Jake Xuereb



Hi! I'm Jake, a fledgling quantum physicist from Malta. I once ran a private education a start-up called LearnD, but I think I'm involved in other start-ups elsewhere in spacetime.

I am a PhD Student in the QUIT Group at the TU Wien's Atominstitut in Vienna, supervised by the entangled anarchist.

Broadly, I'm interested in what fundamental truths Quantum Information can tell us about the Universe and the foundations of Physics all the way from gravity to measurement, and how Quantum Computing can be the tool through which these truths are uncovered.

Before this I was a research Master's student working within the Quantumalta Group at the University of Malta funded by an Endeavour Scholarship part of which I spent as a visiting research student with CATS at UCD and QuSys at Trinity College in Dublin.

For more information, my not-necessarily-up-to-date-Curriculum-Vitae can be found here.

I live at and am part of Wohn Projekt Wien, a project trying to examine how to build sustainable human communities in large cities.

I'm trying to get back into running right now.

If you'd like to, you can read about how I find meaning in being alive, here. I also recently wrote a list of things I want to try to do outside of physics as a way to make sure I don't get too consumed by this work I love doing, you can read that here.

Should you wish to support me you can send me cryptocurrency at 0x3D4FA832f5a9C02709A5d961E537DBB309A1F3ab

'The eye--it cannot choose but see;
We cannot bid the ear be still;
Our bodies feel, where'er they be,
Against, or with our will.

From "Expostulation & Reply" by William Wordsworth.

Oh! If you're confused that's probably because you're looking for André Xuereb, the first Maltese quantum physicist, my undergrad & MSc supervisor, quantum optomechanical legend and Malta's Ambassador for Digital Affairs amongst other things. NO, we are NOT related, Malta is just that small.

(!) - I was recently interviewed on the InsideQuantum Podcast, a space where quantum researchers from diverse backgrounds share their trajectory in the space. I think it's a great summary of what I'm up to and encourage you to have a listen if you'd like to the get to know me!
Find the podcast and transcript here - https://insidequantum.org/episodes_s2/episode_jakexuereb/
(!) - I was recently featured in a mini-documentary produced by FQxI as part of their Information as Fuel workshop. Watch it here - The Young Scientists learning Quantum Thermodynamics.

Qalypso - I am the founder of the Qalypso Schools on Quantum Science in Gozo. I was lead organiser for the 1st edition on Quantum Computing & Open Quantum Systems held from 5th-9th of September 2022. If you'd like to see any of the lectures from this edition head to this YouTube link.
Go to qalypso.info for more information.

Research Projects

Whilst I do find myself meandering through quantum information and thermodynamics in fairly equal parts, the main line of research I am pursuing is thinking thermodynamically about well established quantum information protocols. Here I am trying to gain an understanding of two things; what fundamental relationships exist between classes of computational tasks and thermodynamic resources? And, what costs or limitations does thermodynamics impose on computation itself?
If you'd like to discuss these ideas or you'd like me to give a talk about related work please do reach out.
I am also happy to mentor undergraduate students interested in these topics, especially if you're a Maltese person making your first quantum steps.

(!) - We recently put up a manuscript on the arXiv that presents a framework which tries to attack these questions which we call the autonomous Quantum Processing Unit. This is an autonomous thermal machine formed of a quantum clock, computational target state and semi classical states that encode an algorithm one wishes to execute. We then present a time indepent interaction whose steady state is the desired computational output. This framework allows us to examine the thermodynamic cost of computation and how physics limits the speed of quantum computation.
- autnomous Qauntum Processing Unit : What does it take to construct a self-consistent model of quantum computation?
with Florian Meier, Marcus Huber and Pauli Erker. arXiv:2402.00111

dqc1 Thermodynamics & Information Processing - By studying the manipulation of classical and quantum information through a thermodynamic lens I hope to understand what it means for a task to be complex and whether this corresponds to great thermodynamic work. I am trying to do this in the contexts of the compression of quantum information and quantum algorithms. A related project which I carried out during my Master's showed that estimating different traces of unitary matrices leads to different heat exchanges across a register of qubits.
- Deterministic quantum computation with one-clean-qubit model as an open quantum system
with Steve Campbell, John Goold, and André Xuereb. Phys. Rev. A 107, 042222

time Energetic Cost of & Physical Constraints on Computation - Information theoretic ideas can be proven and discussed in way which is agnostic of the physics which would carry them out. But the protocols that instantiate these theorems involve physical processes, like measurements or unitary operations which can be spoiled by finite resources like imperfect clocks or hot control systems. Motivated by this, I am interested to know how physics limits our ability to perform computations and manipulate information, and what costs are incurred in trying to remedy these limitations. In a recent project, I have examined how the quality of clock an agent has access to limits their ability to perform quantum computations and cool quantum systems.
- The Impact of Imperfect Timekeeping on Quantum Control
with Paul Erker, Florian Meier, Mark Mitchison and Marcus Huber. Phys. Rev. Lett. 131, 160204

I gave a talk summarising this work at the TiQT 2023 Conference which you can watch here on Youtube.

A Popular Science article about this work you can check out is Imperfect Clocks Limit Quantum Computers on IEEE Spectrum
- (!) Quantum Coding with Finite Thermodynamic Resources
with Tiago Debarba, Marcus Huber and Paul Erker we recently uploaded a work which investigate the thermodynamic resources required for an agent to compress messages of pure states. arXiv:2311.14561

I gave a talk summarising this work at the Quantum Resources 2023 Workshop in Singapore which you can watch here on Youtube.


I make notes about things I learn sometimes putting great effort into diagrams and trying to explain in as much depth as necessary. Many of these are works in progress or probably won't ever be finished but you're welcome to check them out just the same.
-Intro to Quantum Channels and some Thermodynamics
-Equilibrium & Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics with Quantum Information
-Introduction to Quantum Optics
-Introduction to Group Theory & Vector Spaces
-Introduction to Real Analysis

Things I think everyone should know about

- Lex Fridman's Podcast - My favourite episodes are with - Donald Knuth, Jim Keller, Georges St.Pierre, Manolis Kellis and Joscha Bach - amongst others.
- Jon Mallia's Podcast
- Sean Carroll's Mindscape
- Sam Harris' Making Sense
There's a lot to say here so in the interest of space check out my spotify analytics. If I can implore you to listen to four wildly different things it would be the band Toe, Jacob Collier, Common & Mahler.
Running a start-up as a student can be an extremely educational and rewarding experience for science students. It teaches leadership, organisation, grit, tenacity and how to make ideas conceptually and financially real and sustainable. If you're a Maltese student thinking about doing this, just go for it. You can find funding or help here and here or reach out to me if you need an extra push.
Tips based on mistakes I've made:
-Don't launch a broken product early. Fuck failing fast. Fail intelligently.
-Make sure your product is very aligned with the business interests of your investor.
-Think about the story your brand is trying to tell.
-Don't get into saturated or well-served markets without a lot of cash to burn in marketing.
-If you're an anxious person you'd probably benefit a great deal from journaling and timeblocking, meditation and exercise.
-You gotta watch Randy Pausch's Last Lecture.
-Christopher Hitchens was one of the world's best orators and you are missing out if you have never heard him speak.
-The question you are asking is much more important than the answer you are trying to come up with.
-The best opportunities come from taking chances on things which have very low probability of occuring and very high reward if successful.
-In general, speak your mind.
-Whatever beauty you're able to conjure, share it with the world.