Mr Farhan Tanvir Chowdhury
Postgraduate Researcher (Theoretical Physics)
Telephone: 01392 727467
Extension: (Streatham) 7467
What is my research about?
As a PhD student with Daniel Kattnig & Oleksandr Kyriienko, my research builds on concepts and computational techniques from quantum control theory to refine approaches for simulating the dynamics of driven open quantum systems.
What do I do, and how do I do it?
I simulate the dynamics of electronic and nuclear spin systems numerically, using primarily Python, sometimes Julia. Using optimal quantum control tools like GRAPE, I optimise the reaction products in spin dynamics simulations for radical pair recombination reactions pulsed by radio-frequency (RF) magnetic fields. This essentially drives the given quantum spin system to reach a desired target state.
Initial findings using optimal quantum control to drive radical pair spins in closed quantum systems treatments of their spin dynamics suggest scope for enhancement in their magnetosensitive response to weak magnetic fields. But being able to further extend to open quantum systems approaches for modelling the driven dynamics is key to better understanding phenomenon in natural systems, which are subject to a noisy environment.
Another key aspect is the need to be able to simulate more physically plausible spin systems with greater number of spins, where we hit computational bottlenecks quickly due to the decreasing tractability in performing spin simulations as the system size grows. In the immediate near term, GPU and parallel computation capabilities are presently the best available tools that could potentially provide some simulation scalability. But for the longer term, harnessing the quantum information processing capabilities of noisy intermediate scale quantum devices could prove crucial for shifting the paradigm in spin simulations.
On the other hand, the fundamental quantum information aspects of many-body quantum physics in large spin systems could provide key insights to better understanding the dynamical behaviour of complex quantum systems. Living systems often manifest noise-assisted quantum effects, where driving the system could be vital for maintaining quantum states in far from equilibria conditions. This is a fundamental requirement for quantum spins to be able to sustain magnetic interactions which are orders of magnitude smaller than thermal energies. Without it, thermal effects would dominate and the system would be restricted to classical behaviour.
In addition to research, I am also a postgraduate teaching assistant in the Department of Physics, having so far tutored for the PHY2023 Thermal Physics module co-ordinated by Luis Correa. I had previously also remotely taught quantum computing basics and Qiskit to a global cohort of undergraduates through QxQ's Quantum Computing Winter Break Intensive program.
By formulating optimal control protocols for controlled spin dynamics in quantum complex systems of potential physiological relevance, the goal is to be able to inform experiments to bring about non-classical enhancements in room temperature quantum magnetometry.
My work lies at the intersection of fundamental research and the development of computational tools, and producing scalable open-source code for simulating quantum spin dynamics is a primary goal.
Background and other Interests
Having studied Mathematics and Physics as an undergraduate student at Aberystwyth University, I am fascinated by the connections that fundamental Physics has to diverse areas like Theoretical Computer Science, Abstract Algebra, Mathematical Linguistics, Machine Learning and Complexity Theory. My Erdös Number is 6 (Paul Erdös → Vance Faber → Emanuel Knill → Carlton M. Caves → Animesh Datta → Luke D. Smith → me).
During my masters studies in Mathematical and Theoretical Physics at the University of Sheffield, I remotely worked on a project in Quantum Error Correction, numerically simulating and applying basic QEC protocols on spin chains. I had also looked at the theory of deep generative models, and its links to fundamental Physics, as part of a literature review for a postgraduate taught research training module.
During the pandemic in late 2020, I remotely worked as a research assistant on an ERC climate policy project at the Urban Institute, Sheffield. During sixth form, I was also associated with the Bangladesh Youth Environmental Initiative (BYEI), having assisted in organising the local divisional round for the 2014 International Earth Science Olympiad.
Outside of converting coffee into equations, I like to think of myself as a connoisseur of world literature and a cinéaste, and I occasionally moonlight as a blue-penciler for friends in more artistic circles with literary aspirations.
Talks and attended Events
- Participant at UKRI National Quantum Computing Centre's first "UK Quantum Hackathon", Royal Holloway, July 2022
- "Driving spin dynamics with optimal quantum control to enhance quantum effects in the radical pair mechanism"- British Early Career Mathematicians Colloquium (BECMC 22), University of Birmingham, July 2022
- Participant at virtual Geometric Representation Theory 2022, Kavli IPMU, University of Tokyo, June 2022
- Participant at virtual Quantum Thermodynamics 2022, Queen's University Belfast, June 2022
- Participant at Mathematics in Life Sciences: New developments in pattern formation in biological systems, Exeter, June 2022
- Participant at Quantum Natural Language Processing, Oxford, December 2019
- "From Optimal Control Theory to Quantum Mechanics"- Conference for Astronomy and Physics Students (CAPs 19), Swansea, July 2019
- "Quantum Walks and Neutrinos"- Particle Physics, String theory and Cosmology (PASCOS 2019), Machnester, July 2019
- "Undecidability in Mathematics and Physics"- Tomorrow’s Mathematicians Today (TMT 2019), Greenwich, February 2019
- Qiskit Global Summer School on Quantum Computing, 2020
- Wolfram Summer School (Fundamental Physics Track), 2021
- Qiskit Global Summer School on Quantum Machine Learning, 2021
- Qiskit Global Summer School on Quantum Simulation, 2022
- Institute of Physics (IOP), MInstP
- Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IOM), AMIMA