**Artur Ekert** is a Professor of Quantum Physics at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, and a

Lee Kong ChianLee Kong Chian , was a prominent businessman and philanthropist and the founder of The Lee Foundation in Singapore. He was one of Southeast Asia's richest men in the 1950s and 1960s. He was the son-in-law of philanthropist Tan Kah Kee.-Early life:...

Centennial Professor at the

National University of SingaporeThe National University of Singapore is Singapore's oldest university. It is the largest university in the country in terms of student enrollment and curriculum offered....

and also the Director of CQT (

Centre for Quantum TechnologiesThe Centre for Quantum Technologies in Singapore is a Research Centre of Excellence hosted by the National University of Singapore. The Centre brings together quantum physicists and computer scientists to explore the quantum nature of reality and the fundamental limits of information...

). His research interests extend over most aspects of information processing in quantum-mechanical systems, with a focus on quantum communication and quantum computation. He is best known as one of the inventors of

quantum cryptographyQuantum key distribution uses quantum mechanics to guarantee secure communication. It enables two parties to produce a shared random secret key known only to them, which can then be used to encrypt and decrypt messages...

.

## Biography

Artur Ekert studied physics at the

Jagiellonian UniversityThe Jagiellonian University was established in 1364 by Casimir III the Great in Kazimierz . It is the oldest university in Poland, the second oldest university in Central Europe and one of the oldest universities in the world....

in

KrakówKraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

and at the University of Oxford. Between 1987 and 1991 he was a D.Phil. student at

Wolfson CollegeWolfson College is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. Located in north Oxford along the River Cherwell, Wolfson is an all-graduate college with over sixty governing body fellows, in addition to both research and junior research fellows. It caters to a wide range of...

, University of Oxford. In his doctoral thesis (Oxford, 1991) he showed how

quantum entanglementQuantum entanglement occurs when electrons, molecules even as large as "buckyballs", photons, etc., interact physically and then become separated; the type of interaction is such that each resulting member of a pair is properly described by the same quantum mechanical description , which is...

and non-locality can be used to distribute cryptographic keys with perfect security.

In 1991 he was elected a Junior Research Fellow and subsequently (1994) a Research Fellow at

Merton College, OxfordMerton College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. Its foundation can be traced back to the 1260s when Walter de Merton, chancellor to Henry III and later to Edward I, first drew up statutes for an independent academic community and established endowments to...

. At the time he established the first research group in quantum cryptography and computation, based in the

Clarendon LaboratoryThe Clarendon Laboratory, located on Parks Road with the Science Area in Oxford, England , is part of the Physics Department at Oxford University...

, Oxford. Subsequently it evolved into the

Centre for Quantum ComputationThe Centre for Quantum Computation or CQC is an alliance of quantum information research groups at the University of Oxford. It was founded by Artur Ekert in 1998....

, now based at

DAMTPThe Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge comprises the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics and the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics . It is housed in the Centre for Mathematical Sciences site in West Cambridge, alongside the Isaac...

in Cambridge. Between 1993 and 2000 he held a position of the

Royal SocietyThe Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

Howe Fellow. In 1998 he was appointed a Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow and Tutor in Physics at

Keble College, OxfordKeble College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. Its main buildings are on Parks Road, opposite the University Museum and the University Parks. The college is bordered to the north by Keble Road, to the south by Museum Road, and to the west by Blackhall...

. From 2002 until early 2007 he was the Leigh-Trapnell Professor of Quantum Physics at the

Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical PhysicsThe Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge comprises the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics and the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics . It is housed in the Centre for Mathematical Sciences site in West Cambridge, alongside the Isaac...

,

Cambridge UniversityThe University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

and a Professorial Fellow of

King's College, CambridgeKing's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England. The college's full name is "The King's College of our Lady and Saint Nicholas in Cambridge", but it is usually referred to simply as "King's" within the University....

. Since 2007 he has been a Professor of Quantum Physics at the Mathematical Institute, Oxford University, and a Lee Kong Chian Centennial Professor at the National University of Singapore. For his discovery of quantum cryptography he was awarded the 1995

Maxwell Medal and PrizeThe Maxwell Medal and Prize is one of the principal awards made annually by the Institute of Physics. The award is made for outstanding contributions to theoretical physics and is intended to recognize theoretical physicists early in their careers....

by the

Institute of PhysicsThe Institute of Physics is a scientific charity devoted to increasing the practice, understanding and application of physics. It has a worldwide membership of around 40,000....

and the 2007

Hughes MedalThe Hughes Medal is awarded by the Royal Society of London "in recognition of an original discovery in the physical sciences, particularly electricity and magnetism or their applications". Named after David E. Hughes, the medal is awarded with a gift of £1000. The medal was first awarded in 1902 to...

by the Royal Society. He is also a co-recipient of the 2004

European UnionThe European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

Descartes PrizeThe Descartes Prize is an annual award in science given by the European Union, named in honour of the French mathematician and philosopher, René Descartes....

. He has worked with and advised several companies and government agencies.

## Research

Artur Ekert's research extends over most aspects of information processing in quantum-mechanical systems, with a focus on quantum cryptography and quantum computation. Building on the idea of quantum non-locality and Bell's inequalities he introduced entanglement-based quantum key distribution in his 1991 paper which generated a spate of new research that established a vigorously active new area of

physicsPhysics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

and

cryptographyCryptography is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties...

, and is still the most cited paper in the field.

His subsequent work with

John RarityJohn G. Rarity is professor of optical communication systems in the department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Bristol, a post he has held since 1 January 2003. He is an international expert on quantum optics, quantum cryptography and quantum communication using single...

and Paul Tapster, from the

Defence Research AgencyThe Defence Research Agency , was an executive agency of the UK Ministry of Defence from April 1991 until April 1995. At the time the DRA was Britain's largest science and technology organisation...

(DRA) in Malvern, resulted in the proof-of-principle experimental quantum key distribution, introducing parametric down-conversion, phase encoding and quantum interferometry into the repertoire of cryptography.

He was the first to develop the concept of a security proof based on entanglement purification. Ekert has made a number of pioneering contributions to both theoretical aspects of quantum computation and proposals for its experimental realisations. These include proving that almost any quantum logic gate operating on two quantum bits is universal, proposing one of the first realistic implementations of quantum computation, e.g. using the induced dipole-dipole coupling in an optically driven array of quantum dots, introducing more stable geometric quantum logic gates, and proposing "noiseless encoding", which became later known as decoherence free subspaces. His other notable contribution include his work on quantum state swapping, optimal quantum state estimation and quantum state transfer. He is also known for his work on connections between the notion of mathematical proofs and the laws of physics and his semi-popular writing on the history of science.

## See also

- Centre for Quantum Technologies
The Centre for Quantum Technologies in Singapore is a Research Centre of Excellence hosted by the National University of Singapore. The Centre brings together quantum physicists and computer scientists to explore the quantum nature of reality and the fundamental limits of information...

- National University of Singapore
The National University of Singapore is Singapore's oldest university. It is the largest university in the country in terms of student enrollment and curriculum offered....

- Quantum Information Science
Quantum information science is an area of study based on the idea that information science depends on quantum effects in physics. It includes theoretical issues in computational models as well as more experimental topics in quantum physics including what can and cannot be done with quantum...

- University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

## External links