Special Programme in Science (SPS)

SPS Alumni Talk by Dr Tan Ting Rei

The talk held on Wednesday, 27 September 2017, at Active Learning Room features Dr Tan Ting Rei from SPS 2004 batch. Ting Rei graduated from NUS Physics in 2009. Working with Assoc. Prof. Murray Barrett, his final year project investigated rapid loading of neutral atoms into a magneto-optical trap for the creation of Bose-Einstein condensate. After graduated from NUS, he went to the University of Colorado - Boulder to pursue a PhD degree in experimental physics, which he completed in 2016.

Ting Rei did his graduate research works at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the supervision of Dr. David J. Wineland, a physics Nobel Laureate in 2012. With a chuckle, Ting Rei added that he did not fare very well in his GRE. However, it was his few-month stint in Dr. Wineland's lab, in which he won him Dr. Wineland's admiration and support, that got him to NIST. Indeed, Ting Rei did not disappoint. Working with trapped ions, Ting Rei focused on experimental quantum information processing and the foundation of quantum mechanics. Ting Rei's research highlights include one of the highest quality deterministic creation of quantum-entangled state and the creation of quantum entanglement with two different species of ion. The latter was selected by the Institute of Physics (IOP) as one of the top ten physics breakthrough of 2016.

Ting Rei started the talk by arguing that a universal quantum information processing device - the so-called "quantum computer'', could solve and simulate problems exist in many different fields of science, e.g. quantum chemistry, condensed matter physics, cosmology, quantum field theory, cryptography, statistical mechanics, etc. He further pointed out that fundamental building blocks needed to build a quantum computer have been demonstrated; the remaining challenges of building a useful, practical quantum computer are (i) reducing and controlling the errors of the elementary operations, and (ii) combining all elementary operations in a scalable system while maintaining the performance of each operation.

Ting Rei is currently a Lee Kuan Yew postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Quantum Technologies working on developing the world first's atomic clock based on lutetium (Lu) ions. We wish him all the best!

Figure 1: Dr Tan Ting Rei presented the recent development of quantum computing technology around the world

Figure 2: Dr Tan Ting Rei (fourth from the left) posed with other SPS alumni and students.