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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 physics questions, such as quantum measurement, quantum entanglement, or quantum nonlocality, to more information-flavored topics, 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, and has developed the first quantum adiabatic algorithm with a quantum speedup (quantum adiabatic search). 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 2014)

The massive data transfer over the Internet, which is vital to our information society, would not be possible without the crucial role played by optical communications. Every time a message, an image or a video is sent over the Internet, the corresponding sequence of bits is encoded into light pulses that are transmitted through optical fibers up to a receiver, 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 achievable 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 establish 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 La limite quantique des télécommunications in FNRS news issue of December 2014, and Athena magazine.

21st Central European Workshop on Quantum Optics (CEWQO 2014) organized by QuIC in Brussels (June 2014)

The 21st Central European Workshop on Quantum Optics has been held in Brussels from 23rd to 27th of June 2014, in the Palace of the Academies. 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. For two decades the workshop traveled all over the continent reaching its geographical edges. This 21st edition has come to the “Capital of Europe”.

The NIST has selected Keccak as the winner of the new SHA-3 hash algorithm (October 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.

2012 Nobel Prize in Physics : celebrating the race towards quantum computers (October 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.