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/ Department of Computer Science and Operations Research

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Experts in: Cryptography

Brassard, Gilles


Professeur titulaire

Quantum mechanics is perhaps the most successful scientific theory of all times. It teaches us that things do not behave at the microscopic level in ways that we are used to in our everyday macroscopic experience. Information theory and computer science are also very successful, but they are firmly rooted in classical physics, which is at best an approximation of the quantum world in which we live. This has prevented us from tapping the full potential of nature for information processing purposes. Classical and quantum information can be harnessed together to accomplish feats that neither could achieve alone, as outlined below.

Quantum computers can perform more parallel computation in a single piece of hardware than would be possible for a classical computer the size of the Universe. They have the potential to bring to their knees most classical cryptographic schemes currently used on the Internet to protect transactions such as the transmission of credit card numbers. Fortunately, quantum cryptography fights back by making it possible to fulfil the cryptographer's age-old dream
of unconditional confidentiality in communications. Quantum entanglement, which is the most nonclassical of all quantum
resources, can be used to teleport quantum information from one place to another. It enables the accomplishment of distributed tasks with a vastly reduced communication cost. In extreme cases, we can provide inputs to non-communicating participants and have them produce outputs that exhibit classically impossible correlations: This is the mysterious realm of pseudo-telepathy.

I shall continue pushing the frontiers of knowledg by investigating novel uses of quantum mechanics for the enhancement of our information processing capabilities, covering the whole range of research from pure theory to actual experiments. Conversely, I wish to establish the central role of information in physics by redesigning the entire foundations of quantum mechanics in the light of quantum information.


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