PhD Student in Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
President MITMEX (Mexican Student Association at MIT)
National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow (2014-Present)
NASA – CGWA Scholarship for research in Gravitational Wave Astronomy Laser Systems.
Arecibo Remote Command Center Scholarship (ARCC) for pulsar timing research.
Graduate student Sergio Cantu, and his team at Harvard-MIT do what seems impossible every day.
Open any science textbook and you will find the same facts about light. Light is the fastest thing in the universe because of the fact that it is energy in its purest form. Controlling light might seem impossible as it would require new forms of light.
“Normal light is made up of individual photons that do not interact. Instead, they simply pass by each other, like ghosts in the night.” Said the 29-year-old physicist PhD. “This new form of light, however, is made up of light particles that could be made to interact, attracting and repelling each other like atoms in ordinary matter.”
This means that photons that have interacted with each other, in this case through an attraction between them, can be thought of as strongly correlated, or entangled — a key property for any quantum computing bit.
“Photons can travel very fast over long distances, and people have been using them to transmit information, such as in optical fibers,” Cantu says. “If photons can influence one another and entangle them, and we have done that, you can use them to distribute quantum information in an interesting and useful way.”
Sergio is also the president of the MIT Mexican Student Association (MITMEX) and a member of Clubes de Ciencia Mexico (CdeCMx), a program that brings scientists and engineers from all over the world to Mexico and Mexican students to Harvard and MIT. A first of its kind, Clubes de Ciencia has connected hundreds of instructors and serves thousands of students every year and the model has been adopted in several countries in Latin America.
“Not a lot of people in my community go into science, unfortunately, and I think it’s because the way science is taught, it loses its humanity,” Cantu says. “Science, at the end of the day, is done by people just like you and me, and to me that was always very striking, so I want to give others that view, too.”
In the future, Sergio Cantu hopes to stay in Boston to take advantage of the thriving scientific and business opportunities. The city has plenty of opportunities—a strong historical academic presence in physics, a growing quantum/tech industry and warm community.
“Since the moment I arrived in Boston, I have been blown away by how hard working and passionate its people are. It is a great place to get out and make things happen”