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Canada Research Chair positions renewed for two Waterloo Physics & Astronomy faculty

Friday, May 11, 2018

Two Physics & Astronomy researchers have been reappointed as Canadian Research Chairs (CRC). Kevin Resch and Roger Melko were recognized for their continued achievement with research funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) over the next five years.

Dr. Kevin ReschKevin Resch has been reappointed as Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Optical Quantum Technologies. The five-year Tier II appointment, will allow Resch and his team to bring three streams of optics research together in order accelerate the development of quantum technologies.

“Quantum states of light will be the engine enabling many quantum devices,” said Resch, also the Interim Director of the Institute for Quantum Computing. “Single photons are exquisite carriers of quantum information over long distances and high speeds. If we can develop methods to control their properties, we open the door for advances in communication and data security.”

Resch’s program will focus on three interrelated objectives: developing entangled photon sources, single photon time lensing and experimental tests of generalized probability theories.

“It’s an exciting time to be a quantum researcher,” he said. “These technologies are poised to have dramatic impact on how we share information.”

Roger MelkoRoger Melko was appointed as Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Computational Quantum Many-Body Physics. This renewal constitutes a five-year Tier II appointment, which will allow Melko to continue exploring the quantum mechanical property known as entanglement and to make sense of the world of quantum matter.

Melko has built sophisticated models of massive supercomputers to tackle the task of solving quantum equations of motion. These models can simulate the strange vacuum states that harbor phenomena such as exotic particles and allow their behavior to be studied.

“My simulations employ a new set of tools related to a quantum mechanical property known as entanglement,” says Melko, who is also an affiliate of the Institute for Quantum Computing. “These simulations provide a way to study the strange behaviour of matter at low temperatures.” His research aims to develop a new classification scheme for matter that is based on quantum mechanical entanglement.

Melko’s research could lead to new ways to engineer materials and information systems, such as magnetic media, superconductor technology, or quantum computers.

"It is a great honour to be reappointed the Canada Research Chair,” says Melko. “It comes at an exciting time to be a theoretical physicist in Waterloo, and I thank all of my students, colleagues and collaborators whose incredible energy drives our field forward day after day.”

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