Ethan Lake

Hertz Fellow: Ethan Lake

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Area of Study


Fellowship Years

2017 - present

Ethan Lake is an undergraduate at the University of Utah, and is interested in a wide range of topics in theoretical physics. He began his research career in computational astrophysics, later flirted with pure mathematics, and is currently working on problems in the overlap between condensed matter theory and quantum information theory. He has published six first-author papers in the last two years, on subjects including unconventional superconductivity, the detection of extrasolar asteroid belts, and topological quantum field theory.

He plans to work on several different research problems in the coming years. First, he aims to continue his current work on topological quantum computation, both by extending his studies of the mathematical foundations of topological field theory, and by making predictions for how topological qubits behave in experimentally relevant materials.

He is also very excited about the recent trend of using ideas from quantum information theory to understand deep questions involving quantum entanglement and black hole physics. He believes that progress in this direction will enable these questions to be addressed by studying information-theoretic properties of quantum many-body systems, and hopes that his background in condensed matter theory will allow him to push the field in new directions.

He enjoys thinking about physics while climbing and skiing in the mountains around Salt Lake City, and can often be seen playing various musical instruments. He was born in Morristown, New Jersey