Jacq Romero wins 2017 L’Oreal UNESCO for Women in Science fellowship

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Filipina scientist Jacquilline Romero has won a prestigious fellowship from the 2017 L’Oreal UNESCO For Women in Science.

The Australia-based Dr. Romero, an experimental quantum physicist at the University of Queensland, was awarded the fellowship for her research into the theory of entanglement – that information is shared between particles regardless of the distance between them.

Dr. Romero’s work with quantum alphabets is expected to “provide the first experimental evidence to an existing theory to verify the fundamental differences in the way information works for larger quantum alphabets, compared to the classical encoding system we use today,” cites the For Women In Science website.

The quantum world is relatively unknown, but holds a lot of potential for the future, in terms of increased capacity to transmit data, increased security, but more importantly unlocking a new science not yet fully understood. Jacq creates large quantum alphabets using a less well known property of light, known as the orbital angular momentum (or OAM). By creating an alphabet where the different OAMs, which are the different helical twist formations of a beam of light, serve as the different letters, Jacq is able to create a unique quantum encoding system of a much larger capacity (theoretically infinite!). By creating quantum alphabets, Jacq is able to unlock some of the mysteries of the very puzzling properties of higher dimension quantum information. – For Women In Science

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In a 2017 L’Oreal UNESCO For Women in Science video feature, the Filipina scientist shares how her winning the fellowship can help unlock a news Physics of information that is currently unknown.

“We do not know the technology that we are going to need in the future but I believe that by studying quantum physics the future of our technology will be far more exciting,” the University of the Philippines alumna enthuses.

Romero, who previously made the headlines for proving that the speed of light can be slowed down even in a vacuum, also credits winning the fellowship with helping her bring the story that mothers like her can also succeed in science, and can do science research even while having children.

Romero is one of the five awardees of the 2017 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Australia & New Zealand Fellowships selected from nearly 10,000 applications from 115 countries submitted for the pioneering program that seeks to recognize and promote women researchers and their impact on society.

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