Tom Dixon

Tom Dixon


Personal profile

Personal profile

I grew a passion for physics while studying an access course to medicine in 2011 at Lambeth night college. I took on the four sciences and quickly discovered that medicine was not for me and found myself preferring the more numerical sciences. I succeeded at college and considered University for the first time in my life. Having left school at 15 with 5 GCSE's I had never really considered higher education but after a lot of thought I convinced myself to go for it. After 4 years I turned 5 GCSE's and my passion for physics into a first class MPhys degree from the University of Kent. I thoroughly enjoyed my years at university and the opportunities it afforded me. I would now highly recommend that people consider the multifaceted aspects of a university lifestyle and whether they can benefit not just from the degree but the experiences open to students in modern higher education. 


As an adult student I benefited from University in many ways. I was able to fund myself through teaching opportunities, teaching both maths and Physics at locally supported schools. I played plenty of sports outside of being in the main team, allowing me to stay fit with minimal commitment to particular dates and times. This coupled with my enthusiasm for the gym allowed me to maintain a healthy and balanced life which I now prioritise in my postgraduate studies. I gained a lot of friends which I keep in regular contact with who work a myriad of jobs and offer me opportunities to socialise outside of my day to day cohort.


I now enjoy spending time outside with my son doing things like bike riding, dog walking or general messing around. Spending time with my partner, friends or family eating food, drinking, talking and having fun. Or working on myself, physically or mentally, to try to grow and better myself.

Research interests

I am working within the Superconducting Quantum Devices group at RHUL and the Quantum sensing group at NPL. I have a desire to develop my knowledge quantum systems, their interactions and understand how we can better measure them to be able to predcit them. From my time as an undergraduate I developed a fascination with nonlinear equations but also had a hankering for practical/experimental work. Luckily this has combined in my PhD whereby we are looking to probe some of the most 'quantum' of devices using the latest in quantum sensing technologies. 

More precisely I have been particularly looking into using a Josephson Travelling Wave Parametric Amplifier (JTWPA) as a device for broadband microwave photon readouts in the GHz bandwidth. The Josephson Junction (JJ) allows for a non-linear inductance which couples two waves via a mixing term, much like the 2AB term coming from (A+B)^2. This then allows a large pump tone to couple to a weak signal tone and provide the energy to amplify the signal. The Travelling Wave design, unlike standing waves in a resonator, frees us from resonance conditions allowing broadband potential. While the Parameters, (the Parametric bit), constrains the rate of amplification to certain device/signal parameters. It is these parameters we need to understand to efficiently facilitate the mixing process for amplification. As with most non-linear systems this is a complex analysis due to interdependencies of the parameters and thus I spend a lot of my time modelling these systems and considering physical design possibilities that are consistent with the models.


I have provided first year lab teaching as well as demonstrating for the second year electromagnetism labs. I aim to try and allow students the freedom to make their own mistakes and learn from them. I believe too much emphasis is put on passing exams and lab tuition gives us the freedom to not only make mistakes but see the physics unfold before our eyes. I hope that some students realise the importance of gaining an intuition for how things work and realise that the lab time is vital for this.

I have also marked assignments for second year electromagnetism and tried to give feedback that can help the students progress and perhaps read around the subject. 


I work part time at large events, accounting for cash on site and providing cash security and accountability. I regularly use quick mental arithmetic and problem solving to help resolve the many issues facing event management and cashflow. To date I have worked at Royal Ascot, Chelsea flower show, European masters and Lords international test cricket as part of a team responsible for delivering on the ground accounting and loss prevention at high risk events

Educational background

I obtained 5 GCSE's at school and left at 15 to pursue a career in plumbing.

I then went to night school at 21 and got a diploma in Medicine from Lambeth college.

I turned this into a Masters in Physics.

Which has led me to a PhD in Superconducting nonlinear Quantum devices... Anything is possible.

Education/Academic qualification

Physics, MPhys, Soliton Solutions of the nonlinear Schrodinger equation, University of Kent

25 Sept 20125 Jul 2016

Award Date: 1 Jul 2016

External positions

consultant, TR consultants

1 Mar 2016 → …

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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