Media

It is as important to carry out the research as it is to tell people about it! With this in mind we are striving for as much public engagement as possible. Below is a snapshot of the media coverage the work we do has garnered over the years. Most of these articles are aimed at a reader with a basic, high-school understanding of science. I hope you enjoy reading them!


2017

28/01/2015: Congratulations to all who received their Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowships this year, in particular 6 for Niels Bohr Institute, 3 of which for the Quantum Photonics group: Matthew Broome, Tim Schröder and Jacques Carolan!

Out of the 1200 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MCSA) grants – approx. € 218.71 million – awarded on January 27th, Niels Bohr Institute proudly takes home 6 fellowships, for a total of € 1,3 million, so just short of 10 Million DKK.


2016

25/05/2016: Today marks the first day of Steve Durbach’s exhibition Schrödinger’s Bird. The exhibition was a collaboration between Steve (aka SidSledge), myself and a host of other scientists from the Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology at UNSW. Well done Steve! Here is a nice article in The Australian. Also, check out this video of one of Steve’s pieces! One of Steve’s pieces (which he very kindly gave to me) forms the backdrop of the homepage, it is called Wavebones.160525articleinaustralian


2015

28/01/2015: There is a truly excellent write-up of our quantum time-travel simulation at medium.com, The Quantum Experiment That Simulates A Time Machine. For those who prefer a more yellow version of the same article, have a look at physics4me.

So much for classical objects and time travel. But what would happen if a quantum particle entered a closed time-like curve? In the early 90s, the physicist David Deutsch showed that not only is this possible but that it can only happen in a way that does not allow superluminal signalling. So quantum mechanics plays havoc with causality but in a way that is consistent with relativity and so prevents grandfather-type paradoxes.


2014

02/09/2014: A very nice write up by Lee Billings in the very respectable Scientific American on our work on simulation of closed time-like curves.

Instead of a human being traversing a CTC to kill her ancestor, imagine that a fundamental particle goes back in time to flip a switch on the particle-generating machine that created it. If the particle flips the switch, the machine emits a particle—the particle—back into the CTC; if the switch isn’t flipped, the machine emits nothing. In this scenario there is no a priori deterministic certainty to the particle’s emission, only a distribution of probabilities.

24/06/2014: The Register has a subheadline straight out of Treasure of Sierra Madre in their article TIME TRAVEL TEST finds black holes needed to make photons flit, and gizmag picks up the story as well, Australian researchers simulate a time-traveling photon.

23/06/2014: Science Alert has improved our graphics considerably in their take on Time Travel Simulated by Australian Physicists.

Physicists at the University of Queensland in Australia have used photons – single particles of light – to simulate quantum particles travelling through time and study their behaviour.

They were hoping to find out more about whether time travel would be possible at the quantum level – a theory first predicted in 1991.

In the study, the researchers simulated the behaviour of a single photon that travels through a wormhole and interacts with its older self. This is known as a closed timelike curve – a closed path in space-time that returns to the same starting point in space but at an earlier time. Their study is published in Nature Communications.

21/06/2014: An article in The Speaker, Time Travel Simulated by Australian Physicists.

20/06/2014: And it begins! There are articles on our time-travel simulation paper in phys.org, Simulating time travel: Doctor Who meets Professor Heisenbergiflscience.com, Scientists Have Simulated Time Travel With Photons, and inquisitr.com, Researchers Simulate Time Travel Using Light.

19/06/2014: Our paper on Experimental simulation of closed timelike curves appeared today in Nature Communications. Congratulations, the excellent UQ press release can be found here.

UQ Physics Professor Tim Ralph said it was predicted in 1991 that time travel in the quantum world could avoid such paradoxes.

“The properties of quantum particles are ‘fuzzy’ or uncertain to start with, so this gives them enough wiggle room to avoid inconsistent time travel situations,” he said.

Professor Ralph said there was no evidence that nature behaved in ways other than standard quantum mechanics predicted,but this had not been tested in regimes where extreme effects of general relativity played a role, such as near a black hole.

10/04/2014: Our holonomic phase paper is one of four Editors Suggestions in today’s Physical Review Letters. These are papers chose to promote reading across fields, in the hope that they will lead readers to explore other areas of physics.

05/02/2014: There’s are more nice articles today on our uncertainty paper, in PhysOrg, Research team challenges the limits of famous quantum principle, and in Laboratory Equipment, Physicists Challenge Heisenberg.

