Stephan Hoyer

Stephan Hoyer

Ph.D. Candidate in Physics, UC Berkeley

Mail  Department of Physics
366 LeConte Hall
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-7300
Phone510-642-5046 (office)
Office419 Hearst Memorial Mining Building


UC Berkeley, Ph.D. Physics DOE Office of Science Graduate Fellow2008-Present
Swarthmore College, B.A. Physics High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa2004-2008


I work with Birgitta Whaley in the Berkeley Quantum Information & Computation Center. My Ph.D. research is on the role of electronic quantum coherence in photosynthetic energy transfer. Here are a few of the overarching questions I aim to answer:


  1. S. H., Filippo Caruso, Simone Montangero, Mohan Sarovar, Tommaso Calarco, Martin B. Plenio, K. Birgitta Whaley, Realistic and verifiable coherent control of excitonic states in a light harvesting complex, arXiv:1307.4807
  2. S. H. and K. Birgitta Whaley, Inverting pump-probe spectroscopy for state tomography of excitonic systems, J. Chem. Phys. 138, 164102 (2013), arXiv:1209.6625. Mathematica source for dimer model in Sec. IV(A).
  3. S. H., Akihito Ishizaki and K. Birgitta Whaley, Spatial propagation of excitonic coherence enables ratcheted energy transfer, Phys. Rev. E 86, 041911 (2012), arXiv:1106.2911
  4. S. H., Mohan Sarovar and K. Birgitta Whaley, Limits of quantum speedup in photosynthetic light harvesting, New J. Phys. 12, 065041 (2010), arXiv:0910.1847
  5. S. H. and David A. Meyer, Faster transport with a directed quantum walk. Phys. Rev. A 79, 024307 (2009), arXiv:0901.1007. Selected for publication in the Virtual Journal of Quantum Information. Mathematica source for Fig. 2.

See my Google Scholar profile.

Selected Talks

  1. Limits of quantum speedup in photosynthesis. APS March Meeting 2010, Portland, Oregon, USA (March 2010).
  2. Quantum random walks in energy landscapes. Workshop on Quantum Effects in Biological Systems (QuEBS 2009), Lisbon, Portugal (July 2009).

Writing from Swarthmore

At Swarthmore College, I majored in physics and minored in mathematics. Here are my final projects for each department:


Recommended blogs:

Time sinks:

FMO complex
Top-down view of the Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) light harvesting complex of green sulfur bacteria, showing chlorophyll molecules (green) surrounded by the protein backbone (gray).
In a recent paper, we showed that quantum coherent motion can enable biased energy transfer in light-harvesting systems via a ratchet effect. This effect may contribute to the efficiency of natural light harvesting systems such as FMO.