinska JA, Zukauskas A, Canalias C, Noyan MA & Mitchell MW 2017, 'Fully-resonant, tunable, monolithic frequency conversion as a coherent UVA source', Optics Express, 25, 2, 1142 - 1150.

Selected research activities

Principal investigator for "The BIG Bell Test," an international project to perform quantum physics experiments employing human-generated randomness.