Friday, 21 July 2006


I've decided to join the herd of web log "authors". I've occasionally posted editorial comment on my own web pages but a blog seemed to be a good way of organising some of my thoughts and various bits of writing I've done on a few technical matters.

I am a theoretical physicist in an emerging field of enquiry. My day to day job involves investigating how we can utilise the quantum nature of matter and light to perform information processing. My main interests are in finding ways of getting around the deleterious effects of decoherence in various implementations of quantum computation and in characterising the quantumness of states and processes through interference phenomena. Of course, you can't be involved in quantum theory without bumping into questions of interpretations and foundations, but I try to leave the core issues to those more philosophically inclined. I may, from time to time, comment on particularly interesting paper which come to my attention. The whole field very broad so I apologise for any glaring omissions.

My other passion is photography. I took it up in my final year of my graduate studies, mainly as a way of getting away from writing up my thesis, but it seems to have taken a life of its own. It's a passion which has many facets. Some people are very much gearheads, worrying about film-developer combinations, MTF curves, densitometry, mega-pixels, high-ISO noise and so forth. The engineer part of me happily engages with that aspect of photography and I think being a physicist helps in understanding the principles behind the technology of photography. But equipment is only a fraction of the craft, a photo is not merely a collection of points with certain hue, saturation and brightness values. A photo represents something and being able to make a photo which works as an artistic, social and/or personal statement is a task encompassing much more than having a fancy camera and a expensive lenses. I enjoy most sorts of photography but my favourite revolves around documenting the people and activities around me. Such micro-social photography serves as a window into the communities to which I belong. Where we are often matters less than who we're with, I try to capture an essence of my friends and family.

Though I have felt that blogs were little different from vanity self-publishing, I've recently stumbled upon some interesting science blogs which show that they can actually be informative and not simply the ramblings of self-centred, glory-seeking, egoists;-). I make no hubristic assumptions that anyone will actually read my posts, but if you have happened upon these pages by accident or design, I hope you will enjoy whatever random jottings follow.

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