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Top Outcomes for Quantum Physics Honours Students


10 July 2012

Three Honours students from the School of Physics' Quantum Physics group, who completed their Honours research in 2011, have had their work appear in separate articles in the journal Physical Review Letters, the premier technical journal for the physical sciences.

The trio of Honours students - Dominic Else, Todd Green, and Tom Keevers - have each published work from their Honours theses in a world-class, high-impact publication.

The three papers appearing in Physical Review Letters, published within a month of each other, address hot topics in the fields of quantum information and quantum technology. .

Todd Green's paper, written on his Honours research completed with supervisor Dr Michael J. Biercuk, addresses the problem of making quantum technologies robust against error.

"This work contributes to our understanding of the effects of noise and opens the way for the development of improved noise mitigation schemes for a wide variety of quantum systems," explained Todd.

Physical Review Letters is considered the 'gold-standard' international journal for research in Physics.

Associate Professor David Reilly, from the Quantum Physics group, explained the importance of this journal in the field:

"Physical Review Letters is the premier physics journal and has reported the foundational papers leading to many Nobel prizes, for instance, the quantum Hall effects, superfluid helium-3 and many more. Most professional physicists never get an opportunity to publish in Physical Review Letters in their entire career! Publishing in this prestigious journal as the outcome of your Honours work is a major achievement and testament to the hard work of these students," said Associate Professor Reilly.

Dominic Else, lead author of a paper published with Quantum Physics supervisors Professor Stephen Bartlett and Associate Professor Andrew Doherty, said of his work, "We studied how certain systems spontaneously generate entanglement - a resource for quantum computation - and showed how this can still occur in less idealised situations."

The work built on earlier more limited research by other scientists in the field, but has dramatically expanded the potential applicability of this phase of matter.

Similarly, the Honours research conducted by Tom Keevers under the supervision of Dr Dane McCamey, an ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellow, has made an impact by touching on the timely issue of carbon-based electronic devices.

"The information obtained from our study will help us improve the efficiency of solar cells made from these novel materials," said Tom Keevers.

Having this trio of prestigious papers published is an achievement recognised by researchers outside the field of quantum physics - Professor Tim Bedding, from the Sydney Institute for Astronomy, said he was extremely proud that undergraduate students had the ability to contribute to the international research enterprise.

"With dedication and commitment, students willing to put in the effort can produce significant outcomes from their Honours research. The stage of an author's career doesn't matter - good ideas that advance knowledge in the community are recognised and rewarded," said Professor Bedding.

All three students are currently continuing their studies as PhD students in Quantum Physics.

  • "Slow hopping and spin-dephasing of Coulombically-bound polaron pairs in an organic semiconductor at room temperature" W. J. Baker, T. L. Keevers, J. M. Lupton, D. R. McCamey, and C. Boehme, Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 267601 (2012).
  • "Symmetry-Protected Phases for Measurement-Based Quantum Computation," Dominic V. Else, Ilai Schwarz, Stephen D. Bartlett, and Andrew C. Doherty, Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 240505 (2012).
  • "High-order noise filtering in nontrivial quantum logic gates" T. Green, H. Uys, and M.J. Biercuk Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 020501 (2012)

Contact: Katynna Gill

Phone: 02 9351 6997

Email: 25033952283f4a4f1f30353a3546035d23013f680e291c662639