Professor Milburn is one of the pioneers in quantum noise, measurement and control: knowledge of all three is required for the theoretical description of engineered quantum systems.  Prof Milburn has applied his expertise to a diverse range of technologies, with publications in areas including: quantum optics; quantum information; mescoscopic transport; nonlinear dynamics; ion-traps; atomic Bose-Einstein condensation; optomechanics; and superconducting quantum circuits. In addition, he has published three major monographs in quantum technologies: Quantum Optics, (with Walls), Quantum Measurement and Control (with Wiseman) and Quantum Optomechanics (with Bowen).

In 1988, Professor Milburn published a scheme for optical quantum computing: one of the first papers in the now fourishing field of quantum computing. In 1986, with Carlton Caves he published one of the first quantum theories of continuous measurement and feedback control. Through the early 90's with Wiseman (then a PhD student) he developed the theory of conditional quantum dynamics and quantum feedback control . He pioneered the master equation approach to noise and dissipation in mesoscopic electronics and applied this theory to the description of quantum measurement in mesoscopic electronics. He has made extensive contributions to quantum optics with considerable impact on the experimental research agenda in this field. For example, in 2001, with Knill and Laamme, he discovered a new way to do quantum information processing in quantum optics. Up to that time there was no viable way to use optics for quantum computing: this paper changed the international research agenda in quantum optics.

Professor Milburn has long articulated a vision for advancing quantum technologies, through public outreach (including two popular books and many public lectures) and through his own research. He is a member of the UK Government’s Strategic Advisory Committee and was a co-author of the UK Strategic Plan for Quantum Technology. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and the American Physical Society.

Major funding support

Since 2000, Professor Milburn has had 17 peer-reviewed, collaborative research grants—from sources in Australia & the US—with total funding of A$46M. Milburn has been a Chief (or Principal) Investigator in: three ARC Centres—one Special Research Centre, two Centres of Excellence; 5 ARC and DEST Research Grants; as well as a partner in three EU FET Program Grants (ROSES, QAP and AQUTE) and PI on a US$2.3M grant from the Templeton World Charity Fund.

Mentoring and research training

Professor Milburn has supervised more than forty PhD students and seven postdoctoral research fellows. Eight of whom now hold academic positions in universities around the world. A number work for Australian and US Government agencies. If you are interested in working or studying with Professor Milburn, please contact him.

PhD, University of Waikato, New Zealand (1983)
BSc (Hons 1),Griffith University, Australia (1980)
2014 research report: Single photon optomechanics 

An integrated quantum photonic sensor. 

Grand challenge: Achieve new field and force sensing regimes using arrays of quantum controlled mechanical oscillators. 

Photonic-crystal-based integrated optical systems have been used for a broad range of sensing applications with great success. This has been motivated by several advantages such as high sensitivity, miniaturization, remote sensing, selectivity and stability. Many photonic crystal sensors have been proposed with various fabrication designs that result in improved optical properties. We developed a proposal for a novel multipurpose sensor architecture that can be used for force, refractive index and possibly local temperature detection. In this scheme, two coupled cavities behave as an effective beam splitter. The sensor works based on fourth order interference --- the Hong-Ou-Mandel effect --- a uniquely quantum phenomenon. 

Current Supervision

Doctor Philosophy - Principal Advisor

Other advisors:

Doctor Philosophy - Principal Advisor

Other advisors:

Vice-Chancellor’s Research and Teaching Fellowship, The University of Queensland, Australia, 2015–19

(2015 to 2019)

Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellowship, The University of Queensland, Australia, 2012–15

(2012 to 2015)

International Quantum Communication Award.


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Major funding support

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