UCL Department of Physics and Astronomy


Dr Charlie Nation

Research Fellow

Dept of Physics & Astronomy

Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Jul 2020

Research summary

My current research is in the group of Alexandra Olaya-Castro, looking at the quantum optics of biomolecules. In particular, this includes theoretical analysis of theoretical aspects of the interaction of many-body systems with a complex environment. Of particular interest to our group is how the bath interaction may in fact increase the longevity of quantum coherence in a molecular system, rather than acting to simply decohere the system.

My prior research, during my PhD at Sussex University, has been looking at foundations of quantum statistical physics in closed quantum systems. The puzzle at the heart of statistical physics is understanding the conditions under which a given non-equilibrium state may decay to an equilibrium given by a thermal state, as well as the dynamics such equilibration may take.

My PhD research was using methods from quantum chaos and random matrix theory to gain an analytical understanding of the equilibration process, as well as looking at applications to quantum computers that may enable characterization of their complexity. I have further studied how this process may be seen to give rise to an effective classical theory, and thus obtain emergent classical phenomena in closed quantum systems.

Teaching summary

During my time at UCL I have been supervising and co-supervising 3rd year and masters students in their research topics, covering topics in quantum biology and quantum computation.