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Daniel Nagaj is happy to discuss Physics

Added by: S. Ščepán, 6.3.2018, 708 visit

Daniel Nagaj has returned to Slovakia for the second time. First time was following completion of a PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and now following two years of research at the universities in Vienna and Berkeley (USA). "I’m at home here, I have a family, people close to me and clever colleagues at the Research Center for Quantum Information at the SAS Physical Institute. I have long decided that if I have the opportunity to do science in Slovakia, I want to use it – and take my results wherever I can, "explains theoretical physicist Daniel Nagaj. The ability to sign up for SASPRO has been a welcome bonus.
In his Hamiltonian Locality project in quantum complexity, Daniel Nagaj seeks to understand the computational complexity (or simplicity) of system simulations described by local quantum Hamiltonians. "Next, I want to use and generalize area law for the basic states of the spectrum gap systems and use it as a calculation tool, for example for numerical applications in multiparticulate physics. I also examine the robustness of these results in the presence of noise and various environments, ". Nagaj explains Hamilton's systems for the lay person. "I'm working on models of how quantum spin chains (like tiny magnets) can interact with each other. This description is given by the so-called Hamiltonian operator, and for me means that only neighbouring particles are directly affected. For these systems, for example, we have shown that even surprisingly simple interactions can mean that the underlying state of the system (the least energy) is hard to describe, and that the particle states physically far from each other can be heavily intertwined. Specifically, we are generalizing the discoveries to the end of the project into the claims of physics of the larger class of spin systems, "explains Nagaj.
As a scientist, he thinks first of all about what cannot be calculated even on (quantum) computers which we do not have yet. And practical use? "For example, when we understand what tasks on physical systems are extraordinarily difficult, we can effectively store and encrypt data. However I am more interested in basic questions. What does nature really allow us to calculate? This is especially interesting when we use all the possibilities that quantum physics offers to us to compile the computing engine, "explains the scientist.
He sees various differences between his work at home and abroad. "The places in the world where I worked have had an intense creative atmosphere, the quality of cooperation and the number of guests who were disproportionate. There was much higher professional and competitive pressure. There are many basic things about the transparency of funding, administrative assistance in writing grants and disposals, and I was able to concentrate on the results, "he explains. Now, however, he wants to stay in Slovakia, lead students and send them out into the world. He is fighting for European grants to make it worthwhile, "so that I can invite well-paid people to my group." In addition, he is trying to start some popularization activities - he is very happy to talk to others about aspects of physics, mathematics and computer science he enjoys, even if these are outside of his scope. This semester, he will be studying quantum information with colleagues.
Daniel Nagaj returned to Slovakia twice. However his recommendation for attracting people to return is conditioned by strong calls for which candidates are willing to sacrifice a lot. "You are mainly struggling with job insecurity (no permanent contracts and clear prospects), the uncertainty of financial security (the unclear rules and perspectives of national grants) and the windmills of the bureaucracy. The big project I have recently won does not allow me to use more than a percentage of wages - although I do not need anything else as a theoretician, "says the devoted scientist.
Andrea Nozdrovická

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„Oveľa viac ma zaujímajú základné otázky. Čo nám príroda naozaj dovolí vypočítať?“
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