— part of the Researchers Shaping The Future Series —
It’s my great pleasure to introduce…
I’m a physics PhD student at the University of Surrey working on quantum technologies. When I’m not in the lab I spend my time baking, gardening and communicating science.
Snapshot of Daisy’s Research
I am finding new ways to control electron spin by squeezing them into tiny spaces.
Insights From Daisy
Elaine… Whenever I speak to you I get the sense you have a real connection to and enthusiasm for your research. Please could you share why doing research in this area is important to you personally.
Daisy… I find experimental quantum physics fascinating. Every day I push the materials I work with to the physical limit, whether it’s creating a nanoscale structure or putting my sample into temperature approaching a chilly 2 Kelvin. Experimenting in this way allows me to measure quantum mechanical phenomenon in a way that I never thought was possible before I entered this field!
One of the main potential applications of my research is in quantum computing. Despite all of the hype, a scalable and widely available quantum computer is many decades of research away but it’s incredibly exciting to contribute to our cumulative physics knowledge about these quantum systems.
Elaine… Moving from the personal to the bigger picture. What difference do you believe your research could make and to whom. In other words, why does your research matter?
Daisy… Quantum technologies have already brought us semiconductor laser-based telecommunications systems and transistors which are inconceivably small. It’s hard to imagine a world without the internet and smartphones and quantum technology is what has made this possible.
My work in spintronics has applications in quantum computing as well as other areas such as further improvements to semiconductor lasers, new ways of storing data and super precise magnetic field sensors. All of these build on current technologies to make them quicker and more energy efficient.
The possibility of quantum computing opens the door to processing power never before achieved. This could enable us to discover new medicines, predict complex systems like the weather more accurately and improve diagnosis of diseases like cancer from medical images, to name but a few applications.
For me, just being a tiny part of the research effort making this into a reality makes my research worthwhile.