Celebrating a life in quantum

Some of the biggest names in science and quantum physics will gather to celebrate the scientific career of one of their own on his 60th birthday, world-famous quantum theorist Gerard James Milburn.

Griffith University in conjunction with University of Queensland are hosting the event, Quantum Gates, Jumps and Machines conference from October 24-26 at venues across Brisbane that will celebrate the life and work of Professor Milburn.

Prof Milburn began his undergraduate studies at Griffith University in the 1970s and since then has enjoyed a long and impressive career in quantum physics academia, most recently in the Physics department at the University of Queensland.

In a career of more than 35 years Prof Milburn has produced seminal papers in diverse areas including quantum chaos, quantum measurements and quantum computing. He has also written three textbooks and two widely popular commercial books.

Professor Howard Wiseman, Director of Griffith University's Centre for Quantum Dynamics
Professor Howard Wiseman, Director of Griffith University’s Centre for Quantum Dynamics

Among the event’s special guests — current Australian of the year, Professor Michelle Simmons (who is also leader of the ARC Centre of Excellence), Professor Dave Wineland (Physics Noble Laureate 2012) Professor Sir Peter Knight from the Imperial College of London, Professor Carl Caves from the University of Mexico, and many more — will be Griffith’s Centre of Quantum Dynamics Director Professor Howard Wiseman, who was a student of Prof Milburn.

“Gerard was my PhD supervisor and inspired me in many ways,” Professor Wiseman said.

“He was always confident that we could find solutions to problems that seemed insurmountable to me. His interest in quantum feedback control guided me into that area, which has become a major part of my own career. One can literally say that we wrote the text-book on the subject.

“He is always very concerned about the next generation and made sure that we made an effort to get as many Australian PhD students to come to Quantum-GJM as we could.”

Physics Noble Laureate 2012 Professor Wineland said he’s “always had great admiration for Gerard and I am honoured to participate in this conference for him”.