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What quantum computers tell us about physics? Dr Toby Cubitt

Dr Toby Cubitt is a Royal Society University Research Fellow in the Department for Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP)

Toby is working in quantum information theory. His research interests straddle mathematics, physics, and theoretical computer science. Recently, he's been applying quantum information theoretic tools to problems in many-body physics, studying quantum stochastic processes, and continuing his work in quantum Shannon theory.

Quantum information theory attracts a lot of attention because it promises radically new technology. The most famous of these is probably quantum computing, and many groups around the world are trying to build the first working quantum computer. Yet the mere fact that the laws of physics allow quantum computers to exist in principle, has profound implications for how matter behaves—even if no one ever builds a quantum computer!

"The fact that computer science has deep implications for fundamental physics is, for me, one of the most exciting aspects of the field. How can non-existent computers possibly tell us anything about the behaviour of real matter?"

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Presented at Churchill College, 20th November 2014.