Thomas Wong, PhD
Thomas Wong, PhD

Thomas Wong, PhD

Assistant Professor
College of Arts and Sciences

Academic Appointments


  • Physics


  • Assistant Professor


Tom is an American physicist who researches quantum computing at the intersection of physics and computer science. He is best known for exploring how quantum computers search for information in databases and networks, and for introducing a new type of quantum computer that utilizes effective nonlinearities.

He is currently a tenure-track assistant professor of physics at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He also serves on the editorial board of Quantum Information Processing, a quantum computing journal published by Springer Nature.

Prior to joining Creighton, Tom was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Texas at Austin under Dr. Scott Aaronson. Before that, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Latvia under Dr. Andris Ambainis. He earned his PhD in theoretical physics from UC San Diego in 2014 under the guidance of Dr. David Meyer, and his dissertation was selected as the best thesis in the Division of Physical Sciences. Before that, he graduated from Santa Clara University in 2008, triple majoring in physics, computer science, and mathematics while minoring in urban education.

During graduate school, Tom was a highly-rated adjunct professor at the University of San Diego. Before graduate school, he held a teaching credential and taught mathematics at Downtown College Prep, an inner-city high school.

As a pedagogical tool, Tom created, a free and simple student response system that's an alternative to proprietary "clickers." He additionally designed, built, and programmed a photo booth, which he turned into a successful business. Finally, while interning for IBM for two years, he created a system to manage test software for enterprise disk storage systems.

Finally, as an Eagle Scout, Tom enjoys backpacking and the outdoors. He also plays guitar, renovates homes, and enjoys open source software.

Publications and Presentations


  • Optimal Quantum Walk Search on Kronecker Graphs with Dominant or Fixed Regular Initiators, 2018
  • Quantum walk search on Kronecker graphs, Physical Review A, 98, 012338, 2018
  • Faster search by lackadaisical quantum walk, Quantum Information Processing, 17, 68, 2018
  • Coined quantum walks on weighted graphs, Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical, 50(47), 475301, 2017
  • Equivalence of Szegedy’s and coined quantum walks, Quantum Information Processing, 16, 215, 2017
  • Exceptional quantum walk search on the cycle, Quantum Information Processing, 16, 154, 2017
  • Oscillatory localization of quantum walks analyzed by classical electric circuits, Physical Review A, 94, 062324, 2016
  • Quantum walk search through potential barriers, Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical, 49(48), 484002, 2016
  • Doubling the success of quantum walk search using internal-state measurements, Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical, 49(45), 455301, 2016
  • Stationary states in quantum walk search, Physical Review A, 94, 032334, 2016
  • Engineering the success of quantum walk search using weighted graphs, Physical Review A, 94, 022304, 2016
  • Laplacian versus adjacency matrix in quantum walk search, Quantum Information Processing, 15(10), 4029-4048, 2016
  • Irreconcilable difference between quantum walks and adiabatic quantum computing, Physical Review A, 93, 062313, 2016
  • Quantum walk search on Johnson graphs, Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical, 49(19), 195303, 2016
  • Spatial search by continuous-time quantum walk with multiple marked vertices, Quantum Information Processing, 15(4), 1411-1443, 2016
  • Quantum walk on the line through potential barriers, Quantum Information Processing, 15(2), 675-688, 2015
  • Correcting for Potential Barriers in Quantum Walk Search, Quantum Information and Computation, 15, 1365, 2015
  • Grover search with lackadaisical quantum walks, Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical, 48(43), 435304, 2015
  • Faster quantum walk search on a weighted graph, Physical Review A, 92, 032320, 2015
  • Quantum walk search with time-reversal symmetry breaking, Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical, 48(40), 405303, 2015
  • Quantum search with multiple walk steps per oracle query, Physical Review A, 92, 022338, 2015
  • Connectivity is a Poor Indicator of Fast Quantum Search, Physical Review Letters, 114, 110503, 2015
  • Diagrammatic Approach to Quantum Search, Quantum Information Processing, 14(6), 1767-1775, 2015
  • Completeness is Unnecessary for Fast Nonlinear Quantum Search, 2015
  • Global Symmetry is Unnecessary for Fast Quantum Search, Physical Review Letters, 112, 210502, 2014
  • Quantum Search with General Nonlinearities, Physical Review A, 89, 012312, 2014
  • Nonlinear Quantum Search Using the Gross-Pitaevskii Equation, New Journal of Physics, 15, 063014, 2013
  • Optimal Asset Allocation for Passive Investing with Capital Loss Harvesting, Applied Mathematical Finance, 18(4), 291-329, 2011
  • Treatment of ion-atom collisions using a partial-wave expansion of the projectile wavefunction, European Journal of Physics, 39, 447, 2009


  • Nonlinear Quantum Search, University of California, 2014

Research and Scholarship

Research and Scholarship Interests

  • Quantum computing

Current Research Projects

  • Quantum computing