Dr Matt Broome, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of New South Wales was awarded one of the first Ogden Trust Undergraduate Science Scholarships. A pupil at The King Alfred School. Somerset, this scholarship enabled Matt to study physics at the University of Warwick, where he gained a BSc and MSc. The Ogden Trust would have continued to support him through a PhD at Oxford but the lure of ‘Australia Fair’ proved too great and he enjoyed four highly successful years - and gained his doctorate - at the University of Queensland, which he describes as ‘the nicest campus in the world’.
In true Ogden spirit, when Matt went to Brisbane, he set up ‘Outreach in the Outback’ giving small-scale physics demonstrations in Optics in very isolated areas with the support (for travel and accommodation) of the Optical Society. This gave him invaluable experience of working with, and inspiring, children and he is excited by the possibility of talking to one or more Ogden Schools Science Partnerships when he is next in the UK.
Matt is currently working in quantum physics on the atomic scale.
“I specialise in controlling single-electron quantum devices. That is to say, we have a technology that enables us to isolate and control single electrons in a silicon chip architecture. Ultimately we want to build a so-called “quantum computer”. A quantum computer works differently to the normal “classical” computers that you will be more familiar with. In a quantum computer the ‘bit’ is replaced by a quantum-bit or ‘qubit’. This quantum bit can be both 0 and 1 at the same time! This superposition of states gives quantum computers an added computing power, enabling them to solve problems that are unsolvable on a classical computer.
The technology is really in its infancy at the moment. We are just at the level of being able to control 1 to 2 qubits. The final quantum computer will need to have 1000s of qubits in order to outperform normal classical computers of today.
Previous to this job I worked at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. Instead of single electrons, we encoded our qubits onto single photons (single particles of light).”
Matt already has a long list of publications to his name. He is a great ambassador for the Trust and a worthy recipient of its early support.