The University of Toronto has selected quantum physicist Sandu Popescu to receive the prestigious John Stewart Bell Prize for his enormous contributions to the field of quantum mechanics.
Quantum mechanics is the theory physicists believe describes everything in nature. Yet, with predictions such as the fact that any small particle, an atom for example, can be in two places at the same time, the story it tells us is so remote from our everyday experience that it it looks — and is — deeply mysterious.
Over the years scientists have learned to live with these bizarre ideas and even harness them for practical purposes. Only recently, for example, has it come to be realized that these properties can be used to build ultra-secure communication systems and perhaps even to design computers exponentially more powerful than anything possible in the classical world. Yet more than 80 years since its discovery, quantum mechanics remains as mysterious as ever.
Popescu, of the University of Bristol, is world-renowned for his many-faceted and influential work on nonlocality, entanglement, and the quantum foundations of statistical mechanics. His research interest lies in investigating fundamental aspects of quantum physics to gain a better understanding of the nature of quantum behavior.
“Honouring the enormous achievements of the scientists working in our field is the very reason we established the Bell Prize,” says Greg Scholes, director of the University of Toronto’s Centre for Quantum Computing and Control. The award recognizes major advances relating to the foundations of quantum mechanics and to the applications of these principles. This includes quantum information theory, quantum computation, quantum foundations, quantum cryptography and quantum control. Named for the late John Bell, whose insights have changed our view of reality, the prize highlights the continuing rapid pace of theoretical and experimental research in these areas, both fundamental and applied.
The Bell Prize will be presented at 11 a.m. on August 8 at a public ceremony during the bi-annual conference hosted by U of T’s Centre for Quantum Information and Quantum Control.
Contact: Kim Luke firstname.lastname@example.org 416-978-4352 University of Toronto