My research project
Proton Tunnelling in DNA
I am a theoretical physics PhD student working in the new Quantum Biology Doctoral Training Centre. Under the supervision of Prof. Jim Al-Khalili and Dr. Rocco, I am looking at tunnelling in open quantum systems with a particular focus on modelling a realistic cellular environment: noisy, dissipative, and with non-Markovian “memory" effects. This approach uses the Caldeira-Leggett model of path integrals. We hope to eventually make a statement about the relevance of proton tunnelling in DNA base pairs as a method for tautomerisation.
This project has scope to expand into related disciplines and I hope to look into quantum information theory, entanglement, and quantum thermodynamics. When I am not in the office, I can often be found arguing about the Copenhagen interpretation, de Broglie-Bohm theory, and the many worlds interpretation, as well as trying to convince my colleagues that the passage of time is not physical.
Prior to attending the University of Surrey, I completed my MPhys(Hons) at the University of Manchester, where I developed a strong background in quantum physics. This is where my interest in open quantum systems began; under the supervision of Dr Ahsan Nazir I held a research internship looking at adding momentum corrections into the quantum optical master equation. My final year masters project considered quantum transport across fractal lattices and simulated the integer quantum Hall effect via direct calculation of Green’s functions and via the TKNN formula for Chern numbers.