Melville, NY, April 11, 2019 — Philippe Bouyer, Ph.D., brings many qualifications to his new role as AVS Quantum Science’s first Editor-In-Chief, but one stands out – he’s a trained pilot. As a student, he considered a career in the clouds, but chose physics instead, and pursued his childhood passion as a sport. “I love flying because you need to focus all your attention on the flight. It’s a great way of clearing your mind, disconnecting, and recharging your capacity for work,” he explained.
Dr. Bouyer’s scientific escapades have taken him on a journey from Paris to Stanford and Bordeaux. He is currently the director of the Laboratory for Photonics, Digital and Nano Sciences at CNRS/IOGS, Université Bordeaux and Deputy Manager of the Institute d’Optique (Acquitaine branch).
This year Dr. Bouyer is taking off on a new path, with AIP Publishing and AVS, to launch a new online interdisciplinary journal. Read on to find out more about how they plan to fill the void for an impactful, comprehensive publication serving the rapidly evolving field of quantum science (QS).
AIPP: What’s the rationale for AVS Quantum Science (AQS)? Why now?
PB: Quantum science (QS), the study of measurement at the smallest possible (quantized) value of physical properties, is increasingly important in every field within the physical sciences (chemistry, physics, and materials) as well as biology, computer science, and engineering. It has grown way beyond its origins in condensed matter physics, atomic physics, and quantum optics, so there’s definitely a need for a dedicated, high-impact, and ‘general’ journal that reflects this expanded scope. I am honored that AIP Publishing and AVS selected me to steer the new journal during these critical inaugural years. We share a common vision to build on the momentum now accelerating developments in the field and create the leading interdisciplinary journal covering QS.
AIPP: Please share more about your plans to achieve this objective.
PB: AQS will publish and offer wide coverage of high-level research in all relevant fields to keep scientists who use quantum mechanics aware of the recent progress in their field, but also all related science and technology fields. To do this, we’ll need to attract a large panel of high-level contributors across disciplines, and synchronize with international conferences and important scientific meetings. One of the advantages of working with AIP Publishing and AVS is that they have the reach and access within our community to do that. When someone submits to or reads a paper in a new journal that is affiliated with these societies, they can be assured that it is legitimate and is founded on a long track record of quality.
AQS will include all content formats — reviews, short, fast-track letter formats, long detailed articles, peer-reviewed abstracts, editorials, and special topics — to provide excellent subject coverage while ensuring maximum impact. In the first year, we will emphasize high-quality reviews to attract interest from a large community. We will progressively add articles and letters presenting highlights, hot topics, new results, and emerging domains.
AIPP: What are the benefits to publishing in an interdisciplinary journal?
PB: A specialized journal is appropriate when you need to enter deeply into details of concepts, theory or experiments, however it often lacks the possibility to “challenge” your research to a larger community. For instance, quantum optics is extremely specialized and at the same time largely interdisciplinary. I experienced this during my career; starting in the field of and cold atoms, this research lead me to the fields of condensed matter physics, gravitational wave science and even geophysics. I am certain many other quantum physicists have experienced similar paths.
AIPP: What are the key emerging research topics in QS? How will you decide on themes for the journal?
PB: It is hard to narrow it down since the field is so active these days! The “second quantum revolution” has brought back to the top of the list quantum computing, quantum simulation, quantum communication, and quantum sensing. As a physicist, I am fascinated with our ability to manipulate very complex or “macroscopic” objects at the quantum level. It raises many questions about the quantum realm and its interplay with measurement concepts, gravitation, and even biology. We will certainly cover these areas and more.
AIPP: How did you become interested/involved in ultra-cold atoms and atom interferometry?
PB: Most of my career choices were driven by curiosity and the desire to try new experiences – a natural trait for an experimental physicist. I was lucky to encounter inspiring mentors in my early career, and even more fortunate to be in a field that has expanded so quickly in the last decades.
AIPP: What are your proudest accomplishments?
PB: A few that come to mind include being involved in the first experiments on matter-wave inertial sensors at Stanford, the numerous accomplishments in our flying microgravity laboratory in Bordeaux, and transferring knowledge and expertise to launch a start-up company.
AIPP: What advice would you give to early career researchers?
PB: I think it is important to be driven by passion and curiosity, even in your earlier choices. I often say to my younger collaborators that they should never be afraid to make choices that don’t look “reasonable” but are really appealing. The early choice of a path is not the only key for success. Rigorous scientific methods, long term vision and sometimes self-criticism, will certainly lead any scientist to a successful career. For young scientists today, the pressure to rapidly publish high-impact articles is intense. If AQS can combine an answer to this pressure to publishing in a top journal with the possibility to explore new paths, this would be a genuine success.
AIPP: Any advice to researchers to increase their chances of publication?
PB: In my opinion, the finest articles are the ones that include a clear description of the scientific methods, the questions asked, the hypothesis, the methods used, the analysis, the conclusions, and the questions that are raised by this work. The quality of the writing, the clarity, and accessibility of the text is of primary importance.
It is exciting to be involved in new subjects, or present new ideas and results, but revisiting old ideas with another point of view can also lead to very good and highly cited publications. It would be a mistake to just focus on the novelty and forget about the quality and excellence in general.
AIPP: What do you want the community to know about you and the journal editorial team?
PB: The recently assembled editorial team includes myself, Yong Chen (USA), Ivette Fuentes (UK), Pieter Kok (UK), and Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop (AU). We are eager and gearing up for a successful launch of this new journal. This is an exciting new adventure for all of us and we want this journal to serve the largest community interested in quantum physics as possible. The team’s expertise covers many fields of quantum science. Members of our editorial board come from Europe, USA, and Asia-Pacific., which is necessary as our journal will be directed to an international community and will seek outstanding contributions from scientists around the world.
The role is a new experience for me. I find it fundamentally fascinating to start a new journal in a field of science dear to my heart and contribute to its evolution. Publishing is an essential part of a scientist’s job and so taking the reins of a journal is a unique opportunity to appreciate the interplay of discovery and communication in scientific progress. As the director of a research lab and a branch of a research & education institute, I have had the opportunity to explore areas beyond my domain of expertise. I suspect this experience will add value to the development of the journal, helping it to reach the level we all envision.