RESEARCH INTERESTS: SPACE-BASED REL. & QUANT. SCIENCE
It is still an open question which are the effects, if any, of space-time curvature and gravity on quantum physics at large scales i.e., the scales at which relativity becomes important. Space agencies across the world are interested in bringing quantum technologies, such as quantum key distribution (QKD), to space!
QKD explains how you and I can exchange information and make sure that only the two of us can access it. In addition, we would like to know if somebody is messing around with the information we are exchanging. QKD offers a recipe, based on quantum mechanics, which allows us to do this! What we need to do is share a secret key, which allows us (and only us) to encode and decode any information we exchange. There are clever protocols which allow us to share the secret key (the original BB84 is described in ) and there are companies that now sell technology based on these principles! Furthermore, ICT roadmaps of different countries envision that going to space is the future for quantum (and perhaps relativistic?) technologies !
I have investigated the effects of gravity on quantum communication schemes. The research was partly inspired by . I was able to show that if a user on the earth tries to exchange a secret key with a user on a spaceship, for example the International Space Station (ISS), the key will be affected by the curvature of space-time around the earth and these effects are measurable with current technology! Furthermore, we have shown that by employing relativistic quantum metrology, one can aim at exploiting the effects described above for ultra-precise measurements of relevant parameters, such as distances in a future quantum GPS.
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