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8 July 2022
Ignacio Cirac Receives Honorary Doctorate from the University of A Coruña
Through his pioneering work in the field of quantum information theory, Ignacio Cirac is considered one of the most influential scientists of our time.
As one of the leading experts in the field of quantum information, MCQST Speaker and MPQ Director Ignacio Cirac has received an honorary doctorate from the University of A Coruña (UDC) in Galicia, Spain. He was nominated by the Chemistry Department of the Faculty of Natural Sciences. Thanks to his pioneering work in quantum physics, it is now possible to study chemical problems using computers and quantum simulators. "It is now clear that research consists of pushing the boundaries of knowledge and exploring the unknown. Both facets define Professor Cirac's scientific work," says UDC professor Moisés Canle and supporter of the award. In addition to his scientific merits, Ignacio Cirac has also repeatedly supported the activities of the UDC on a voluntary basis and has also helped revising the curricula of the nanosciences and nanotechnologies courses there.
"This recognition is very special for me since it comes from the region where my grandmother was born and lived for many years. I also love Galicia and the city of La Coruña, where I have often been giving conferences or participating in different events, especially at the University of A Coruña," Ignacio Cirac comments on his latest award.
Ignacio Cirac is considered one of the most influential and renowned Spanish scholars of the present day. He has written over 200 articles, which have been in total cited more than one hundred thousand times, and already with his early research on quantum information he has paved the way for an entire field of science. His proposal to perform quantum calculations using lasers and atomic ions trapped in magnetic fields is considered one of the milestones of quantum information theory. This work was the first complete proposal for the experimental implementation of quantum computers. Another brilliant scientific contribution was the description of how atoms trapped in optical lattices with laser light can be used for quantum simulations of physical systems.
Originally a PhD student at the Complutense University of Madrid, Ignacio Cirac began teaching at the University of Castilla-La-Mancha in 1991 as "Professor Titular". From there he followed an appointment to the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the Leopold-Franzens University of Innsbruck in 1996. Ignacio Cirac then founded the Theory Department at the MPQ in 2001, which he still directs until today. He has also has been holding an honorary professorship at the TU Munich since then. Other important awards in his scientific career include the Prince of Asturias Prize, the BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award, the Medal of Honour of the Niels-Bohr-Institute, the Benjamin Franklin Medal and the Wolf Prize for Physics, which is considered the precursor of the Nobel Prize.
The award from the University of A Coruña is already the eighth honorary doctorate conferred on Ignacio Cirac. He received this latest honour together with the Belgian mathematician Ingrid van Keilegrom on 16 June 2022 at the University of A Coruña.
Source: MPQ website.