Tom O’Brien is our Leiden Institute of Physics' nominee for the C.J. Kok Jury Award 2019.
‘I am most proud of our prediction of momentum-space Klein tunnelling in a Weyl semimetal, the signatures of which were recently observed in an experiment.’
About Tom's research
This thesis covers various applications of topology in condensed matter physics and quantum information. It studies how the topology of the electronic structure of a Weyl semimetal affects the transport behaviour of electrons in an applied magnetic field, and how one may employ similar ideas in materials containing Majorana modes to speed up chemistry calculations on a quantum computer. It develops and tests new techniques for decoding topological quantum error correcting codes, in particular for detailed simulation on near-term devices. Finally, it looks towards improving quantum algorithms for future applications in quantum simulation; in particular, the classical post-processing of data taken during quantum phase estimation experiments.