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Winton Programme for the Physics of Sustainability

Department of Physics


Bachelor (2002) and Masters (2003) in Theoretical Physics from Trinity College, Cambridge and PhD in theoretical condensed matter physics at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge (2008). From 2009 Senior Postdoctoral Researcher in group of Prof Martin Plenio in the Institute for Theoretical Physics at Ulm University, joining Winton Programme in January 2012.


Over the last few years, compelling experimental and theoretical evidence has emerged which suggests that non-classical properties of quantum mechanics may play an important role in the remarkably high efficiency and sensitivity of important biological processes, such as avian navigation, olfaction and photosynthetic light harvesting. My research is focused on the theoretical aspects of the new field of Quantum Effects in Biological Systems (QUEBS), and combines techniques from condensed matter theory, quantum optics and physical chemistry to investigate the novel physics of biomolecular processes at the boundary of quantum and classical descriptions. With the support of the Winton Programme and the Cavendish Laboratory, I will look for the general (quantum) design principles which optimise the performance of light-harvesting in natural photosynthesis, and then go on to explore how these biologically engineered strategies might be used to improve artificial technologies, such as photovoltaic devices.

Group Leader, l'Institute des NanoSciences de Paris
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Dr Alex  Chin

Contact Details

Email address: 
01223 337458