Meet Vikash Kumar, a CONNECT PhD researcher at Trinity College Dublin, exploring new frontiers in quantum communication. His journey from witnessing an experimental quantum teleportation setup to pursuing advanced research exemplifies a passion for experimental physics and the transformative potential of quantum technologies.
How did you get to this point in your life?
I’m now pursuing a Ph.D. in quantum communication at Trinity College Dublin, fulfilling a boyhood dream of becoming a scientist. During my master’s, I witnessed an experimental quantum teleportation setup, which aroused a strong fascination. This life-changing experience cemented my decision to pursue a Ph.D. in experimental physics, giving me hands-on experience with sophisticated quantum experiments
I am motivated to contribute to this emerging field because I am inspired by the possibilities of quantum communication. Creating my own laboratory is a natural next step, as it will provide a venue for novel experiments at the interface of quantum physics and information processing. The tools and active scientific community at Trinity College Dublin have been crucial in shaping my research trajectory.
How would you explain your research to someone who has no idea about your discipline?
Currently, I am working in field of quantum communication using frequency comb so i can explain like this. Consider how we communicate in everyday life to be like transmitting signals with different colours of light. In the quantum realm, we employ a ‘frequency comb,’ which is similar to a magical torch that can generate multiple colours at once. Instead of ordinary messages, we send ‘quantum messages’ that are made up of particles known as qubits.
Let’s move on to entangled qubits. It’s similar to having a set of magical dice. When you roll one, no matter how far apart they are, the other immediately displays the same number. We use entangled qubits in our quantum communication, but instead of dice, they’re the colours of light in our magical torch.
So, utilising the ‘colours’ from our quantum flashlight, or frequency comb, I’m making these entangled qubits.
What is the most challenging element of your work?
One of the most intricate aspects of my work revolves around the management and control of the delicate nature of quantum systems. Quantum states, the fundamental building blocks of quantum information, are extraordinarily sensitive to external influences. Maintaining the coherence and entanglement of qubits-quantum bits that form the basis of quantum communication-over extended periods or distances is a formidable challenge.
Furthermore, another significant challenge lies in the practical implementation of experimental quantum systems. Creating and sustaining a stable setup for quantum experiments can be demanding. The need for precise control over multiple components simultaneously adds a layer of complexity. We must carefully manipulate and synchronize various elements of the experimental apparatus, which often involves a multitude of equipment.
What do you think could be the next defining trend in technology?
The future of technology will see big progress in areas like super-fast computers (quantum computing), new ways of handling information and transactions (blockchain), eco-friendly technologies (green technologies), smarter ways to process data (edge computing), and exciting advancements like quantum teleportation. Quantum teleportation involves the instantaneous transfer of quantum information between distant locations, opening up new possibilities for secure communication and information processing. These changes could make computers much faster, reshape how industries work, promote sustainability, improve data processing, and enable ground-breaking feats like quantum teleportation.
What do you think about life in Ireland?
In the beginning, I really missed India because I had never been anywhere else before. But as time went on, this new place started to feel like a second home to me. The people here are super friendly, and it’s peaceful. Life is easy, and everyone speaks English, so there’s no problem with language. The balance between work and social life is just right, and I’m really starting to love it here. Right now, I’m enjoying my time a lot in this place.
Is there a personal experience that changed how you saw the world?
In my younger years, I identified as introverted, but my experience in Ireland has marked a significant positive shift in my personality. I’ve observed that I now express my thoughts without hesitation, a change that has proven beneficial for me. Actively engaging in various schools, tutorials, and conferences has been instrumental in this transformation. I’ve gleaned a wealth of information through these experiences, enabling me to pose questions confidently. I find myself comfortable inquiring about others’ work and the motivation behind it. This newfound openness has facilitated meaningful exchanges, especially when our work intersects, allowing for the seamless sharing of details. It has proven to be a convenient and enriching aspect of my journey.
CONNECT is the world leading Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Future Networks and Communications. CONNECT is funded under the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centres Programme and is co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund. We engage with over 35 companies including large multinationals, SMEs and start-ups. CONNECT brings together world-class expertise from ten Irish academic institutes to create a one-stop-shop for telecommunications research, development and innovation.
Humans of CONNECT