Public Release: 

HKU quantum physicist Dr. Giulio Chiribella receives Croucher Senior Research Fellowship 2018

The University of Hong Kong

Dr Giulio Chiribella is a leading expert of quantum information science and of the foundations of quantum mechanics. He investigates the counterintuitive laws of the quantum world and how they can be turned into working principles for future information technologies.

Dr Giulio Chiribella has done pioneering research on quantum causal networks, on the replication of information at the microscopic scale, and on the ultimate precision limits of clocks and gyroscopes, for which he was awarded the Hermann Weyl Prize in 2010. His work on the foundations of quantum mechanics is the subject of a new book, entitled Quantum Theory From First Principles, and published in 2017 by Cambridge University Press.

With the Croucher Senior Research Fellowship he will explore a new paradigm of communication, in which multiple transmission lines are combined in a genuine quantum way. The idea is that quantum particles can travel along many paths at the same time, in a curious phenomenon called "quantum superposition". Taking advantage of this phenomenon, Dr Chiribella and his team devised a way to increase the rate of communication between a sender and a receiver by sending information through many transmission lines at the same time. Surprisingly, this approach works even when the original transmission lines are so noisy that no information could be sent through them: exploiting quantum superposition, two useless transmission lines can be turned into a useful one, which enables the transmission of bits from the sender to the receiver. Thanks to this new paradigm, future communication networks may be able to guarantee the transmission of data even in scenarios where no communication is currently possible. The new paradigm has also the potential to increase the security of communications, allowing the sender and the receiver to communicate privately in situations where the security cannot be guaranteed at the moment.

Besides the application to quantum communication networks, this research programme has a fundamental value, as it explores a new interdisciplinary area at the interface between quantum mechanics, information theory, and space-time physics.

A physicist by training, Dr Giulio Chiribella obtained his PhD in 2007 from the University of Pavia, Italy, with works that were later awarded the 2010 Hermann Weyl Prize. He has made fundamental contributions to the application of group theory in quantum information, to the study of quantum reference frames, to the foundations of quantum mechanics, and to the theory of quantum causal networks. He is member of the Standing Committee of the International Colloquia on Group Theoretical Methods in Physics (ICGTMP), Visiting Fellow of Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Member of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research, Member of the Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi), and Fellow of the National Virgilian Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts of Mantova, Italy. He has been appointed a CIFAR-Azrieli Global Fellow in Quantum Information Science since 2016.


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