Dr Ben Sparkes

Benjamin Sparkes
DECRA Fellow
School of Physical Sciences
Faculty of Sciences

I am an ARC DECRA Fellow working in the Precision Measurement Group in the Institute of Photonics and Advanced Sensing (School of Physics Sciences), working towards implementing a quantum memory within a hollow-core optical fibre. I obtained my PhD in Physics from the Australian National University in 2013, where I developed techniques to store and manipulate optical quantum information. In 2013 I moved to the University of Melbourne to work on the development of a cold atom electron/ion source, our goal being to create ultra-short ultra-bright bunches of electrons for single-shot diffraction imaging, as well as incredibly focused ion beams for sub-nanometer resolution fabrication. I was awarded a McKenzie Fellowship from the University of Melbourne from 2014-2016, which allowed me to investigate novel methods to improve the source performance.

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Dr Ben Sparkes

I am an ARC DECRA Fellow working in the Precision Measurement Group in the Institute of Photonics and Advanced Sensing (School of Physics Sciences), working towards implementing a quantum memory within a hollow-core optical fibre. I obtained my PhD in Physics from the Australian National University in 2013, where I developed techniques to store and manipulate optical quantum information. In 2013 I moved to the University of Melbourne to work on the development of a cold atom electron/ion source, our goal being to create ultra-short ultra-bright bunches of electrons for single-shot diffraction imaging, as well as incredibly focused ion beams for sub-nanometer resolution fabrication. I was awarded a McKenzie Fellowship from the University of Melbourne from 2014-2016, which allowed me to investigate novel methods to improve the source performance.

Our aim is to combine Australia's pioneering work developing specialised atom-filled optical fibres with world-leading quantum information storage protocols to probe the extreme limits of atom-light interactions. This will enable the creation of a compact, robust and modular node to efficiently store and process packets of optical quantum information. The node will integrate directly with current communications infrastructure, allowing for the creation of a quantum internet - the vital missing ingredient needed to overcome the significant experimental hurdles that are limiting the potential of current quantum technologies.

For more information on the research being carried out by the Precision Measurement Group, please see our website.

Creating a Quantum Information Node: the above movie shows the silhouette of a cloud of almost a billion cold atoms, each a few millionths of a degree above absolute zero, as they are released from a magneto optical trap, fall under gravity and are optically guided towards our hollow-core fibre (white silhouette). Courtesy of Mr Ashby Hilton.

 

Appointments

Date Position Institution name
2017 ARC DECRA Fellow The University of Adelaide
2014 - 2016 McKenzie Fellow The University of Melbourne
2013 - 2013 Research Fellow The University of Melbourne

Education

Date Institution name Country Title
2010 - 2011 The Australian National University Australia Graduate Certificate in Higher Education
2009 - 2013 The Australian National University Australia PhD
2005 - 2008 The Australian National University Australia Bachelor of Philosophy in Science (PhB - Hons)

Research Interests

Atom Optics, Photonics, Optoelectronics and Optical Communications, Quantum Information, Computation and Communication, Quantum Optics, Quantum Physics

