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Jonathan Leach


Assistant Professor

School of Engineering & Physical Sciences; Photonics & Quantum Sciences

Phone: +44 (0)131 451 4174
  • Room G.03
    David Brewster Building
  • School of Engineering & Physical Sciences; Photonics & Quantum Sciences
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Edinburgh
  • EH14 4AS
  • United Kingdom
Jonathan Leach

The application of quantum mechanics to information science removes certain limits set by classical physics. Quantum technologies provide a level of performance that cannot be reached through classical means, promising fast and powerful computation, secure and efficient communication, and ultra high-resolution imaging. To fully realise these gains, we require the development of techniques that preserve the enhancement, and optical methods provide many opportunities to achieve these goals.

In the Experimental Quantum Optics group, a core area of research is the development of novel methods for the generation, manipulation, and detection of quantum states of light. Our interests include the application of high-dimensionally entangled systems to secure communication protocols, the development of direct and indirect methods for the measurement of quantum states, the fundamental limits of super-resolution imaging, and the development of ultra-sensitive photonic sensors. Ultimately, we are interested in how new methods in quantum optics can enable us to reach the performance advantages of quantum technologies.

For more information please see the Experimental Quantum Optics group website.



Jonathan joined Heriot-Watt University in the autumn of 2012 to establish a research program in experimental quantum optics. His research interests are in applying classical and quantum optics techniques to solve problems in information science, nano-photonic optical sensing and sub-resolution imaging. 

Prior to joining Heriot-Watt, Jonathan was a senior research associate in the Quantum Photonics group at the University of Ottawa, Canada.   He worked closely with Prof. Robert Boyd, the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC), to develop the research program in nanophotonics methods for quantum nonlinear optics. Before this position in Canada, Jonathan was a postdoctoral researcher in the Optics Group at the University of Glasgow, UK. 

Jonathan's recent work in the field of quantum optics include using high-dimensional quantum entanglement to show violations of generalised Bell inequalities, holographic ghost imaging, and an experimental demonstration of the angular EPR paradox. These experiments explore the capabilities of high-dimensional spatial entanglement for important quantum information protocols. 

On completion of his PhD, obtained from the University of Glasgow, Jonathan worked to integrate the fields of optical trapping and microfluidics to develop ultra-senstive sensors. He also has industrial experience from his work with Lumerical Inc, a world leading nano-photonic design software company. Jonathan started his undergraduate work at the University of Manchester and then moved to study at the University of Glasgow, where he obtained an MSci in Physics.