Physics professor elected to elite academy
Scientia Professor of Physics Michelle Simmons has been elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. There are currently only 10 Australian Foreign Honorary Members of the Academy.
Professor Simmons is a world leader in the field of quantum computing, is the director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation & Communication Technology at UNSW and was last year awarded an ARC Laureate Fellowship.
Professor Simmons' research harnesses the power of atoms to develop super-fast, super-small devices that can process huge amounts of data. The ultimate aim is to develop a commercially-viable quantum supercomputer that can complete in days extraordinarily complex tasks that would currently take decades.
Her research group at UNSW developed the world’s smallest working transistor, a crucial component of a future quantum computer. The research was published in Nature Nanotechnology in 2012, marking a technological achievement 10 years ahead of industry predictions.
The lab is now the only one in the world able to make atomically precise devices in silicon, including the thinnest conducting wires yet produced. They are 1000 times narrower than human hair.