Prof Pieter Kok

Dr Pieter KokProfessor of Quantum Information Theory

Contact details

Group web pages

Inorganic Semiconductors Group

Low Dimensional Structures & Devices Research Group

Theoretical Physics Research Group

Personal web page



My research is in theoretical optical quantum information processing. I am interested in physical architectures and applications for optical quantum devices: How can we use quantum light for practical quantum communication, metrology, imaging, and computing?


Physics degree, University of Utrecht, the Netherlands (1991-1997)
Physics PhD, University of Wales, Bangor (1998-2001)

Academic career

NRC Research Fellow, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena CA (2001-2003)
Research Fellow, Hewlett-Packard Labs, Bristol (2003-2005)
Research Fellow, University of Oxford (2005-2007)
Lecturer, University of Sheffield (2007-present)

Departmental administration

Head of First Year Physics (2012-present)
Member of Teaching Committee and Research Committee

Professional activities

Member of the Editorial Board of Physical Review A
External examiner for Physics at Loughborough University (2014-present)


Research Interests

Any practical distributed, long-distance quantum technology—such as the quantum Internet—will most likely involve light as a quantum information carrier. It is therefore important to understand the capabilities and limitations of photons as quantum bits. Broadly speaking, my research falls into three categories: linear optical quantum computing, hybrid quantum computing with light and matter qubits, and quantum metrology.

Research funding (major awards)

Semiconductor Quantum Photonics, EPSRC £5.6M (2016-2021, CoI)
Quantum Communication, EPSRC QT Hub, £500K (2015-2019, PI)
Semiconductor Integrated Quantum Optical Circuits , EPSRC £5M (20012-2017, Co-I)


Undergraduate taught modules (current)

PHY381 Advanced Electrodynamics
PHY472 Advanced Quantum Mechanics

Undergraduate projects

PHY391 Quantum Information Labs (with Luke Wilson)
PHY340/341 Physics Project
PHY480 Research project


Recent key publications

The effect of component variations on the gate fidelity in linear optical networks
Jonathan Crickmore, Jonathan Frazer, Scott Shaw, and Pieter Kok
Physical Review A 94, 022326 (2016)

Photonic Quantum Information Processing
Pieter Kok
Contemporary Physics , 1178472 (2016)

Chirality of nanophotonic waveguide with embedded quantum emitter for unidirectional spin transfer
R. J. Coles, D. M. Price, J. E. Dixon, B. Royall, E. Clarke, A. M. Fox, P. Kok, M. S. Skolnick, and M. N. Makhonin
Nature Communications 7, 11183 (2016)

Precision Estimation of Source Dimensions from Higher-Order Intensity Correlations
Mark E. Pearce, Thomas Mehringer, J. von Zanthier, Pieter Kok
Physical Review A 92, 043831 (2015)

Unitary evolution and the distinguishability of quantum states
Sam Morley-Short, Lawrence Rosenfeld, Pieter Kok
Physical Review A 90, 062116 (2014)


Introduction to Optical Quantum Information Processing, P. Kok and B.W. Lovett, Cambridge University Press (2010)

Public Engagement

Video on the Hong-Ou-Mandel effect

Video on the Physics of Time Travel

Video on Quantum Computing