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Juan Ignacio Cirac

Prince of Asturias Award for Technical & Scientific Research 2006

Juan Ignacio Cirac (Manresa, Barcelona, Spain, 1965) graduated in 1988 from the Complutense University of Madrid with a degree in Theoretical Physics and earned his doctorate in 1991. He became a member of the Max Planck Society in 2001 and has been the director of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, in Germany. He was a research fellow at the University of Colorado?s Astrophysics Laboratory (U.S.A.) in 1993 before joining Innsbruck University, in Austria, to head its Department of Theoretical Physics in October 1996. He has also been involved in research projects in the universities of Harvard, Hamburg, Santa Barbara in California, Oxford, Hannover, Bristol, Paris, and the Saclay Centre for Nuclear Studies and Paris? École Superieur Normale as well as at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Since its founding in 2002, he has been a visiting professor and research consultant at the Institute of Photonic Sciences, Castelldefels (Barcelona), working in the Quantum Information Theory group.

The research of this expert in quantum computing and its applications to information focuses on the quantum information theory. He has developed a novel system of quantum mechanics-based computing that will enable algorithms to calculate much more quickly in the future. He has made interesting applications, including providing the opportunity to encode secret messages and do computational calculations that are impossible using present information processing and transmission systems. According to his theories, the quantum computer will revolutionize the world of information by allowing more efficient communication and greater safety in data handling and bank transfers. Apart from quantum theory, his other research work is in degenerate quantum gases, strongly correlated atomic systems and optic-quantum systems. Juan Ignacio Cirac has published over 200 articles in the world´s most prestigious reviews and is one of the most cited authors in the scientific literature of quantum computing.

His work has received numerous accolades. The Spanish Royal Society of Physics awarded him the National Prize for New Researchers in 1993, as well as the Society´s Medal in 2003. The Austrian Academy of Science gave him the Felix Kuschnitz Prize in 2001. The European Science Foundation bestowed the 2005 Quantum Electronics Prize on him. Holder of the Blas Cabrera National Research Award (2007), BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Basic Sciences (jointly with Peter Zoller) (2008), the Medal of Honour at the Complutense University of Madrid (2009), the Franklin Medal in Physics from the Franklin Institute (jointly with David J. Wineland and Peter Zoller) (2010), the Grand Cross of the Order of Dos de Mayo (2011), the Wolf Prize in Physics (jointly with Peter Zoller) (2013) and the Medal of Honour from the Niels Bohr Institute (2013), he also holds honorary degrees from several universities. He is doctor honoris causa at the universities of Castilla-La Mancha and Barcelona Polytechnic, and is a member of the Spanish and Austrian Academies of Science. He is also honorary professor at Munich Technical University?s Department of Physics.

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