Prof Ping Koy Lam

Professor of Physics, The Australian National University
Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow
MSc PhD Australian National University
BSc University of Auckland, NZ

Work Package Leader & Program Manager

Centre for Quantum Computation & Communication Technology
Department of Quantum Science
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 0200

Tel: (02) 6125 8378


Ping Koy Lam completed his BSc with a double major in Maths and Physics from the University of Auckland in 1990. He worked as a process engineer for Sony (audio electronics) and Hewlett-Packard (semiconductor LED) for 3 years prior to his post-graduate studies at the ANU where he obtained an MSc in theoretical physics, and a PhD in experimental physics. He was awarded the Australian Institute of Physics Bragg Medal and the ANU Crawford Prize for his PhD in 1999. Ping Koy was an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the Erlangen-Nürnberg Universität in 2000 and a CNRS visiting professor at Paris University in 2007. He was awarded the 2003 British Council Eureka Prize for inspiring science (quantum teleportation) and the 2006 UNSW Eureka Prize for innovative research (quantum cryptography). Ping Koy is the chief scientist and co-founder of QuintessenceLabs Pty. Ltd, a spin-off company of his group that commercialises quantum communication technology. In 2014, he was awarded the Global Talent Fellowship at Tianjin University and the AIP Alan Walsh Medal for his contribution to quantum communication research. He is currently an ARC Laureate Fellow.

Ping Koy’s research interests include quantum optics, optical metrology, nonlinear optics, opto-mechanics and quantum information. Within the Centre, he manages the ANU node and is the quantum communication work package leader. His research covers quantum key distribution, quantum memory, quantum repeater, quantum metrology and optical quantum information processing. He has published more than 200 scientific articles with more than 40 papers appearing in Physical Review Letters, Science and the Nature suite of journals.


Quantum Key Distribution

In contrast to conventional cryptography where mathematical complexity is used to safeguard against eavesdropping in communication channels, quantum cryptograph (or quantum key distribution) uses the laws of physics to guarantee absolute information security. Instead of using photon counters to detect single photon events, QKD can also be implemented with laser beams and optical field detection. This program aims to construct a broadband quantum key distribution system that can be fully integrated into standard dark fibre communication network.

Quantum Memory

A key component needed to extend the range of quantum communication network is a quantum memory. Similar to classical memory, quantum memory needs to have the ability to store and recall quantum information on demand. Coherent reversable interaction between "flying" photons and "stationary" atoms can losslessly mapped quantum states between optical field and atomic ensemble. This program aims to develop a quantum memory that is based on advanced photon/spin-echo processes.

Quantum Repeater

An optical repeater is a device that regenerate signals to extend communication distance. Likewise a quantum repeater must be able to relay quantum information and extend the communication range of a quantum network. This program aims to use a hybrid (continuous-discrete variable) quantum optics approach to realize an operational quantum repeater.

Gravitational Wave Detection with Quantum Metrology

Gravitational waves emanate from accelerating astronomical objects, such as from coalescing binary stars or from collision of planets with black holes. In contrast to conventional astronomy that "sees" the universe by detecting the electromagnetic spectrum, gravitational astronomy "hears" the universe with ultra-precised distance measurements of suspended test masses. The strain sensitivity required for these measurements must be better than 1 part in 10^23. This research aims to use quantum optical states to enhance the sensitivity of long-baseline optical interferometric gravitational wave detectors.

Quantum Opto-Mechatronics

Quantum physics accurately predicts a wide range of physical phenomena that have no classical analogues. Understanding and controlling these quantum phenomena will be increasingly important in transforming 21st century technologies. This research aims to explore the potential of combining optical, mechanical, and atomic systems in the quantum regime to deliver quantum enhancement to applications such as sensing and metrology.

Centre Related Publications

Center Publications for Prof Ping Koy Lam