By: Liz Do
22 Sep, 2022
Gilles Brassard, an advisor in CIFAR’s Quantum Information Science program, has been awarded the Breakthrough Prize in fundamental physics — the world’s largest science prize — at $3 million. The Breakthrough Prizes recognizes scientists who have made seminal contributions to human knowledge.
Brassard (Université de Montréal) shares the prize with researchers David Deutsch (University of Oxford), Peter Shor (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and Charles Bennett (IBM Research), a former CIFAR Fellow. The winners’ work is considered fundamental to today’s pursuit of quantum computing at commercial scale.
Brassard, a professor at the University of Montreal, is recognized for his pioneering work in all aspects of quantum information, and particularly in quantum cryptography.
Both Brassard and Bennett are frequent collaborators. In 1984, they developed the first quantum cryptography protocol for encrypting information. In 1993, they and their collaborators achieved quantum teleportation, teleporting photons at a short distance.
Brassard is also the recipient of Canada’s highest science award, the Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal. In addition, he is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, an Officer of the Order of Canada, and a fellow of the Royal Society of London.
“On behalf of CIFAR, I’d like to congratulate CIFAR Advisor Gilles Brassard, former CIFAR Fellow Charles Bennett, David Deutsch, and Peter Shor, on winning the world’s most valuable science prize,” said Dr. Alan Bernstein, CIFAR’s President and CEO. “This year’s Breakthrough Prize recognizes their landmark contributions to quantum information science, laying the groundwork for today’s exciting advances in quantum computing.”
CIFAR is a registered charitable organization supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations.