Cold quantum gases trapped above microstructured atom chips provide a very promising basis for storing and manipulating quantum information. Our early explorations of this have led to studies of decoherence effects, some fundamental and some due to the vaguaries of real meterials. I will discuss the experimental study of fluctuating rf magnetic fields and the implications of these for atom chips. We have also investigated the properties of magnetic traps based on current-carrying wires compared with those using permanent magnetic materials. I will discuss the results. An important new phase in the development of atom chips is the integration of microscopic optical structures. Small optical standing wave structures offer the prospect of building qubit registers based on "self-assembled" atom strings. Small high-Q optical cavities provide a way to transfer quantum information between photons and atoms. I will discuss the progress toward realising these optical structures and the vision for using them.
- http://www.imperial.ac.uk/research/ccm/ - Centre for Cold Matter website