Quantum information is a relatively recent area of research where computer scientists, physicists and mathematicians are working together to create and understand the capabilities of a dream machine called the quantum computer. We already know that, when built, this machine will have very significant impacts, especially (but not exclusively) on information security. In quantum information, Canada is one of the world leaders. Several universities, research centers and companies are involved in active research in this area. The objective of this school is to give a strong background on quantum computing to interested graduated student. The participants are not assumed to have any prior knowledge on the field and could come for computer science, physics or mathematics. That being said, student already familiar with the subject are also welcomed, for they will most probably learn something. The speakers are internationally renowned researchers and were chosen for their excellent pedagogical skills. This year is the fifth edition of the summer school and every year students were delighted.
The quantum computer is a device that uses the properties of quantum mechanics to solve information processing problems. We already know that it is possible to use quantum information to build unbreakable codes. This has been realised experimentally in several labs and there is even a commercial product now available. This is especially interesting since when a full fetch quantum computer will be built, it will have the capacity to easily break cryptographic schemes currently used on the internet. The quantum computer can also be uses to solve NP-Complete problem significantly faster then a conventional computer. It can also be used to reduce exponentially the communication required to solve some distributed problems. Conversely, the use of technics developed in computer science can help us to understand better the foundations of quantum mechanics. In short, the quantum computer is a great revolution in computer science and physics.
Gilles Brassard (Montréal) *
* to be confirmed
Introduction to the computation model of quantum information