Laser Research Institute
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Dr. Hermann Uys

Dr. Hermann Uys holds a CSIR Research Chair in Quantum, Optical and Atomic Physics seated at Stellenbosch University.   He received his MSc from the University of Pretoria in South Africa and a PhD in quantum optics from the University of Arizona, USA.  His interest in trapped ion quantum control stems from his post-doctoral studies at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, USA, where he worked for two years.  He has published on a wide range of topics in quantum mechanics including atom interferometry, quantum optics, Heisenberg limited interferometry, superradiance, ultra-cold gas dynamics, trapped-ion physics, dynamical decoupling and quantum weak measurement.  Currently he is the principal investigator leading the Trapped Ion Quantum Control group stationed at Stellenbosch University through a joint effort with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

Tel: 021-808-3371



Post-doctoral Fellows


Dr. Ncamiso Khanyile

Ncamiso is from Mbabane, Swaziland. He comes to Stellenbosch via the University of Richmond where he did his undergraduate studies focusing on Chemistry. Upon completion, he enrolled at the Georgia Institute of Technology for his graduate studies. At Georgia Tech, he was supervised by Kenneth Brown while doing work on trapped cold molecular ions.

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Dr. Charles Rigby

Charles grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. He obtained a PhD in laser physics from the University of Stellenbosch for his work on vacuum ultraviolet spectroscopy of carbon monoxide molecules. His PhD studies were funded via the joint scholarship program between the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, and the University of Stellenbosch. Charles now works as a post-doc through the CSIR and joined the Trapped Ion Quantum Control group in march 2016.

Tel: 021-808-3373 

PhD. Students

Naleli Matjelo


Nancy Payne

After 21 years of rain in the UK and armed with a BA in physics from the University of Oxford, Nancy decided there must be more to the world and went travelling. She spent four months at Tsinghua University (Beijing) at the Centre for Biomedical Imaging Research, involved with a project on MRI sequences for characterising liver disease. This was followed by an MSc in ultrafast electron diffraction on organic crystals at the University of Stellenbosch. In July 2017 Nancy joined the ion trap group as a PhD student and her work will focus on quantum weak measurements.

Masters Students


Jason Webster

Jason grew up in a small mining town now known as Emalahleni. After graduating Honours as top of his faculty, he joined the University of Stellenbosch  where he is now studying the effects of structured light on atoms and molecules.



Byron Alexander 

Byron completed a BSc in pure mathematics and astronomy at the University of Cape Town. He went on to do honours and masters in pure mathematics also at the University of Cape Town. He is currently an MSc student studying theoretical physics with a focus on quantum measurement theory.