Prof. Ignacio Cirac receives the Micius Quantum Prize 2018  

Together with Peter Zoller, David Deutsch and Peter Shor, Ignacio Cirac receives the award for his seminal work in the fields of quantum computing.

May 07, 2019

The prize is awarded by the Micius Quantum Foundation and recognizes major advances in quantum science, ranging from early conceptual contributions to the recent experimental breakthroughs. Prof Ignacio Cirac, Director at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and head of the Theory Division receives this honor for his work on quantum computing. In particular, for “his outstanding theoretical contributions that enabled the scalable implementations of quantum information processing such as quantum computation with trapped ions, quantum simulation with ultracold atoms, and quantum repeaters”.

The Micius Quantum Foundation is located in Heifei, at the University of Science and Technology of China, and was established to promote the second quantum revolution thanks to generous donations (with a sum of 100 million Chinese yuan) from private entrepreneurs. One of the important missions of the Foundation is to award the “Micius Quantum Prize” to recognize the scientists who have made outstanding contributions in the fields of quantum communications, quantum simulation, quantum computation, and quantum metrology. In its first edition, it has been awarded to the field of quantum computation. The laureates are Ignacio Cirac, David Deutsch, Peter Shor, and Peter Zoller, for their seminal theoretical work on quantum algorithms and physical architectures of quantum computers and simulators, and Rainer Blatt and David Wineland for their pioneering experiments that demonstrated fundamental elements of quantum computing with trapped ions.

The prize will be presented in a ceremony at the International Conference on Emerging Quantum Technologies in Hefei, China, in September. It is named after the Chinese philosopher Micius, who lived in the fifth century BC and who discovered that light travels in a straight line. The prize committee is composed of representatives of major and internationally renowned Chinese scientific institutions, such as the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Tsinghua University in Beijing, the University of Science and Technology of China, and Zhejiang University in Hangzhou.

About Ignacio Cirac:

Professor Ignacio Cirac was born in the City of Manresa in 1965. He studied theoretical physics at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid where he received his PhD in 1991. He began his career in physics as a “Professor Titular” at the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha where he stayed till 1996. In 1996 he became Professor at the department of Theoretical Physics at the University of Innsbruck. Since 2001 he has been Director at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and head of the Theory Division.

Professor Ignacio Cirac is a world-expert in the field of quantum information and quantum computation. In 2005 he was awarded the “Quantum Electronics Prize” of the European Science Foundation. In May 2006 he was the youngest ever winner of the renowned Royal Spanish Prince of Asturias Prize. He has received several prizes, most of the together with Professor Peter Zoller (University of Innsbruck). In 2006, he received the International Quantum Communication Award. In 2009, the “Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Basic Sciences” of the Spanish BBVA Foundation as well as the Benjamin Franklin Medal of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia (USA). In January 2013 he received both the Israeli Wolf Prize and the Niels Bohr Medal. In 2015 he received the Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics and in 2018 the Max-Planck Medal of the German Physical Society. In 2016 he became regular member of the Spanish Academy of Sciences and in 2018 of the Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften Leopoldina.

He has also received a honorary doctorate from the Universities of Castilla-La Mancha, Politécnica of Barcelona, Valencia, Zaragoza, Politecnica of Valencia, and Europea of Madrid.

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