Quanta, Ciphers and computers
The theory of computation, including modern cryptography, was laid down almost seventy years ago, was implemented within a decade, became commercial within another decade, and dominated the world's economy half a century later. Quantum information technology is a fundamentally new way of harnessing nature. It is too early to say how important a way this will eventually be, but we can reasonably speculate about its impact both on computation and data security. I will review the basic concepts of quantum information science and describe experimental techniques which aim to give data processing devices new functionality.
Artur Konrad Ekert is the Leigh Trapnell Professor of Quantum Physics at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP), University of Cambridge and a fellow of King's College, Cambridge. He is also a Temasek Professor at the National University of Singapore. In his doctoral thesis (Oxford, 1991) he introduced the entanglement-based quantum cryptography. It has attracted lots of attention from industry and government agencies because quantum cryptography can guarantee perfectly secure communication. For his pioneering work in this field he was awarded the 1995 Maxwell Medal and Prize by the Institute of Physics. From 1991 till 1998 he was a Junior Research Fellow and then a Research Fellow at Merton College, Oxford, and in 1993 he was elected the Royal Society Howe Research Fellow. From 1998 till 2002 he was a Fellow and Tutor in Physics at Keble College, Oxford and a Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford. Since 1992 he has been in charge of the Quantum Computation and Cryptography Research group which evolved into the Centre for Quantum Computation, now based at DAMTP in Cambridge. He has worked, communicated and advised several companies and government agencies. His research extends over most aspects of information processing in quantum-mechanical systems. He has made important contributions to the theory of quantum computation, quantum communication, quantum optics and foundations of quantum mechanics.