Les activités de l'INTRIQ

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oct. 2, 2011

Meeting de l'INTRIQ (2 - 3 octobre 2011)

Location :

McGill University,

Rutherford Physics Building
3600 University Street
Montréal, Quebec H3A 2T8
Room 103, The "Bell Room"
sept. 16, 2010

Meeting de l'INTRIQ (16-17 septembre 2010)



1 Rue Belvédère Sud


juin 7, 2010

Meeting de l'INTRIQ (7 - 8 juin 2010)


Manoir St-Sauveur


246 Chemin du Lac Millette
St Sauveur J0R 1R3, QC, Canada


Axes 1 - Software

(- Cette section est en anglais pour permettre aux specialistes non-fracophones de la lire -)

Information technologies are broadly divided into software and hardware. The hardware consists of the physical system that implements a given information-processing task, whereas the software consists in a set of instructions to be implemented by the physical system. Most software can in general be executed on diverse hardware and conversely hardware development is mostly independent of the software it will execute. Nevertheless, software and hardware developers must be in touch to understand each other's needs. In particular, software should take advantage of the hardware's features and circumvent its limitations, whereas hardware development is driven by its potential software applications. Quantum information technologies follow the same software/hardware paradigm: any future application will rely on both software and hardware solutions and it is imperative that they be designed hand in hand. INTRIQ's expertise is organized accordingly. This axis focuses on the software aspects.

Theme 1.1 - Quantum algorithms
Algorithms provide instructions that enable any information processor to accomplish its intended task; they are ubiquitous in technological devices. Likewise, algorithms will play an essential role in many areas of quantum information science, not limited to their use in future quantum computers. Shor's 1996 discovery of an efficient quantum algorithm to factor large numbers and hence break most encryption techniques currently used over the Internet is now widely known, but there exist many other quantum algorithms: website math.nist.gov/quantum/zoo/ presently mentions over fifty of them. Algorithms play other roles in quantum information science, ranging from testing new quantum error-correcting codes and simulating quantum hardware to optimizing quantum control. Techniques developed for one application can often serve other applications, so collaborations are paramount. To maximize medium-term impact, we shall concentrate on algorithms that can be implemented with very few qubits.

Theme 1.2 - Quantum communication and error correction
Our ability to communicate gigantic amounts of information reliably all over the globe is now commonly taken for granted. It turns out that communication and privacy can sometimes be greatly enhanced by exploiting quantum phenomena such as the possibility to send signals in superposition or to share entanglement. For instance, quantum cryptography is arguably the most advanced of all quantum information technologies, with devices being sold by several companies worldwide and dedicated satellites being planned and launched. Moreover, our ability to communicate reliably despite errors occurring in real-word devices hinges on error-correcting codes. Because quantum systems are particularly susceptible to noise, quantum error-correcting codes will likely be an integral part of all future quantum information technologies, not only for communication purposes. The launch by China in August 2016 of the first quantum communication satellite signalled the dawn of a new era for our discipline.

Theme 1.3 - Foundations of quantum theory
Quantum theory defies common sense as microscopic particles follow a different type of logic than what we are used to in our macroscopic experience. This theme aims at clarifying the conceptual foundations at the basis of quantum theory. Ultimately, our goal is to make sense of all its strangeness, such as its purported nonlocality, in disagreement with Feynman's famous aphorism: "I think it is safe to say that no one understands Quantum Mechanics". It was by thinking deeply about these issues that the founders of our field discovered potential applications that would open up the path to the technological revolution that we enjoy today. By clearly isolating and analysing the counterintuitive features that distinguish the quantum from the classical world, we can ask ourselves what use they could have that would outperform what can be achieved in the classical world. Thus, progress in understanding and interpreting quantum theory is at the root of novel applications of the theory.


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