“The uncertainty principle is one of the central features of quantum mechanics, which has been misunderstood for the longest time,” Mr Ringbauer said.

This “Heisenberg principle” states it is impossible to jointly measure two incompatible quantities, for example speed and location, of a quantum particle with perfect accuracy.

“This experimental work settles a decade-long debate—’Heisenberg-like’ relations do not hold for joint measurements,” he said.

15/01/2014: Our joint-quantum-measurement paper is one of seven Editors Suggestions in today’s Physical Review Letters. These are papers chose to promote reading across fields, in the hope that they will lead readers to explore other areas of physics.


2013

04/12/2013: There’s a great Viewpoint today by Christine Silberhorn on our new paper—and related papers by the groups of Gerd Leuchs and Roman Schnabel— Sharing Entanglement without Sending It. Check it out!

Figure caption

Following the general idea of Cubitt et al.’s original paper, Alessandro Fedrizzi from the University of Queensland, Australia, and co-workers have realized an experiment demonstrating the proposed entanglement distribution with separable carriers using polarization-encoded single photon states. Their experiment illustrates quite nicely the crux of this strange type of entanglement distribution. The authors actually start with an entangled pair of photons, AA and BB, which are shared between Alice and Bob. However, they subsequently destroy this entanglement by randomly mixing the four different types of possible entangled states, the so-called Bell states. This procedure effectively prepares a separable mixed state between photons AA and BB, which nevertheless remains in a very specific form, carrying quite distinct correlations. The information carrier, photon CC, is prepared in a similar way, yielding, again, a specific mixed state.

08/01/2013: Edwin Cartlidge has a thoughtful piece in Physics World today, ‘Boson sampling’ offers shortcut to quantum computing.

02/01/2013: Today photonics.com has a report on our BosonSampling paper, with a title that the Terminator folk should consider for the next film in the franchise: Rise of the Boson-Sampling Computer.


2012

27/12/2012: Scientific American are the latest to report on our work, with Charles Choi’s article on New Computer Bridges Classical and Quantum Computing.

Now, though, two independent teams of scientists have built a novel kind of device known as a boson-sampling computer. Described as a bridge between classical and quantum computers, these machines also make use of the bizarre nature of quantum physics. Although boson-sampling computers theoretically offer less power than quantum computers are capable of producing, the machines should still, in principle, out-perform classical computers in certain problems.

26/12/2012: And for Boxing Day, Yahoo News has picked up Charles’ article.

25/12/2012: Charles Choi has given us a lovely gift, an article in Tech News Daily, New Computer Bridges Classical and Quantum Computing.

21/12/2012: John Timmer has a thoughtful piece in Ars Technica, Can quantum measurements beat classical computers?

21/12/2012: Scott has a wonderful blog post today, The Boson Apocalypse: my advice is to immediately stop reading this list, and start reading Scott’s post!

21/12/2012: In a neat trick, Samuel Moore published an article in Spectrum the day before our paper came out, New Machine Puts Quantum Computers’ Utility to the Test.

21/12/2012: Phys.org has not one but two articles on our BosonSampling research: one focussed on our paper, At the solstice: Shining light on quantum computers, and one on the paper from Ian Walmsley and his team at Oxford, Boson samplers offering promise for new kinds of computing devices. No need to choose, read them both!

“Although this sounds simple, for large devices and many photons, it becomes extremely difficult to predict the outcomes using a conventional computer, whereas our measurements remain straightforward to do,” said Dr Broome.

21/12/2012: And the articles continue. Anna Salleh of ABC Science has written a nice article on our Science paper, Proving the need for quantum computers.

Scientists have reached a milestone in the search for proof that quantum computers are really necessary.

Dr Matthew Broome, of the University of Queensland, and colleagues, report their findings today in the journal Science.

“Quantum computers generate so much excitement because they allow one to solve problems that you couldn’t do efficiently using a conventional computer,” says Broome.

Quantum computers rely on the laws of quantum mechanics such as “superposition” and “entanglement”.

“We’ve built small scale quantum computers but none of them to date have been able to outperform the standard classical computer,” says Broome.

21/12/2012: And in the UK, Devin Powell has a nice News article in Nature that discusses the Oxford BosonSampling results, with a mention of ours in a sentence but a great photo of myself heading the article, Photon devices could outperform ordinary computers.

