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23 May 2023


"Why the vacuum is not as empty as you think - and what that has to do with relativity, quantum theory and computing"

In nature, perfect emptiness is impossible! Instead, the fundamental quantum fields all around us, such as the electro-magnetic field, permanently fluctuate and, therefore, also contain energy. These quantum fluctuations lead to fascinating phenomena such as the Unruh effect: Did you know that where an observer at rest sees the (quantum) vacuum, an accelerated observer sees space filled with thermal radiation? In my research I explore conceptual questions that arise from these kinds of phenomena, and their potential practical impact, particularly in technologies being developed for quantum computing where they can occur on-chip.

Robert Jonsson

Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics


I am a postdoc at the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics here in Stockholm, funded by a fellowship from the Wenner-Gren foundation. Originally from Lüneburg in Germany, I studied in Regensburg and Cambridge (UK), before obtaining my Ph.D. in Waterloo (Ontario) in 2016. Since then I have held postdoc positions in Gothenburg, Copenhagen and Munich before moving to Stockholm last year. Some of my favourite places and activities outside of physics are playing the violin, being outside in nature, going to concerts and operas, drinking a coffee, or working with Amnesty International.

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