Thomas Hird

Meet...Thomas Hird

Quantum information and computation
Quantum optics & ultra-cold matter
Atomic and Laser Physics

We work among extraordinary people doing extraordinary things; get to know some of them by reading these quick-fire interviews.

Name: Thomas Hird
Job title: Postdoctoral Research Associate

What are you currently working on?
I am working on the Atom Interferometry Observatory and Network (AION) project which uses laser cooled, ultracold atoms to perform interferometry as a means to both detect gravitational waves and investigate ultra-light dark matter candidates.

Describe a typical day
I am quite a morning person so I get in quite early and this gives me time to plan my day, respond to emails and read any new papers. Then I’ll head down to the lab in the depths of the Beecroft and spend the day working on laser alignment, some data analysis or developing some new hardware/software. I also do some teaching and outreach on the side, all of which keeps me quite busy.

If you had an entire day at your disposal (not at work), what would be your ideal way to spend it?
I have got two young children, so spending a day outdoors with my friends and family, and having a picnic or a BBQ is pretty idyllic.

What is your favourite place in Oxford?
We live very close to Shotover, and the CS Lewis Nature Reserve there is fantastic. Otherwise, by the river, like the Perch or the Isis Farmhouse.

What discovery would you like to see in your lifetime?
Having been very entrenched in quantum technology, seeing a quantum computer doing “useful” calculations with a large number of qubits would be pretty amazing.