Last week, invited by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), Juan Ignacio Cirac Sasturáin, director of the Theoretical Division of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching (Germany) and winner of the Principe Asturias Prize for Scientific and Technical Research in 2006, paid a visit to the Canary Observatories: the Teide Observatory in Izaña (Tenerife) and the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in Garafía (La Palma), as well as the IAC Headquarters in La Laguna where he gave a lecture entitled “Quantum Science and Technology”.
In the talk he explained the most recent advances in Quantum Physics, and especially his pioneering work which has laid the foundations for quantum computation in the future. This is a new technology based on intriguing physical principles such as the superposition of states and quantum entanglement. Quantum computation is the most obvious of a series of possible new technological applications which promise to revolutionize the internet and telecommunications around the world. The IAC also participates in the advances towards this future of quantum technology with pioneering studies such as the experiments of quantum entanglement and teleportation carried out at the Canary Observatories, and with orbiting platforms such as the International Space Station and other satellites.