Professor Stephen Bartlett is pursuing fundamental research in the theory of quantum physics. His particular focus is on quantum information theory, including the theory of quantum computing, as well as the foundational issues of quantum mechanics.

Professor Bartlett completed his PhD in mathematical physics at the University of Toronto in 2000. Moving to Australia, he directed his research to the theory of quantum computing, first as a Macquarie University Research Fellow and then as an ARC Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The University of Queensland. Since 2005, he has lead a research program in theoretical quantum physics at University of Sydney, with interests spanning quantum computing, quantum measurement and control, quantum many-body systems, and the foundations of quantum theory.

Major funding support

Professor Bartlett has held a career total of five ARC Discovery Project grants. He is an investigator in the U.S. government IARPA-funded program on Multi-Qubit Coherent Operations using electron spins, funded at $27.5M over 4 years (2010-2014) with $1M/yr to Sydney. This is the most significant international research effort in this area, lead by Prof Charles Marcus at the the Niels Bohr Institute, Denmark and involving Chief Investigators from Harvard, Maryland, UCSB, Delft, Tokyo, Basel, Purdue, and 3 CIs at the University of Sydney.  Professor Bartlett is also a CI on major quantum computing projects in photonic quantum computation and quantum characterization, verification and validation funded through the U.S. government quantum computing programs.

Mentoring and research training

Along with Professor Andrew Doherty and Associate Professor Steven Flammia, Professor Bartlett leads the theoretical quantum physics group at the University of Sydney. The group is 26 strong, with five postgraduate Honours students this year, 11 PhD students and seven postdoctoral researchers. Currently he supervises six PhD students. He has graduated seven PhD students over the past five years, two of whom have received awards for the best PhD thesis in their year in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney. He has also supervised three MSc students and 17 Honours students since 2005, with nine of these Honours students receiving the University Medal. If you are interested in working or studying with Professor Bartlett, please contact him.

PhD, University of Toronto, Canada (2000)
MSc, University of Toronto, Canada (1996)
BSc (Hons), University of Waterloo, Canada (1995)
Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, University of Sydney, Australia (2007)
Theory of quantum measurement and control in semiconductor qubits 

Grand challenge: Develop design principles for robust control of hybrid quantum systems and demonstrate their utility in experimental applications. 

Together with the team of Amir Yacoby at Harvard, we are investigating how electrons in a semiconductor chip can be used to store and process quantum information. These spins have the potential for very long coherence times relative to gate operation times, but experience a noisy environment from the atomic nuclei of all the surrounding semiconductor atoms. Left on their own, these nuclei will destroy the quantum nature of the electron very quickly, in a few billionths of a second. We have invented a new technique where we use the electron to monitor its environment, very quickly learn the effect of all of these nuclei, and then use this information to compensate for its effect. This research was published in 2014 in Nature Communications. 

Quantum matter 

Grand challenge: Address key fundamental theoretical questions. 

Grand challenge: Preserving quantum states against decoherence indefinitely.

The Synthetic Quantum Systems program aims to address the key fundamental theoretical questions: how can we create and harness quantum matter to process information in new ways, and what new principles can we learn from a classification of this matter? We theoretically construct and explore new phases of strongly-coupled quantum many-body systems that exhibit powerful exotic properties such as topological order, and direct these properties towards applications such as quantum memories and processors. 

Current Supervision

Doctor Philosophy - Principal Advisor

Doctor Philosophy - Principal Advisor

Doctor Philosophy - Principal Advisor

Doctor Philosophy - Principal Advisor

Doctor Philosophy - Principal Advisor

Doctor Philosophy - Principal Advisor

Honours project - Principal Advisor

Doctor Philosophy - Principal Advisor

Completed Supervision

Honours project - Principal Advisor

Australia-China Group Mission in the Control of Quantum Systems

Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (Fed)/Australia China Science and Research Fund - Group Missions (2012)

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Major funding support

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