Journals

Year Citation
2017 Speirs, R., McCulloch, A., Sparkes, B. & Scholten, R. (2017). Identification of competing ionization processes in the generation of ultrafast electron bunches from cold-atom electron sources. Physical Review A, 95, 5, 053408-1-053408-6.
10.1103/PhysRevA.95.053408
2017 McCulloch, A., Speirs, R., Grimmel, J., Sparkes, B., Comparat, D. & Scholten, R. (2017). Field ionization of Rydberg atoms for high-brightness electron and ion beams. Physical Review A, 95, 6, 063845-1-063845-8.
10.1103/PhysRevA.95.063845
2016 Torrance, J., Sparkes, B., Turner, L. & Scholten, R. (2016). Sub-kilohertz laser linewidth narrowing using polarization spectroscopy. Optics Express, 24, 11, 11396-11406.
10.1364/OE.24.011396
2016 McCulloch, A., Sparkes, B. & Scholten, R. (2016). Cold electron sources using laser-cooled atoms. Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, 49, 16, 164004-1-164004-17.
10.1088/0953-4075/49/16/164004
2016 Thompson, D., Murphy, D., Speirs, R., van Bijnen, R., McCulloch, A., Scholten, R. & Sparkes, B. (2016). Suppression of emittance growth using a shaped cold atom electron and Ion source. Physical Review Letters, 117, 19, 193202-1-193202-5.
10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.193202
2016 Sparkes, B., Murphy, D., Taylor, R., Speirs, R., McCulloch, A. & Scholten, R. (2016). Stimulated Raman adiabatic passage for improved performance of a cold-atom electron and ion source. Physical Review A, 94, 2, 023404-1-023404-8.
10.1103/PhysRevA.94.023404
2016 Murphy, D. & Sparkes, B. (2016). Disorder-induced heating of ultracold neutral plasmas created from atoms in partially filled optical lattices. Physical Review E, 94, 2, 021201-1-021201-5.
10.1103/PhysRevE.94.021201
2015 Speirs, R., Putkunz, C., McCulloch, A., Nugent, K., Sparkes, B. & Scholten, R. (2015). Single-shot electron diffraction using a cold atom electron source. Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, 48, 21, 214002-1-214002-6.
10.1088/0953-4075/48/21/214002
2015 Sparkes, B., Weber, K., Hawthorn, C., Walkiewicz, M., Vredenbregt, E. & Scholten, R. (2015). Fluorescence polarization imaging of Sisyphus cooling in an atomic beam. Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, 92, 2, 023411-1-023411-11.
10.1103/PhysRevA.92.023411
2015 Murphy, D., Scholten, R. & Sparkes, B. (2015). Increasing the brightness of cold ion beams by suppressing disorder-induced heating with Rydberg blockade. Physical Review Letters, 115, 21, 214802-1-214802-6.
10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.214802
2015 Higginbottom, D., Geng, J., Campbell, G., Hosseini, M., Cao, M., Sparkes, B. ... Buchler, B. (2015). Dual-rail optical gradient echo memory. Optics Express, 23, 19, 24937-24944.
10.1364/OE.23.024937
2014 Geng, J., Campbell, G., Bernu, J., Higginbottom, D., Sparkes, B., Assad, S. ... Buchler, B. (2014). Electromagnetically induced transparency and fourwave mixing in a cold atomic ensemble with large optical depth. New Journal of Physics, 16, 11, 113053-1-113053-11.
10.1088/1367-2630/16/11/113053
2014 Sparkes, B., Thompson, D., McCulloch, A., Murphy, D., Speirs, R., Torrance, J. & Scholten, R. (2014). High-coherence electron and ion bunches from laser-cooled atoms. Microscopy and Microanalysis, 20, 4, 1008-1014.
10.1017/S1431927614000774
2014 Murphy, D., Speirs, R., Sheludko, D., Putkunz, C., McCulloch, A., Sparkes, B. & Scholten, R. (2014). Detailed observation of space-charge dynamics using ultracold ion bunches. Nature Communications, 5, 4489-1-4489-6.
10.1038/ncomms5489
2013 Giner, L., Veissier, L., Sparkes, B., Sheremet, A., Nicolas, A., Mishina, O. ... Laurat, J. (2013). Experimental investigation of the transition between Autler-Townes splitting and electromagnetically-induced-transparency models. Physical Review A, 87, 1, 013823-1-013823-5.
