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The curiosity of quantum mechanics: Raymond Laflamme at TEDxWaterloo

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Published on Mar 23, 2010

Raymond Laflamme is originally from Québec City, where he studied Physics as an undergraduate at the Université Laval. After surviving Part III of the Mathematical Tripos at the University of Cambridge, he completed his PhD on aspects of general relativity and quantum cosmology in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP) under the direction of Stephen Hawking. Laflamme and his colleague Don Page are responsible for having changed Hawkings mind on the reversal of the direction of time in a contracting universe (see Hawkings book, A Brief History of Time).

From 1988-1992, Laflamme held a Killam post-doctoral fellowship at UBC, and a post-doctoral fellowship at Peterhouse College, University of Cambridge. From 1992-2001, Dr. Laflamme worked as a research scientist at Los Alamos Research Laboratory, where his interests shifted from cosmology to quantum computing.

Since the mid-1990s, Laflamme has developed theoretical approaches to quantum error correction, and has given experimental demonstrations of these techniques. In collaboration with Emmanuel Knill, Laflamme gave conditions for quantum error correcting codes, and established the fault-tolerance threshold, thereby showing that quantum computing systems could be practically useful. He went on to perform the first experimental demonstration of quantum error correction. With colleagues, he has developed a blueprint for a quantum information processor using linear optics, and devised and implemented new methods to make quantum information robust against corruption in both cryptographic and computational settings.

In 2001, Laflamme returned to Canada as the founding Director of the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC), and as a founding member of the Perimeter Institute For Theoretical Physics. Dr. Laflamme is the founding Scientific Director of QuantumWorks, Canadas national research consortium on quantum information science, and has been Director of the Quantum Information Program at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) since 2003, and a CIFAR Fellow since 2001. Dr. Laflamme holds the Canada Research Chair in Quantum Information, and is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo.

Dr. Laflammes group holds the world record for the largest quantum computer achieved to date, at 12 qubits.

About TEDx, x=independently organize event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self- organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

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