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The Princess of Asturias Foundation

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Juan Ignacio Cirac

Prince of Asturias Award for Technical & Scientific Research 2006

At its meeting in Oviedo, the Jury for the 2006 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research - made up of Mr. José Luis Álvarez Margaride, Mr. Juan Luis Arsuaga, Mr. José Baselga, Ms. María Cascales, Mr. Pedro Miguel Echenique Landiríbar, Mr. Luis Fernández-Vega Sanz, Mr. Santiago Grisolía, Ms. María del Carmen Maroto Vela, Ms. María Teresa Miras, Ms Amparo Moraleda, Mr. Alberto Muñoz Terol, Mr. Rafael Nájera Morrondo, Mr César Nombela Cano, Mr. Fernando Ortiz Maslloréns, Ms. Ana Pastor, Mr. Miguel Ángel Pesquera, Mr. Eduardo Punset, Mr. Rafael Puyol , Mr. Rafael Sariego García, Mr. Guillermo Suárez Fernández chaired by Mr. Julio Rodríguez Villanueva and with Mr. José Antonio Martínez-Álvarez as secretary - has decided to bestow the 2006 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research on Spanish physicist Juan Ignacio Cirac, director of the Max Plank Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany, for his worldwide leadership in proposing and developing quantum computing, a new science of the 21st century that comes from combining two of the most outstanding creations of the 20th century. On one hand, quantum physics, which explains the behaviour of matter at atomic and subatomic levels, and on the other hand, information theory, which describes data processing, storage and transmission.

Professor Cirac is an international figurehead which has come up with some of the most brilliant and original ideas, both for quantum computing and in quantum theory of light and atomic physics.

His contribution are being decisive in the development of completely secure communications, thanks to quantum ciphering methods, and in the building of computers that will be able to determine in seconds, calculations that exceed the current limits of supercomputers.

Oviedo, 24th May, 2006

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