Jacob Ross is taking up the mantle of Richard Feynman in his PhD, trying to develop a quantum simulator, using ultracold gases called Bose-Einstein condensates.
"Feynman's idea was to build a controllable quantum environment and use it for analog quantum computations of things that are hard to simulate, such as many-body interactions."
In his PhD he is using an optical lattice formed with laser light to arrange atoms in space and control their interaction. He hopes to use it to simulate the complex strong interactions that occur in solids, but are hard to calculate.
He's excited by the revolution underway in quantum computing and hopes to be part of it.
"In 20 years the field will be drastically different. I'd love to bring some ground-breaking technology to reality – but that's hard!" he says.
Jacob says Canberra is just the right size to be an ideal study city.
"Focus is easy to come by, it's quiet enough to concentrate, and you have almost all you could want in modern conveniences," he says.
"As a cyclist it's easy to find some space to get out of the city.
"Sometimes I pine for the bustle of a big city like Sydney, but that’s a short step away."