Biennial PhD course: Frontiers of Measurement



September 26, 2008 – January 29, 2009

Hereby we announce the 2008 edition of the biennial PhD (graduate) Casimir Course on the on the state of the art in quantum measurement and the detection of weak signals in various area of physics. The course is part of the education activities of the Casimir Research School Delft - Leiden.


Lecturers: prof.dr G. Nienhuis, prof.dr M. Orrit, dr S. Rogge, prof.dr J.W.M. Frenken/ Oosterkamp

Dates and venues: The course consists of 12 sessions, in principle weekly (see separate schedule) on Friday afternoons from 15.00 to 17.00 h, starting September 26, 2008 in the Huygens Laboratorium in Leiden. One session will take part on Thursday 2 October instead of Friday 3 October. 

Subject-matter: The detection of weak signals is an important aspect of modern physics at large. Ultimate limits to these detections are set by the quantum nature of matter, of light and of charge. The course aims at a discussion of these limits as they are encountered in experiments, in various domains of physics. The resulting discussion of the frontiers of measurement will be divided in four blocks, each one with a different lecturer. In the first block quantum detection limits will be discussed, with quantum noise and quantum non-demolition measurements as special topics. The second block deals with interferometric methods for the detection of weak signals, with an emphasis on photodetection. In the third block the central topic is charge detection, where various types of amplifiers are required. The fourth block is devoted to force measurements, with an application to imaging techniques that combine atomic-force microscopy with magnetic resonance

Audience: The course is mainly intended for the Ph.D. students and postdocs associated to the Casimir Research School. Broad knowledge of quantum physics of light and of condensed matter at the BSc level, and further specialization in an area of physics at the MSc level. The course aims at PhD students in physics.

Organization: The course consists of four blocks of three sessions each. The sessions are scheduled on Friday afternoon, Each block will contain general introductory lectures, and special tasks will be assigned to the participants, which requires active work in teams, resulting in a brief presentation.

Registration: Please register before 1 September 2008, by sending an e-mail to info@casimir.researchschool