Professor of Physics, Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies
Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh
Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Recognized for: Advancing quantum communications through groundbreaking techniques that harness high-dimensional entanglement, a complex quantum physics phenomenon. Malik’s innovations enable the normally fragile entanglement to survive long distances and harsh conditions, laying the foundation for noise-robust and high-capacity quantum networks that securely transmit large amounts of information encoded on individual photons.
Areas of Research Interest and Expertise: Quantum Physics, Quantum Photonics, Optics, Entanglement, Structured Light
MS, University of Rochester, USA
PhD and Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of Rochester, USA (Advisor: Robert W. Boyd)
Marie Curie Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Vienna, Austria (Advisor: Anton Zeilinger)
Senior Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, IQOQI Vienna, Austria (Advisor: Marcus Huber)
Assistant Professor and Associate Professor, Heriot-Watt University
While still in its infancy, quantum communication technology holds the promise of unprecedented levels of information security, positioning itself as the indispensable backbone for the future functioning of human society. Amidst the current wave of researchers implementing existing quantum communication techniques, Mehul Malik, PhD, stands out as a visionary, peering ahead to a time when these methods will inevitably encounter their capacity limits. He has pioneered groundbreaking technologies poised to overcome these limitations.
Malik’s work delves into the intricacies of a complex quantum physics phenomenon known as high-dimensional entanglement. In this phenomenon, two or more photons exhibit such a profound connection that measuring one photon instantaneously lets you know the state of the others, no matter how far apart they are. Breaking records in both the number of photons and quantum dimensions entangled, Malik has achieved the most complex forms of entanglement, to date. Crucially, he has also enabled the typically fragile entanglement to endure extended transportation distances and thrive in noisy real-world environments. This technology encodes significantly more information on individual photons and enhances security against specific errors and quantum attacks, as compared with current quantum communication techniques. This remarkable achievement garnered coverage from 145 news outlets globally.
Malik's contributions extend beyond mere physical breakthroughs. He has also developed practical quantum communication protocols leveraging the advantages of multi-photon high-dimensional entanglement and has demonstrated its unprecedented transport through a complex scattering medium. These protocols facilitate the secure transmission of massive amounts of information based purely on the laws of quantum physics, rather than a complex code that could be broken by a powerful enough computer. In essence, Malik has laid the foundation for high-capacity and noise-robust quantum networks of the future, offering exceptionally high data rates while maintaining unconditional information security.
“Quantum entanglement says something profound about the nature of reality, while also enabling exciting advances in technology. I find it incredible that I can go into the lab on any given day and entangle quantum particles of light in space and time!”