PIMS Distinguished Chair Alexei Kitaev receives Fundamental Physics Prize

  • Date: 08/21/2012

On July 30, 2012, Alexei Kitaev (Caltech) received one of nine Fundamental Physics Prizes, awarding $3 million to recognize transformative advances in the field.

Kitaev, a professor of theoretical physics, computer science and mathematics at Caltech, is best known for introducing the quantum phase estimation algorithm and the concept of the topological quantum computer. For this work, he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2008. He is also known for introducing the complexity class QMA and showing that some local Hamiltonian problems are QMA-complete (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexei_Kitaev).

Kitaev visited UBC for a month in 2006 as a PIMS Distinguished Chair, as part of the Collaborative Research Group on Quantum Topology.

The Fundamental Physics Prize Foundation is dedicated to advancing knowledge of the Universe by awarding annual prizes for scientific breakthroughs, as well as communicating the excitement of fundamental physics to the public (http://www.fundamentalphysicsprize.org/news.html).