Research Interests

I have a reasonably diverse set of research interests. The pages below reflect some of my past undertakings, current understandings and future interests in science and the universe in general.

Quantum Mechanics

Quantum mechanics, quantum physics or quantum theory are all umbrella terms for the branch of physics that attempts to describe the interactions of energy and matter at the atomic and subatomic scales. The term is generally used to differentiate from classical physics. Around the turn of the 20th century it was discovered that many of the laws of physics as understood at the time (classical physics) broke down when dealing with objects at high velocities, or very small objects. The theories of relativity and quantum mechanics were developed to overcome these problems. Ideally we would have a single theory encompassing relativity and quantum mechanics, however so far, nobody has been able to come up with such a theory.

Quantum Computation

These days quantum computation is often considered a subset of the broader field of study now known as quantum information science, however the term quantum information science only came into common use well after the term quantum computation (at least that is how I remember it anyway).

Generally Feynman is credited with the observation that simulating a quantum system on a classical system appears to take an exponential amount of resources, so perhaps a quantum system could perform some sort of calculation exponentially faster than is possible on a classical system. It was David Deutsch who did the pioneering work of defining a quantum computer, discussing how it would work and doing such things as defining quantum logic gates. David Deutsch did much of this work during the 1980’s. It was not until the early nineties though that quantum computation got a enormous boost when Peter Shor devised his quantum algorithm for factoring.

Since the advent of Shor’s algorithm, many people (myself included) have attempted to come up with quantum algorithms which substantially out-perform their classical counterparts, however very few have been successful.

There are really two sides to the field of quantum computation. One side takes the abstract axioms of quantum mechanics and attempts to come up with clever quantum algorithms and protocols, the other side investigates ways in which a quantum computer may be built in the future.

You might think that investigating ways of building a quantum computer would be a solely experimental pursuit, but in reality it requires contributions from both theoretical and experimental physicists. Much of my work in quantum computation was looking at simple “toy” quantum algorithms, and investigating (from a theoretical perspective) how these algorithms might be implemented using current cutting-edge experimental techniques.


IoT stands for Internet-of-Things.

The internet-of-things is one of those buzzwords that you might have heard, but are perhaps not entirely sure what it means exactly. Some other buzzwords related to this topic include MEMS sensor, Cloud Computing and Edge Computing, open source hardware and open source software.

Along with colleagues at DSTG and colleagues and students at the System Health Lab at the University of Western Australia, I spent a number of years having fun building and utilising IoT devices that can be useful in a number of industries.


I am a quantum physicist by training, and it is often remarked that quantum physics is incredibly hard to get one’s head around, as it is so counter-intuitive, however in my opinion the counter-intuitiveness of quantum physics pales into insignificance compared to trying to get one’s head around the concept of consciousness. There is nothing more counter-intuitive than trying to contemplate the concept that you (as a conscious entity) might not exist.

My favourite quote on consciousness comes from the “Macmillan Dictionary of Psychology” (1989 edition), Stuart Sutherland expressed a sceptical attitude more than a definition:

Consciousness — The having of perceptions, thoughts, and feelings; awareness. The term is impossible to define except in terms that are unintelligible without a grasp of what consciousness means. Many fall into the trap of equating consciousness with self-consciousness—to be conscious it is only necessary to be aware of the external world. Consciousness is a fascinating but elusive phenomenon: it is impossible to specify what it is, what it does, or why it has evolved. Nothing worth reading has been written on it.

Philosophy of the Mind

My interest in philosophy of the mind stems from my desire to understand consciousness (which, by the way, I believe has very little to do with quantum mechanics).

Web Development

One of my previous fads/hobbies/interests was developing (hopefully) useful websites, and honing my skills in HTML, css, PHP, javascript etc. One of the websites I developed was a habit tracker website:

This website came about because I wanted an online habit tracker, which was flexible and fast. I searched around the internet for some time, however I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for. Thus I decided to create my own habit tracker.