Quantum physicist wins prestigious ERC award to pursue next-gen research

Posted on: 15 September 2017

Dr John Goold has secured a highly prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant of €1.3 million to set up his own group and pursue ground-breaking research in the field of quantum systems at Trinity.

Dr Goold, a Co. Cork native, will join Trinity later this year from the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy. His ERC research offers the first comprehensive study of the open system phenomenology of disordered interacting many-body systems for applications in autonomous thermal machines.

Dr John Goold is looking forward to establishing his own research group in Trinity's School of Physics.

Dr Goold is a leading player in the emerging field of thermodynamics of quantum systems, and his research to date has focused on many-body physics, quantum information and non-equilibrium quantum thermodynamics.

Dr Goold said: “My main research interest is on the theoretical description of the emergence of thermodynamic behaviour in non-equilibrium quantum systems. With this ERC grant I will build a group at Trinity which aims at investigating how the interplay of the essential features of a quantum many-body system such as noise, disorder and interactions, can be used to enhance the capabilities of machines and technologies which are functioning in the quantum domain.”

“It’s great to be coming home to Ireland after years away, and the research group I shall build with this grant will be interdisciplinary by its very nature, drawing on concepts and methodologies from condensed matter physics, quantum information and thermodynamics.”

In addition to his ERC Starting Grant, Dr Goold was recently awarded a Royal Society-Science Foundation University Research Fellowship, also to be hosted by Trinity.

The ERC Starting Grants are awarded under the 'excellent science' pillar of Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme. Dr Goold’s award was one of 406 recently awarded to early-career scientists by the ERC, and one of two awarded to people setting up in Ireland.

European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, said: "Top talent needs good conditions at the right time to thrive. The EU provides the best possible conditions at the early stages of a researcher's career through the ERC Starting Grants. That's why this funding is so crucial for the future of Europe as science hub: it keeps and attracts young talent.  This time the ERC attracted researchers of 48 different nationalities based in 23 European countries. It's an investment that will pay off, boosting the EU's growth and innovation.”

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