Artur Ekert's research extends over most aspects of information processing in quantum-mechanical systems, with a focus on quantum cryptography and quantum computation.
Studying Physics at Merton
Our physics community is a large and vibrant one, with typically 30 undergraduates and a similar number of graduate students in residence.
Undergraduate physics teaching in Merton takes a variety of formats, according to what we—and students—judge to be most effective. Hence we give classes in which the whole year group meet to discuss and work through problems, but we also hold individual and paired tutorials in which the students determine the agenda—whether that be rather general conceptual difficulties or particular questions from problem sets.
All undergraduate tutorials in the first three years of the MPhys and BA courses are given within college by Tutorial Fellows or tutors appointed by the College. In common with all colleges, tutorials and classes in the fourth year are organized and given in the Department of Physics. However, we have sufficient expertise within College to offer help with any difficulties which arise in the fourth year.
We put a lot of effort into helping our pupils to understand physics, and we expect a lot from them. We usually get it; a high proportion of our physicists graduate with first-class degrees.
Average intake: Eight, typically two to study physics and philosophy.
Simon Hooker's research group has developed a new technique for channelling very intense laser radiation, and is investigating its application to driving x-ray lasers and miniature particle accelerators.
Much of Alan's research with the Oxford supersymmetry group is on the border between theory and experiment - for example investigating what observable effects of supersymmetry and extra dimensions could be found at accelerators such as the LHC at CERN.