Prize for best master’s thesis in physics goes to Otto Veltheim
In his award-winning Master thesis, Otto Veltheim developed a new method for optimising the measurement of quantum physical states.

The Finnish Physical Society annually awards the best final project made as part of a basic degree in physical sciences. The prize for year 2022 was conferred on Otto Veltheim for his Master’s thesis on quantum tomography, Quantum State Tomography with Observable Commutation Graphs.

The multicolouring problem in aid of modelling

Quantum tomography refers to the measurement of an unknown quantum state. It is an important tool in e.g. quantum computing. Senior University Lecturer Esko Keski-Vakkuri describes how he gave Veltheim the task to read up on quantum tomography and its newest methods to prepare for his final project.

“To my surprise, Veltheim did not just learn these methods very quickly, but himself developed his very own new method on the basis of different principles,” says Keski-Vakkuri.

In his Master’s thesis work, Veltheim studied how to measure the observables of quantum physical states as efficiently as possible. He developed a new method for modelling parallel measurements with the help of the graph multicolouring problem.

“With the help of the graph multicolouring problem, we can study which of the state observables can be measured in parallel. This way, we can optimise the measurements using the multicolouring problem,” says Veltheim.

Besides the new results, the thesis includes a competent overview of the principles of quantum tomography. Keski-Vakkuri points out how rare it is to see the combination of fast learning, creative thinking, and cutting-edge new findings in a quickly developing new field that we see in Veltheim’s thesis at this stage of a student’s career. Veltheim is continuing to develop his method for his doctoral thesis.

The prize was awarded at the Physics Day held in Tampere on Wednesday 29 March 2023. Veltheim gave a presentation at the opening ceremony.

More details

Otto Veltheim, MSc

Press Release from the Physical Society: Finnish Physical Society Master Thesis Prize 2022 awarded to Otto Veltheim

Otto Veltheim’s blog: Quantum State Tomography with Observable Commutation Graphs