These proofs of principle have only recently become possible because laboratories are now able to produce simultaneous batches of identical photons with high reliability, Aaronson explains. The photon-based devices made so far are one-trick ponies, built purely for the sake of knowledge. “As far as we know, they have no practical use,” he says. But, he adds, these photon-counting machines could some day evolve into fully operational quantum computers.

21/12/2012: Adrian Cho has written a great news article in Science that talks about our BosonSampling research, as well as that of our colleagues and friends in the UK, Austria, and Italy: New Form of Quantum Computation Promises Showdown With Ordinary Computers.

20/12/2012: Eureka Alert has three photos for our BosonSampling paper:
The logo of the Quantum Technology Lab spelled out with the laser beams used in the BosonSampling device.
Dr. Broome at work on the BosonSampling device.
Drs. Alessandro Fedrizzi (left) and Matthew Broome (right) designing the BosonSampling device.

20/12/2012: Our paper on Photonic Boson Sampling in a Tunable Circuit was published online today in Science. It’s a collaboration with Scott Aaronson and Justin Dove at MIT: it’s my first paper with computer scientists, and their first paper with experimentalists! Congratulations one and all. (Click on the photo to go to the UQ press release).

06/06/2012: Coinciding with the Transit of Venus, our paper on Observation of topologically protected bound states in photonic quantum walks was published today in Nature Communications.

22/03/2012: Our paper on Two-photon quantum walks in an elliptical direct-write waveguide array was highlighted today by the New Journal of Physics in the Highlights of 2011 collectionMany congratulations to both the teams at Macquarie and UQ, this is an outstanding result!

Selected by the editors, the sixty-four articles featured span some of the most cutting- edge areas of physics, and collectively represent the most cited, most downloaded and most influential articles published in NJP in 2011.


2011

13/07/2011: Our paper on Two-photon quantum walks in an elliptical direct-write waveguide array was published today in the New Journal of Physics in their Focus on Integrated Quantum Optics. It’s the first collaborative paper between the experimental teams at UQ and Macquarie—congratulations to all!

Quantum information science aims to harness uniquely quantum mechanical phenomena to enhance the functionality and power of information and communication technologies. Optical systems have been at the forefront of both fundamental scientific investigations of these ideas and efforts to realize new quantum technologies: photons are indispensable for quantum communication, are a leading approach to quantum information processing and simulation, and are a natural choice for quantum metrology. The realization of future technologies in these areas will require miniaturization and integration of high performance components, including single photon sources and detectors, and photonic quantum circuits for manipulating and distributing photons.

20/05/2011: A good day: our paper on Hardy’s Paradox and Violation of a State-Independent Bell Inequality in Time was also published today in Physical Review Letters.

04/05/2011: The Register has an article on our compressive sensing paper from March, Oz boffins in quantum computing breakthrough. The article has thoughtfully been labelled NSFMP, i.e. Not Safe For Maths-Phobics ® .

08/03/2011: And TG Daily also has an article on our compressive sensing paper: Quantum engineers clear a roadblock in developing new technologies. I love the editorial at the end of this article:

If you are a technology enthusiast you might find yourself interested enough to want to read it. You won’t be able to though because you have to have a subscription to read the journal. That may be a bummer but the future of academic journals is creative commons licenses. Scientific information like this will become more widely available to the public sooner rather than later.

08/03/2011: In Germany, myScience also has an article on our compressive sensing paper: Quantum engineers remove roadblock in developing next-generation technologies. Despite the same title as the PhysOrg article, the text is different!

08/03/2011: Quick as always, today’s PhysOrg has an article on our compressive sensing paper: Quantum engineers remove roadblock in developing next-generation technologies.

07/03/2011: Our paper on Efficient Measurement of Quantum Dynamics via Compressive Sensing was published today in Physical Review Letters. Click on the pretty graphic to go to the UQ press release:

At present it is extremely difficult to characterise quantum systems — the number of measurements required increases exponentially with the number of quantum parts. For example, an 8-qubit quantum computer would require over a billion measurements.

“Imagine that you’re building a car but you can’t test-drive it. This is the situation that quantum engineers are facing at the moment,” said UQ’s Dr Alessandro Fedrizzi, co-author of the study that was recently published in Physical Review Letters.


2010

11/05/2010: Our paper on quantum walks was featured in the University of Queensland Faculty of Science Photo of the Week: Photon Goes on Quantum Walk-about.