Nguyen Truong Duy once watched a television documentary about quantum physics.
With just that background, the undergraduate from the NUS School of Computing applied for a research project at CQT. His work on the project has now won him an NUS Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Prize (OURP); it has also been submitted to a journal.
No more than 15 students university-wide receive the OURP each year, and Duy joins an illustrious collection of CQT student researchers to receive the honour. They are Jeysthur Ang (also 2012-13), Le Phuc Thinh (2010-11), Thiang Guo Chuan (2009-10) and Cai Yongqin Raymond (2008-09). Duy was supervised by CQT PI Stephanie Wehner and the others by either Berge Englert or Valerio Scarani.
Stephanie had advertised the project "Computing Bounds on Bell Inequalities" through the School of Computing's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. Duy applied because a BBC program had sparked his interest in quantum physics. He spent part of his third academic year on the research.
Bell inequalities are a measure of quantum entanglement between two systems. In the work submitted for publication, Duy worked with Stephanie and CQT Research Fellow Matthew McKague to analyse the effect of introducing entanglement between elements in a classical control circuit. Specifically, they showed that entangling linear controllers in a circuit could improve their overall performance compared to a situation without quantum entanglement. "This is the first ever paper on how quantum entanglement forms a useful resource in a classical control circuit," says Stephanie. The paper is currently available as a preprint: "Entanglement improves classical control" arXiv:1307.1569.
"Stephanie and Matthew were very clear at explaining things and very enthusiastic in supporting me," says Duy. For his prize he wins S$2000 and a certificate.
CQT welcomes committed, talented undergraduates from all Singapore and international universities to apply for internships and research projects. Interested students should make enquiries directly to the Principal Investigator(s) in their area(s) of interest.