Cirac, J. Ignacio


J. Ignacio Cirac

Director of Theory Division, Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Garching, Germany

Born in Manresa, Spain. In 1988, he graduated in Theoretical Physics from the Complutense University, Madrid, and gained his PhD in 1991. Between 1991 and 1996, he was Associate Professor at the University of Castilla-La Mancha, and spent long visits at the University of Colorado and at Harvard University. From 1996 until 2001 he was Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. He is a member of the Max Planck Society since 2001, the year when he was appointed director at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany). In 2002, he also became honorary professor at the Technical University of Munich.

As an expert in quantum computation and its application in the field of information, the focus of his research work is the quantum theory of information. His theories propose that quantum computers will bring a new revolution to the field of information, and will lead to more efficient communication and far greater security in data processing and transmission.

He is a member of the Spanish Academy of Sciences, and corresponding member of the Austrian, Zaragoza, and Barcelona Academies, as well as fellow of the American Physical Society.

Cirac’s work has obtained many awards, including the Felix Kuschenitz Prize at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in 2001, the Quantum Electronics from the European Science Foundation in 2005, the Prince of Asturias Prize for Scientific and Technical Research in 2006, the National “Blas Cabrera” Prize for Physical, Material and Earth Sciences in 2007, the Frontiers of Knowledge and Culture Award for basic science given by the BBVA Foundation in 2008, the 2010 Franklin Medal, the 2013 Niels Bohr Medal,  the Wolf Foundation Prize in Physics in 2013 and, more recently, the Hamburger prize for Theoretical Physics.

He holds a honorary degree from the universities of Castilla-La Mancha, Politécnica de Barcelona, Zaragoza, Valencia, Politécnica de Valencia, and Europea de Madrid.