Diamond quantum computer experiments with Daniel Lawson

Student Spotlight | May 2020

Dan has just graduated with an Honours degree in Physics from the Australian National University. Throughout his undergraduate studies he was involved in various research projects ranging from plasma rockets to dark matter physics, before focusing on quantum computing for his Honours year.

Quantum computing offers new technological developments and seeks to transcend many of the limits of classical computers used today. The applications of quantum computers have diverse and revolutionary applications, which can inform research surrounding economic modelling, engineering design, cryptography and biomolecular systems.

In particular, Dan’s honours involved performing experiments on a diamond quantum computer. Diamond quantum computers consist of clusters of defects, and are the only solid-state devices that have demonstrated quantum algorithms at room temperature. These defects in diamond quantum computers, are leading systems in the development of quantum computers and communication networks. Dan’s project focused on performing several experimental measurements, the results of which can be used to improve measurement precision, a key performance metric.

Dan is now taking a gap year while deciding between continuing research with a PhD or working in industry. With the latter, he’d be interested in pursuing opportunities that allow him to focus on integrating quantum technologies into industry. As he is certain this can bring improvements to several sectors including pharmaceuticals and finance.

Dan also believes that whether he chooses industry or academia:

‘ … the skills and experience I’ve gained by completing a research-focused undergraduate degree have been invaluable so far, and I’m confident that they will continue to guide me throughout my career.’

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