2008 Maxwell medal and prize

Professor Sougato Bose

For his work on the characterisation and exploitation of entanglement in quantum systems, in particular for his work on the propagation of information in spin chains

The Maxwell medal and prize for distinguished research in theoretical, mathematical or computational physics has been awarded to Professor Sougato Bose, Reader in Physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, for his work on the characterisation and exploitation of entanglement in quantum systems.

Dr Bose is a brilliant and original thinker, and already has established a widespread and growing reputation in studies probing the phenomenon of quantum entanglement - whereby the properties of spatially separated components of a quantum system remain strongly correlated. He is a trendsetter in ideas; by the time he had finished his PhD at Imperial College London, he had already created an entirely independent research programme on quantum information and quantum fundamentals.

Bose’s research is characterised by deep physical insight and a preparedness to think beyond his original studies in quantum optics. Among many highly original contributions, two especially stand out. One is his computation of the entanglement present in thermal equilibrium in spin systems. The other is his novel idea of propagating quantum information using a chain of spins. This highly influential work made international leaders in the field think about alternative systems to the electromagnetic field for transmitting quantum information - leading to an explosion of experimental activity.

Most recently, Bose has used his work on entangled systems to explore the divide between quantum and classical worlds. He has developed methods for entangling larger systems that are traditionally treated classically, and for exploring the very fundamentals of the quantum-measurement problem.

Since joining University College London, first as Lecturer and then Reader, Dr Bose has galvanised quantum information research there, gathering about him a new generation of outstanding students and postdocs.