Quantum physics: a tool for new upcoming technologies

The Project

Quantum physics challenges our most basics intuitions, yet it provides astonishingly accurate predictions on the behavior of matter and energy on the scale of atoms and below. Without it, we wouldn’t have developed useful technologies, such as lasers, LEDs, or transistors. Many more are about to come, such as quantum computers, as we are just at the beginning of a quantum technological revolution.

We invite you to take a journey to the core of quantum physics, starting from its foundations, and building day by day the basis to understand the upcoming quantum technologies. We’ll start with an introduction to the mathematical language (basic algebra and matrices) that will help us unfold the counterintuitive consequences of quantum physics. We will see how quantum physics is strictly connected to information processing and how it can improve current technologies, such as communications, cryptography, and computing through theoretical and practical activities in a friendly environment.

Even if it may seem incredible, quantum physics has an important impact on our daily life. Richard Feynman said that it is safe to say that nobody understands quantum mechanics. But during your stay at ICFO we challenge you to prove him wrong, to understand the basics of quantum physics and to discover how many new technologies can stem from it, so that you can be an active part of the second quantum revolution!



Matching profiles

This project is addressed to students interested in Physics, Photonics, Mathematics or Engineering.

Learning objectives
  • To understand the basic principles of quantum physics through the mathematical language.
  • To connect quantum physics to new upcoming technologies.
  • To experience and understand different aspects of scientific research.



Required materials


Coordinators of the project

Federica Beduini

  • MSc in Physics by Università degli Studi of Milan.
  • PhD in Photonics by Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC); UPC Special Doctoral Award.
  • Part of ICFO KTT team led by Dra. Silvia Carrasco, coordinator of many of the outreach activities organized by ICFO.
  • Organizer of the Young Photonics Congress, a scientific congress for high-school students that has reached already its fourth edition.
  • Co-organizer of the BIG Bell Test, a worldwide citizen science experiment that involved more than 100 scientists and 100.000 people around the world.
Samuele Grandi

Samuele Grandi

  • I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Milan, including an internship at Laboratoire Kastler Brossel in Paris.
  • I continued my studies in Milan, with a master thesis in experimental quantum information at the LENS laboratories in Florence.
  • I then joined the FQT doctoral school at Imperial College London, where I completed my PhD on single photon generation.
  • During my Ph.D. I joined the NTT Basic Research Lab in Japan, where I worked on quantum optics in silicon devices
  • I am currently at ICFO, where I am working towards the realization of a quantum repeater based on solid state quantum memories

Javier Argüello Luengo

  • Currently, postdoctoral researcher in the Quantum Optics Theory group at ICFO, led by Prof. Maciej Lewenstein.
  • Graduated in Physics and Mathematics from University Complutense of Madrid (UCM). PhD studies at ICFO and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany).
  • MSc at the Perimeter Scholars International program (PSI) from the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (Waterloo, Canada).
  • Research interests focus on experimental proposals for strong light-matter interaction, and its use in analogue quantum simulation.
  • Collaborates with the outreach department at ICFO and Big Van Ciencia.

Laura Zarraoa

  • Physics Bachelor in Madrid (UAM), where I did my thesis on Silicon Nanowires and Scanning Electron Microscopy.
  • MSc. Physics and Nanotechnology, with specialization in Quantum Engineering in Copenhagen (DTU) and Munich (TUM). There I worked with solid state impurities and photonic crystal structures for quantum information
  • First year PhD student in experimental Atomic Quantum Optics at ICFO, studying the interaction of single photons with a single atom.
  • Other hobbies: Sports! Including martial arts (karate), climbing and acrobatic stuff like slackline or acroyoga. Wildlife photography, I like to spot and capture with my lens every type of animal I can find.

Eduardo Beattie

  • Was born and raised in Madrid in a bilingual Spanish/English household.
  • Completed a bachelor's and master's degree in Physics at the University of Oxford, specialising in particle physics, lasers, and quantum information.
  • Worked as a freelance software developer over the vacations from university, developing web automation projects with Python.
  • Currently pursuing a PhD in Photonics at ICFO, where I detect and manipulate single ions in a crystal to process quantum information.

Jonathan Haenni

  • PhD student at ICFO, in the group for quantum photonics with solids and atoms (QPSA).
  • Education : Microengineering at EPF Lausanne (Bachelor & Master), ETH Zürich (Bachelor), University of Geneva (Master thesis).
  • Hobbies : Gymnastics, olympic weighlifting, sailing and triathlon.
  • BIYSC role : Member of the team supervising the experimental part about Quantum Key Distribution.
The center

The Institute of Photonic Science (ICFO) is a young research institution that aims to advance the very limits of knowledge in photonics, namely the science and technology of harnessing light.