This story in the Calgary Herald:

Quantum leap for scientists

Tarina White
Calgary Herald

Saturday, April 17, 2004

A new U of C lab will make Calgary researchers "desired everywhere in the world," promises director Barry Sanders.
CREDIT: Greg Fulmes, Calgary Herald
Calgary is poised to produce some of the world's top quantum information scientists and to provide international leadership in this field with the creation of a $1.5 million Alberta Institute for Quantum Information Science.

The second of its kind in Canada, the institute will be housed at the University of Calgary and will allow students and faculty to explore unsolved puzzles on the frontiers of quantum information science research, said newly appointed institute director Barry Sanders.

"The idea is that when quantum information takes off in the future, people who come out of Calgary will be desired everywhere in the world," said Sanders, a physics and astronomy professor at the U of C and a member of the Quantum Information Science Research team.

Slated to open this September, the institute will connect research in the disciplines of computer science, theoretical and experimental physics, chemistry, mathematics and electrical engineering.

"It's a way of making people work together who otherwise might not even see each other," said Sanders of the new facility.

"Our plan in Calgary is to produce graduates who have some expertise across the spectrum."

Graduates of these courses will be highly sought after by defence agencies, national security agencies and the military around the globe, said Sanders.

The startup cost of the Alberta Institute for Quantum Information Science is set at $1.5 million and its annual budget will begin at $1 million, said Sanders. Funding will be provided by the U of C, provincial, federal and international grants, as well as industry grants.

The money will be well spent, said Sanders, adding that it is important to push the boundaries of quantum information science research because this science will have a potentially profound impact on everything from Internet security to e-commerce.

"If there was a quantum computer it would be like what the nuclear bomb was to warfare," he said.

The institute has even drawn international interest with the addition of Alex Lvovsky, a research fellow from the University of Konstanz in Germany, who will join the institute as an associate professor in the physics and astronomy department.

"We expect it to attract top students and faculty and to generate substantial research funds annually to support its important work," said U of C president Harvey Weingarten.

Partners in this project include the University of Montreal, McGill University in Montreal and the University of Waterloo in Ontario, which is home to the Institute for Quantum Computing.

The institute will be housed in an existing building on campus which has yet to be determined.

©  The Calgary Herald 2004