Quantum Information Processing
A typical computer processor expends at least a billion times more energy than is necessary to carry out an operation. Most of this energy is spent suppressing the behaviour of the subatomic particles that make up the microchips that are the heart of the computers computational power.
At the level of single atoms, the concept of information itself changes. In our day-to-day lives, it is very clear what we mean by information: a switch is either on or off, a statement either true or untrue. At the quantum level, though, an object can be in two places at once. A switch can be on, off, or some combination of on and off. The kind of information stored in a quantum computer is fundamentally different from that of a classical or conventional computer.
CIFAR’s Quantum Information Processing program unites computer scientists and physicists in an effort to harness the strange and fascinating properties of the quantum world, where the mere act of observing an object changes its nature, with the aim of building quantum computers. The program's unique membership is designed to build synergies among information theorists, and theoretical and experimental physicists. This group bridges a gap between quantum computing theory and experimental realization, and brings quantum computing closer to realistic possibility. The program aims to ensure that Canadian-based quantum computing researchers remain at the forefront of this promising field of research.
Program members use the unpredictability of quantum mechanics to create unbreakable encryptions. They have also found that quantum behaviour actually makes certain kinds of computation far more efficient.
Since its establishment in 2002, this group has garnered great interest and respect among both theorists and experimentalists.