10.1103/PhysRevA.87.013823
2013 Sparkes, B., Bernu, J., Hosseini, M., Geng, J., Glorieux, Q., Altin, P. ... Buchler, B. (2013). An ultra-high optical depth cold atomic ensemble for quantum memories. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 467, 1, 012009-1-012009-5.
10.1088/1742-6596/467/1/012009
2013 Pinel, O., Hosseini, M., Sparkes, B., Everett, J., Higginbottom, D., Campbell, G. ... Buchler, B. (2013). Gradient echo quantum memory in warm atomic vapor. Jove-Journal of Visualized Experiments, 81, e50552-1-e50552-10.
10.3791/50552
2013 Sparkes, B., Bernu, J., Hosseini, M., Geng, J., Glorieux, Q., Altin, P. ... Buchler, B. (2013). Gradient echo memory in an ultra-high optical depth cold atomic ensemble. New Journal of Physics, 15, 8, 085027-1-085027-15.
10.1088/1367-2630/15/8/085027
2012 Campbell, G., Hosseini, M., Sparkes, B., Lam, P. & Buchler, B. (2012). Time- and frequency-domain polariton interference. New Journal of Physics, 14, 3, 033022-1-033022-10.
10.1088/1367-2630/14/3/033022
2012 Hosseini, M., Rebić, S., Sparkes, B., Twamley, J., Buchler, B. & Lam, P. (2012). Memory-enhanced noiseless cross-phase modulation. Light: Science and Applications, 1, DECEMBER, e40-1-e40-5.
10.1038/lsa.2012.40
2012 Higginbottom, D., Sparkes, B., Rancic, M., Pinel, O., Hosseini, M., Lam, P. & Buchler, B. (2012). Spatial-mode storage in a gradient-echo memory. Physical Review A, 86, 2, 023801-1-023801-10.
10.1103/PhysRevA.86.023801
2012 Hosseini, M., Sparkes, B., Campbell, G., Lam, P. & Buchler, B. (2012). Storage and manipulation of light using a Raman gradient-echo process. Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, 45, 12, 1-13.
10.1088/0953-4075/45/12/124004
2012 Sparkes, B., Hosseini, M., Cairns, C., Higginbottom, D., Campbell, G., Lam, P. & Buchler, B. (2012). Precision spectral manipulation: a demonstration using a coherent optical memory. Physical Review X, 2, 2, 021011-1-021011-10.
10.1103/PhysRevX.2.021011
2011 Hosseini, M., Campbell, G., Sparkes, B., Lam, P. & Buchler, B. (2011). Unconditional room-temperature quantum memory. Nature Physics, 7, 10, 794-798.
10.1038/nphys2021
2011 Hosseini, M., Sparkes, B., Campbell, G., Lam, P. & Buchler, B. (2011). High efficiency coherent optical memory with warm rubidium vapour. Nature Communications, 2, 1, 1-5.
10.1038/ncomms1175
2011 Chrzanowski, H., Bernu, J., Sparkes, B., Hage, B., Lund, A., Ralph, T. ... Symul, T. (2011). Photon-number discrimination without a photon counter and its application to reconstructing non-Gaussian states. Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, 84, 5, 050302-1-050302-4.
10.1103/PhysRevA.84.050302
2011 Sparkes, B., Chrzanowski, H., Parrain, D., Buchler, B., Lam, P. & Symul, T. (2011). A scalable, self-analyzing digital locking system for use on quantum optics experiments. Review of Scientific Instruments, 82, 7, 075113-1-075113-7.
10.1063/1.3610455
2010 Sparkes, B., Hosseini, M., Hétet, G., Lam, P. & Buchler, B. (2010). Ac Stark gradient echo memory in cold atoms. Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, 82, 4, -.
10.1103/PhysRevA.82.043847
2010 Buchler, B., Hosseini, M., Hétet, G., Sparkes, B. & Lam, P. (2010). Precision spectral manipulation of optical pulses using a coherent photon echo memory. Optics Letters, 35, 7, 1091-1093.
10.1364/ol.35.001091
2009 Hosseini, M., Sparkes, B., Hétet, G., Longdell, J., Lam, P. & Buchler, B. (2009). Coherent optical pulse sequencer for quantum applications. Nature, 461, 7261, 241-245.
10.1038/nature08325
2008 Hétet, G., Hosseini, M., Sparkes, B., Oblak, D., Lam, P. & Buchler, B. (2008). Photon echoes generated by reversing magnetic field gradients in a rubidium vapor. Optics Letters, 33, 20, 2323-2325.
10.1364/OL.33.002323

