iweb visitor

Welcome to QuIC!

The Centre for Quantum Information and Communication (QuIC) has been active in quantum information sciences for more than ten years, with research contributions ranging from fundamental questions such as quantum measurement, quantum entanglement, or quantum nonlocality, to more information-flavored issues such as quantum communication, quantum cryptography, or quantum algorithms. It has invented and contributed to the demonstration of the first continuous-variable (Gaussian) quantum cryptographic protocol. It currently holds two patents, and has published numerous scientific papers among which two in the journal Nature, two in Nature Photonics, and one in Nature Communications.

Nicolas J. Cerf, group leader.

Quantum limit on telecommunications : QuIC researchers solve a long-standing problem in Nature Photonics (September 21, 2014)

The massive transfer of data over the Internet, which is vital to our information society, would not be possible without the crucial role played by fiber optics communications. Every time a node sends a message, an image or a video over the Internet, the corresponding sequence of bits is encoded into light pulses that are transmitted through optical fibers up to a receiving node, which converts the light signal back to the original sequence of bits. The ever-increasing demand for data naturally raises the question of what are the ultimate physical limits on the transmission bit-rate over optical links. Two researchers from QuIC have found, together with Italian and Russian colleagues, the long-awaited answer to this question in an article published in Nature Photonics. They predict the fundamental limit on the transmission rate via Gaussian photonic channels that results from quantum physics, thereby extending the famous channel capacity formula due to Claude Shannon, the father of information theory. See also FNRSnews issue of December 2014: La limite quantique des télécommunications.

21st Central European Workshop on Quantum Optics will be held in Brussels in June 2014 (May 19, 2014)

The 21st Central European Workshop on Quantum Optics will be held this year in Brussels from 23rd to 27th of June, in the Academies Palace in the city center. Started in the 90s within a European project aimed at collaborating with Central-European countries this series of workshops has evolved into a central annual gathering of European researchers working in quantum optics, its applications to quantum information, and foundations of quantum mechanics. It provides them with an opportunity to share their latest results and to listen to leading researchers invited to come from the other parts of the Globe. Particular attention has always been given to young researchers helping them to get acquainted with cutting-edge research and valorizing their proper contribution. For two decades the workshop traveled all over the continent reaching its geographical edges. This 21st edition has come to the “Capital of Europe”.

2012 Nobel Prize in Physics : celebrating the race towards quantum computers (October 9, 2012)

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Serge Haroche (Collège de France and ENS, Paris, France) and David J. Wineland (NIST and University of Colorado, Boulder, USA) for the development of “ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems”. Haroche and Wineland have carried out pioneering experiments in the field of quantum optics, independently developing approaches to examine, control, and count quantum particles. Wineland works with trapped ions and measures them with light, whereas Haroche controls and measures photons. Besides reporting multiple breakthroughs in fundamental science, their experiments have led to the construction of extreme precision atomic clocks and paved the way for researchers making the first steps towards building computers based on quantum physics.

The NIST has selected Keccak as the winner of the new SHA-3 hash algorithm (October 2, 2012)

Gilles Van Assche, a former PhD student at QuIC, is member of the team of four cryptographers who designed the Keccak algorithm, selected as the winner of the SHA-3 Cryptographic Hash Algorithm Competition by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In the review process, the cryptographic community provided an enormous amount of expert feedback and NIST winnowed the original 64 candidates down to the five finalist candidates. These finalists were further reviewed in a third public conference in March 2012, and NIST finally announced Keccak as the winner of this competition on October 2nd, 2012. Keccak will now become NIST’s new SHA-3 hash algorithm. See the press release.

Security by Quantum Randomness - QuIC announces the creation of its first Spin-off company, SQR (November 2010)

The Spin-off SQR will commercialize the outcome of our research at QuIC in the field of Information Security, Quantum Cryptography, and Quantum Physics. See Newsletter of the Ecole Polytechnique de Bruxelles. SQR is one of the 25 start-ups that have been selected, among 234 innovating companies, for the European Tech Tour Association (ETT) held in Lausanne on November 17-18, 2010.

Continuous-Variable Quantum Erasure-Correcting Code (October 2010)

QuIC researchers invented a new quantum erasure-correcting code, which has been successfully implemented experimentally in collaboration with Ulrik Andersen (Technical University of Copenhagen, Denmark) and Gerd Leuchs (Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen, Germany). The results have been published in Nature Photonics 4, 700 - 705 (2010) and presented in ULB [intra]lettre no. 145.