$3 Million Quantum Computing Breakthrough Prize

The 2023 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics is shared by four individuals who have made a range of contributions considered “foundational work in the field of quantum information”.

The Breakthrough Prize is the world’s largest science prize, with each prize worth $3 million, to be shared among its recipients. First awarded in 2012, its founders are Sergey Brin, Priscilla Chan, Julia, Yuri Milner and Mark Zuckerberg. The awards in mathematics, life sciences, and basic physics are given annually to scientists and mathematicians selected by committees of past laureates, widely viewed as the “Oscars” of science as they were before the pandemic, and presented at a televised brilliance ceremony in Silicon Valley.

There are four recipients of the 2023 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, and they have all made their contribution to the current state of quantum computing some time ago.

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David Deutsch became known as the “Father of Quantum Computing” by proposing a theoretical machine to test the existence of parallel universes in his paper “Quantum Theory as a Universal Physical Theory”, published in 1985. He later expanded on this beginning by defining a quantum version of the Turing machine – A universal quantum computer – proven to be able to simulate any physical system that obeys the laws of quantum mechanics with arbitrary accuracy. He showed that such a computer equates to a network of surprisingly few quantum gates — logic gates that enhance entanglement and quantum superposition of many states simultaneously and provide descriptions of quantum bits, or qubits. Of course, it was Deutsch who wrote the first quantum algorithm that would bypass the best equivalence classical algorithm.

Another well-known algorithm for quantum computing is Peter Schur’s algorithm to factor large numbers faster than any classical algorithm and was the first algorithm to demonstrate the potential usefulness of quantum computing in the future. Shor also designed techniques for debugging in quantum computers which is much more difficult to do than in classical computers, where simple repetition suffices.

According to the Breakthrough Award announcement:

These ideas not only paved the way for today’s rapidly developing quantum computers; They are now also at the frontiers of fundamental physics, particularly in the study of metrology – the science of measurement – and quantum gravity.

The award cites the field of quantum information and the other two recipients of the award, Charles H. Bennett and Jill Brassard, who through their BB84 protocol initiated quantum cryptography by devising a practical way to send secret messages between users who share no secret. information at first. Unlike the methods commonly used in e-commerce, it cannot be broken even by an eavesdropper with unlimited computing power.

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Their 1993 discovery, with collaborators, of quantum teleportation showed that entanglement is a useful quantifiable resource despite its lack of a communication ability of its own, helping to launch a new science of quantum information processing.

In 2020, Shor, Brassard, and Bennett participated in the BBVA Frontiers Of Knowledge Award for outstanding contributions to the field of quantum technologies, and you can read more about how their two fields of work can advance quantum computing in our roundup on the topic. over here.

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