Quebecer Gilles Brassard receives a Breakthrough award

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Le Qué bécois Gilles Brassard receives a Breakthrough award

Cryptologist Gilles Brassard helped lay the foundations for quantum cryptography.

Professor Gilles Brassard of the University of Montreal receives the 2023 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for his research in quantum information, a field of research at the junction of computer science, mathematics and physics.

Professor Brassard's best-known works relate in particular to the foundations of quantum cryptography and quantum teleportation.

Cryptography makes it possible to communicate securely despite the presence of possible spies. It is a question of protecting both the confidentiality and the integrity of the communication, explains Professor Brassard on the site of the University of Montreal.

An interview with the scientist will be broadcast on Sunday on the show Les Années lumière on ICI Première.

The Breakthrough Prize, dubbed the Oscar of Science, was created in 2012 by Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan of META (Facebook), Sergey Brin of Google, and Iouri Milner and Anne Wojcicki of 23andMe. Each year, it rewards five major breakthroughs in the life sciences, fundamental physics and mathematics.

Prof Brassard receives the prize with his colleagues Charles Bennett from IBM, David Deutsch from Oxford University, and Peter Shor of MIT.

These scientists have paved the way by showing the feasibility of securely teleporting entangled quantum information via satellite or fiber optic cable, notes the release from the Breakthrough Prize Foundation.

Each prize comes with a cash prize of US$3 million.

Gilles Brassard has been a professor at the University of Montreal for almost 35 years. He currently teaches at the Department of Computing and Operations Research (DIRO). In particular, he was for twenty years the holder of the Canada Research Chair in Quantum Computing.

  • Gilles Brassard began his university studies at the age of 13.
  • He obtained his bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Montreal in 1973 and his master's degree in 1975.
  • He completed his doctorate in cryptography from Cornell University in 1979.
  • In 1984, he invented with Charles Bennett the BB84 quantum cryptography protocol.
  • In 1993, with his colleagues, he laid the foundations of quantum teleportation and even managed to teleport photons over a short distance. The journal Science ranks this breakthrough among the most important discoveries of the year.

Professor Brassard is an Officer of the Order of Canada and has received numerous other accolades, including the Gerhard-Herzberg Gold Medal from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

He is also the first Canadian to receive the Wolf Prize in Physics for having invented, with his accomplice Charles Bennett, the theory of quantum information. Many observers predict that he will win a Nobel Prize.

Frenchman Emmanuel Mignot, a professor at Stanford University, shares a life sciences prize with Japan's Masashi Yanagisawa, for discovering the cause of narcolepsy, a disease that leads people who suffer from it to become ill. x27; suddenly falling asleep in the middle of the day. Thanks to their discovery, promising drugs are currently being developed.

Another prize in life sciences has been awarded to the British Demis Hassabis and John Jumper, respectively founder and researcher from DeepMind, a subsidiary of Google specializing in artificial intelligence. They have developed a deep learning system (deep learning) allowing the structure of millions of proteins to be predicted, an advance which should notably enable a better understanding of cellular processes.

< p class="e-p">The mathematics prize was awarded to the American Daniel Spielman, professor at Yale University, for his work devoted in particular to theoretical computer science, the spectral theory of graphs and the Kadison-Singer problem.

In addition to the main prizes, six prizes of $100,000 each were awarded to 11 young scientists who have “made a substantial impact in their field “, according to the press release.

With information from Agence France-Presse

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