15 June 2005 European Award to Prof. Ignacio Cirac

Professor Ignacio Cirac

The Distinguished Invited Professor at ICFO has been honored by the European Physical Society for his outstanding contributions to quantum computing and quantum information theory Professor Ignacio Cirac, Director of the Max-Planck Quantum Optics Institute and Distinguished Invited Professor at ICFO, will add one more prize to his Awards and Honors list. Today, the European Physical Society has announced that the EPS Quantum Electronics and Optics Prize (Fundamental Aspects) will be given to him.

Ignacio Cirac, 38, has been awarded for his outstanding contributions to quantum computing using trapped ions, neutral atoms, and photons, as well as his contributions to the development of Quantum Information Theory.

Professor Cirac received his PhD from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, in Spain. In 1991, he went to the United States to work as a postdoctoral student with Prof. Zoller at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, University of Colorado, and then as a full professor at the Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Innsbruck, Austria. Together with Peter Zoller, he proposed in 1995 the first realistic physical implementation of a quantum computer based on trapped ions. This work established the first connection of atomic physics and quantum computing, and then opened up a new branch of theoretical and experimental research in atomic physics. Since 2001, Cirac has been Director of the Theory Division at the Max-Planck Institute für Quantenoptik, in Garching, Germany.

Along with some other Cirac’s scientific records, highlight the 200 scientific papers in refereed journals, among them: five in Nature, four in Science, 68 in Phys. Rev. Lett. and 88 in Phys. Rev. A. During the last ten years, he has written 173 papers with 6.400 citations, being among the most cited scientists in Atomic Physics and Quantum Optics.

Ignacio Cirac’s works and papers have triggered a wealth of theoretical and experimental work, and there are many groups in the main laboratories around the world implementing J. Ignacio Cirac’s ideas in practice.