Welcome to my blog

Hello Internet and welcome to my blog!

The idea for starting this blog comes from the group meetings we had at the Controlled Quantum Dynamics Theory Group at Imperial College, where I did my PhD. Every Wednesday morning, we’d gather in a meeting room with beautiful views over London, had breakfast and talked about physics… most of the time. Every week a member of the group would prepare a talk on a subject of their choice, it could be about their own work, an interesting paper they had read, something they had recently learnt about or anything else they thought was interesting. We had fascinating talks on art, bike physics, coffee, songbirds and many other topics.

I took the approach of using my allotted talks as an opportunity to learn about some new physics, what better incentive to get your facts straight than a room full of physicists ready to argue? Jokes aside, preparing an hour of spoken material on a new subject allowed me to grasp the basic concepts of the new topic, and I don’t think I would have tried so hard to learn about something which had (most of the time) not much to do with my PhD work, had it not been for these talks. Also, the questions raised by some members of the audience, made me look at a topic in a different or find out connexions I didn’t know about. Overall, I think those talks were one of the most formative experiences I’ve ever had.

This blog will be my online replacement for those group meetings. Topic-wise, I think it’s reasonable to say that most posts will be quantum-related, but I also hope to include some posts on computer science, outreach and other miscellaneous topics. I will sometimes post about things I know about, but my intention is to learn new things for each post. So if I ever get something wrong in a post, please point it out in the comments!  Hopefully, with time I will get the chance to learn from the comments on my posts as well.

7 thoughts on “Welcome to my blog

  1. I’m a physics enthusiasts, so I don’t know how much of what you would be posting here on in the future I would be able to assimilate. I do hope you find interesting topics that can connect rookies like me. Best of luck. Following you on Twitter already

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    1. Hi Emmanuel,
      It’s great to have you reading. I’m hoping to have a variety of posts, some at graduate level and some more accessible, so I hope you will find interesting topics among those. Don’t hesitate to ask for more information in the comments of any post!
      Mercedes

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  2. Very nice. I have a query, what did you answer how would you identify a computer is quantum computer if an alien tries to sell a computer on the name of quantum computer?

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    1. Following the guidelines described in that post, I would give the computer a series of tests. The nature of these tests would be two-fold: on one hand, I want to check that the output distributions agree with what I would expect from the laws of quantum mechanics, on the other, by testing the same algorithm for different problem sizes I would like to confirm that the time it takes to solve efficient algorithms (efficient for QC) grows polynomially in the problem size. The type of algorithms I would use for testing must be exponentially difficult to solve classically, but must have an easily checkable answer. This condition disqualifies algorithms such as Grover search or simulation of quantum chemistry. Good examples for testing algorithms could be Shor’s or Deutsch-Jozsa’s algorithms.

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