Dominik Vašinka and Miroslav Ježek from the Department of Optics won the Werner von Siemens Award

Miroslav Ježek and Dominik Vašinka. Source: Werner von Siemens Award
Thursday 14 March 2024, 12:30 – Text: Šárka Chovancová

Dominik Vašinka and Miroslav Ježek from the UP Faculty of Science Department of Optics were able to significantly refine complex quantum measurements using artificial intelligence. As a result, they won the prestigious Werner von Siemens Award, with a first place in the Best Master’s Thesis category. The future practical use of the results of their research focused on the application of artificial intelligence in quantum measurements is broad – it will be applied primarily in the field of metrology and control of complex systems, including quantum devices such as quantum processors and sensors.

A large number of scientific fields and technical applications require precise control of complex physical systems to achieve a desired state or process. The key to their control is the precise tuning of control signals, although the theoretical description of these systems often remains unexplored. “Moreover, the situation becomes significantly more complicated when we move into the world of quantum physics. Here, the demands on the control instrumentation are multiplied by the probabilistic nature of quantum measurements, as well as the complex and multidimensional structure of quantum states and processes,” Vašinka said, describing the complexity of quantum measurements.

An example can be the optimal setting of the electrical control voltages needed to achieve the desired operation of quantum processors or the maximum sensitivity of quantum sensors. Optimizing the control of these devices, which is Vašinka’s focus, is a very difficult part of their development and use. The greatest contribution of his scientific work lies in the universality of the proposed control method, which uses cooperative neural networks. This makes it applicable to virtually any quantum and classical device. The work also practically applies the new method to the precise control of light oscillations, down to the level of individual light particles - photons. At the same time, manipulating the direction of light oscillation is a key element for advanced imaging and metrology applications.

The high quality of Vašinka’s scientific work is evidenced by the fact that he has presented it at several international conferences and the results of his research form the basis of the scientific article “Bidirectional Deep Learning of Polarization Transfer in Liquid Crystal with Application to Quantum State Preparation”, published in the renowned international journal Physical Review Applied. The Optics and Optoelectronics student is currently pursuing his PhD programme and is engaged in research at the intersection of quantum physics, photonics, and artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence has fascinated Vašinka since the beginning of his studies in physics. When he chose a research direction in the field of quantum optics, their combination was an ideal choice. “What I enjoy most about my work is programming. Seeing code being created with my own two hands that can almost work miracles with is an amazing feeling,” said Vašinka.

He entered the competition for the Werner von Siemens Award because he considers it a great opportunity to publish his discoveries and to disseminate them to professional circles that can benefit from them in many other projects. When asked whether this success will help him in his further studies, scientific or professional career, he replied “Certainly. On one hand, it is a great opportunity to establish new contacts and collaborations, but also a great motivation and reminder that our research is meaningful.”

Vašinka’s thesis supervisor Miroslav Ježek most values honesty and sincerity in this student, both professionally and personally. “Dominik is a very capable physicist and programmer and I believe he has a bright scientific career ahead of him. He is also an excellent communicator and is not afraid to give his honest opinion and feedback. I consider this one of the main reasons why Dominik and I work very well together,” said Ježek.

The funding of the research presented in Dominik’s thesis was provided by the Czech Science Foundation (project no. 21-18545S), the UP Internal Grant Agency, and the of the Faculty of Science Department of Optics. “The HYPER-U-P-S project within the H2020 QuantERA call, which was funded by the European Union and the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic, also played an important role in shaping foreign scientific cooperation,” added Ježek.


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