Peter McMahon

6 Peter McMahon_BW


  • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2020-2022
  • Quantum Information Science


  • Cornell University
School of Applied and Engineering Physics


  • United States


Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering), Stanford University
M.S. (Electrical Engineering), Stanford University
M.Sc. (Computer Science), University of Cape Town
M.Sc. (Electrical Engineering), University of Cape Town
B.Sc. (Electrical and Computer Engineering), University of Cape Town


Peter McMahon is a physicist and engineer who uses tools from quantum and nonlinear optics, condensed-matter physics, and computer science to explore physical computation.

He and his lab research how to harness the computational capabilities of physical systems, with the ultimate goal of learning how to build computers that perform at the limit of what physics allows.

Much of his lab’s work concerns the development and application of quantum computers. His lab has an emphasis on photonic and superconducting-circuit approaches to building quantum-information-processing hardware. The lab’s work on applications is heavily focused on exploring what near-term, noisy quantum computers are capable of doing, especially in the areas of quantum simulation, optimization, and machine learning.



Google Quantum Research Award

Stanford Nano- and Quantum Science and Engineering Postdoctoral Fellowship

Stanford Graduate Fellowship


Relevant Publications

T. Onodera*, E. Ng*, P.L. McMahon. “A quantum annealer with fully programmable all-to-all coupling via Floquet engineering”, npj Quantum Information 6, 48 (2020). doi:10.1038/s41534-020-0279-z.

L.G. Wright, P.L. McMahon. “The Capacity of Quantum Neural Networks”, arXiv:1908.01364 (2019).

R. Hamerly*, T. Inagaki*, P.L. McMahon*, D. Venturelli, A. Marandi, T. Onodera, E. Ng, C. Langrock, K. Inaba, T. Honjo, K. Enbutsu, T. Umeki, R. Kasahara, S. Utsunomiya, S. Kako, K. Kawarabayashi, R.L. Byer, M.M. Fejer, H. Mabuchi, D. Englund, E. Rieffel, H. Takesue, Y. Yamamoto. “Experimental investigation of performance differences between Coherent Ising Machines and a quantum annealer", Science Advances 5, 5, eaau0823 (2019). doi:10.1126/sciadv.aau0823.

P.L. McMahon*, A. Marandi*, Y. Haribara, R. Hamerly, C. Langrock, S. Tamate, T. Inagaki, H. Takesue, S. Utsunomiya, K. Aihara, R.L. Byer, M.M. Fejer, H. Mabuchi and Y. Yamamoto. “A fully programmable 100-spin coherent Ising machine with all-to-all connections", Science 354, No. 6312, 614 – 617 (2016). doi:10.1126/science.aah5178.