Dr Vincent Boyer, University of Birmingham
Light is what allows us to see the world. Its nature has confounded philosophers and scientists throughout the ages, but last century physicists have finally discovered its inner workings: light is a tumultuous and erratic flow of particles, called photons, which obey the strange laws of quantum mechanics. Today's most exquisite detectors are sensitive to the disordered behaviour of the photons. This makes light a rough tool for the most sensitive measurements, be it to produce images of faint objects or to detect gravitational waves. We will see how, thanks to progress in quantum optics and quantum technologies, we can fix this and remove the roughness of the light. This makes for better images and even allows us to solve complicated mathematical problems.