Conference Papers

Year Citation
2014 Sparkes, B., Cairns, C., Hosseini, M., Higginbottom, D., Campbell, G., Lam, P. & Buchler, B. (2014). Precision spectral manipulation: a demonstration using a coherent optical memory. 11th International Conference on Quantum Communication, Measurement and Computing (QCMC 2012). H. Schmiedmayer & P. Walther (Eds.) Vienna, AUSTRIA.
10.1063/1.4903159
2014 Speirs, R., Thompson, D., Murphy, D., Sparkes, B. & Scholten, R. (2014). Electron diffraction from a cold atom electron source.
2013 Buchler, B., Hosseini, M., Sparkes, B., Geng, J., Bernu, J., Campbell, G. ... Lam, P. (2013). Programmable quantum memory in atomic ensembles.
2013 Giner, L., Veissier, L., Sparkes, B., Sheremet, A., Nicolas, A., Mishina, O. ... Laurat, J. (2013). Discriminating between the Autler-Townes splitting and the electromagnetically-induced transparency models: a tool for probing the medium properties. CLEO: QELS Fundamental Science 2013. San Jose, CA.
10.1364/CLEO_QELS.2013.QTh4C.3
2013 Hosseini, M., Rebic, S., Sparkes, B., Twamley, J., Buchler, B. & Lam, P. (2013). Quantum nonlinear optics using optical memory.
2013 McCulloch, A., Sheludko, D., Putkunz, C., Saliba, S., Thompson, D., Speirs, R. ... Scholten, R. (2013). High-coherence electron and ion bunches from laser-cooled atoms. 28th International Conference on Photonic, Electronic and Atomic Collisions (ICPEAC 2013). Lanzhou, China.
10.1088/1742-6596/488/1/012045
2013 Giner, L., Veissier, L., Sparkes, B., Sheremet, A., Nicolas, A., Mishina, O. ... Laurat, J. (2013). Experimental investigation of the transition between Autler-Townes splitting and electromagnetically-induced transparency models. 2013 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Europe and International Quantum Electronics Conference (CLEO/EUROPE/IQEC). Munich, Germany.
10.1109/CLEOE-IQEC.2013.6801633
2013 Lam, P., Hosseini, M., Campbell, G., Pinel, O., Sparkes, B., Twamley, J. ... Buchler, B. (2013). Building a quantum repeater with quantum memories and noiseless amplifiers. 10th Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics Pacific Rim (CLEO-PR 2013). Kyoto, Japan.
10.1109/CLEOPR.2013.6599943
2011 Buchler, B., Hosseini, M., Hétet, G., Sparkes, B., Longdell, J., Sellars, M. & Lam, P. (2011). High efficiency gradient echo memory with 3-level atoms. 10th International Conference on Quantum Communication, Measurement And Computing, QCMC 2010. Brisbane, Queensland.
10.1063/1.3630216
2011 Sparkes, B., Hosseini, M., Hétet, G., Lam, P. & Buchler, B. (2011). Spectral manipulation of optical pulses using the gradient echo memory scheme. 2011 International Quantum Electronics Conference (IQEC) and Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) Pacific Rim incorporating the Australasian Conference on Optics, Lasers and Spectroscopy and the Australian Conference on Optical Fibre Technology. Sydney, Australia.
10.1109/IQEC-CLEO.2011.6193812
2011 Hosseini, M., Sparkes, B., Campbell, G., Buchler, B. & Lam, P. (2011). A room temperature quantum optical memory. International Conference on Quantum Information, ICQI 2011. Ottawa, Canada.
2011 Chrzanowski, H., Bernu, J., Sparkes, B., Hage, B., Lund, A., Ralph, T. ... Symul, T. (2011). Photon number discrimination without a photon counter and reconstructing non-Gaussian states of light.
2011 Hosseini, M., Campbell, G., Sparkes, B., Lam, P. & Buchler, B. (2011). A room temperature quantum memory. 2011 International Quantum Electronics Conference (IQEC) and Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) Pacific Rim incorporating the Australasian Conference on Optics, Lasers and Spectroscopy and the Australian Conference on Optical Fibre Technology. Sydney, Australia.
10.1109/IQEC-CLEO.2011.6193758

Memberships

Date Role Membership Country
2014 - ongoing Member Australian Institute of Physics Australia
2014 - ongoing Member American Physical Society United States
2009 - ongoing Member Optical Society of America United States
2009 - ongoing Member Australian Optical Society Australia

Committee Memberships

Date Role Committee Institution Country
2017 - ongoing Member IPAS Science Network The University of Adelaide Australia
Position
DECRA Fellow
Phone
83130853
Campus
North Terrace
Building
The Braggs
Room Number
1 82
Org Unit
Physics

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