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Dr Jonathan Matthews

Dr Jonathan Matthews

Dr Jonathan Matthews
MSci(Bristol), PhD, MSc(Bristol), MSc(Bristol), PhD(Bristol)

Associate Professor in Quantum Technology

Area of research

Quantum Photonics

Office NSQI 1.08
HH Wills Physics Laboratory,
Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TL
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 3940018


Quantum metrology. From photography to the ultra-precise iterferometers used to detect gravitational waves, light has proven to be a fansatstic way to quantify our surroundings. Quantum mechanics defines the limit in quality of optical measurements. For example, the precision that laser interferometers can measure subtle changes in distance is limited by shot noise. By careful engineering of quantum properties of light — e.g. single photons, entanglement and squeezing — we know that we can surpase previously understood "limits" in precision measurement. Such quantum-enhanced techniques in optical measurement have the potential to impact whenever precision measurement with light is deployed, from healthcare to precision manufacture. And underpinning such proposals is some really interesting physics and fantastic challenges in optics and photonics engineering. Recently, we explored using single photons to perform sub shot noise absorption spectroscopy, applied to descriminate Haemoglobin samples: New J. Phys. 19 023013 (2017).

Quantum Walks. The random walk has proven to be a useful model for computational physics. Perhaps most famously exemplified by the "druken sailor" or Galton's board, the general random walk describes stochastic motion of particles around a descretised space, giving rise to descriptions of e.g. Brownian motion and population genetics. The quantum mechanical analogue of this idea is the "quantum walk" — here the particles still move around a discretised space, but can move in superposition giving rise to vastly different dynamics to its classical counterpart due to wave-like intereference. Many different types of quantum walk have been devised and can be found in the literature. Their applications include use as a model for coherent transport in other quantum systems, as an approach to forms of quantum computation and as an aid to proving approaches to universal quatnaum computation (when e.g. nonlinearities are included). My work in this area has focused on optical implementations of quantum walks, including most recently simulation with a primitive optical quantum processor: Nature Communications 7, Article number: 11511 (2016).


I am a lecturer in the School of Physics, University of Bristol, and I lead the EPSRC funded research activity of experimental quantum metrology, within the Centre for Quantum Photonics and QETLabs entities. I hold a five year EPSRC early career research fellowship (awarded 2015) in quantum technologies, to develop photonic quantum enhanced sensors and I am an investigator on the quantum-enhanced imaging hub QUANTIC (part of the UK national quantum technologies programme, initiated in 2014). I was previously awarded a Leverhulme Trust early career fellowship in 2012 to study photonic implementations if quantum walks and I received my EPSRC funded PhD from the University of Bristol in 2011 for my work in developing integrated quantum photonics.

If you have an interest in working with my group, please do make contact. We currently have expeirmental postdoctoral researcher positions available. 

Short research CV:

ResearcherID: D-7129-2011, ORCID ID:

Apr 15 - present: EPSRC early career fellow

Jul 12 - Apr 15: Leverhulme Trust early career fellow

Jun 11 - Jul 12: Postdotoral research associate

Awarded Sep 11 PhD. Thesis "Multi-photon qunatum information science and technology in integrated optics", UOB

Awarded Sep 09 Master of Science. Thesis: “The Consequences of Localization in Quantum Information Processing”, UOB

Awarded Nov 07 Master of Science in Communication Systems and Signal Processing, with Distinction, UOB

Awarded Jun 05 Master in Science with First Class Honours in Mathematics, UOB


I organise the 4th year undergraduate student seminar series unit, aimed at giving students the chance to gain valuable research led technical presentations skills. If you are a Bristol Physics undergraduate and are interested in taking this course and have questions, please make contact.

I provide lectures on quantum noise in optical measurement as part of the quantum engineering CDT. I also offer both short and PhD research projects for that programme. 



  • Quantum Photonics and Integrated Quantum Photonics
  • Quantum Technologies
  • Quantum Walks
  • Quantum metrology

Selected publications

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Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system


Dr Matthews currently teaches 1 courses:

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