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Past Winner
2014 NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowships

Dr. Aashish Clerk

Department of Physics

McGill University

Dr. Aashish Clerk
Dr. Aashish Clerk

A Quantum Leap to Next-Generation Technology

Arguably the most successful scientific theory of the 20th century, quantum mechanics has radically changed the way we view the physical world, leading to revolutionary technologies including transistors, lasers and magnetic resonance imaging.

The next revolution in quantum-driven technology promises to be just as transformative, led by rising scientific stars such as Dr. Aashish Clerk, a Cornell University graduate now working at McGill University. The Canada Research Chair and 2014 recipient of a Steacie Memorial Fellowship is widely considered one of the world’s most prominent young theorists focusing on the physics of engineered quantum systems.

A big advantage is that these kinds of quantum devices, like circuits on a chip, can be designed from the bottom up, allowing for an almost infinite range of possibilities. The potential applications of engineered quantum systems are vast and include fundamentally new methods for computing and information processing, as well as the development of powerful new sensors and detectors.

Among other accomplishments, Dr. Clerk has developed new theories showing how to harness the quantum interaction between light particles (photons) and mechanical motion in engineered systems. These ideas have been implemented in many state-of-the-art experiments, published in leading journals like Science and Nature. He has also shown how to make sensitive measurements of energy levels in semiconductor “artificial atoms” (also known as quantum dots)—an important step in using these systems for next-generation technologies such as solar energy systems.

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