The Basic Sciences award in this inaugural edition of the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards has been shared by physicists Peter Zoller (Austria, 1952) and Ignacio Cirac (Manresa, 1965), "for their fundamental work on quantum information science", in the words of the jury chaired by Theodor W. Hnsch, Nobel Prize in Physics. Zoller and Cirac's research is opening up vital new avenues for the development of quantum computers, immensely more powerful than those we know today.
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards seek to recognize and encourage world-class research at international level, and can be considered second only to the Nobel Prize in their monetary amount, an annual 3.2 million euros, and the breadth of the scientific and artistic areas covered.
The awards, organized in partnership with Spain's National Research Council (CSIC), take in eight categories carrying a cash prize of 400,000 euros each. The Basic Sciences award, the sixth to be decided, is to honor contributions which significantly advance the stock of knowledge in this area for reasons of their importance and originality.
"It is a thrill to see how our expectations are being confirmed"
Peter Zoller greeted the news as "a great honor and a huge recognition for our area of work. It has been amazing to observe how this field has grown in the past ten years and how our expectations are little by little being borne out". For this investigator, sharing the prize with his one-time collaborator, Ignacio Cirac, "is an added pleasure, since a lot of this work has been done together". The Spanish researcher declared himself "especially honored because the award distinguishes the advances being made in an especially dynamic field". Cirac also chose to emphasize "the importance of basic science, which is where tomorrow's applications are born".
Peter Zoller and Ignacio Cirac are regarded as the theoretical physicists of most influence in the areas of
|Contact: Javier Fernandez|