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Quantum Information Processing |
In recent years, quantum information science
has emerged as a major research area at the intersection of physics,
information theory, and computer science. It originated from the realization
that information is not a purely abstract concept but depends on the physics of
the systems in which it is represented. Many computational problems that turn up in
industry, operations research, network design, artificial intelligence,
simulation of physical systems, logic, number theory, algebra, and
computational biology lack a fast or feasible algorithmic solution. The best available
algorithms for these problems are often extraordinarily slow. One of the
central open problems in computer science is the question of whether this
slowness is inherent in these problems or whether we simply lack good
programming techniques. This is known as the question which problems lie
in the complexity class P (solution time polynomial in input size), which lie
in NP (solution time non-polynomial in input size) and the question whether
these classes are distinct at all. Quantum Information Science and in
particular quantum computing gained a lot of momentum after the breakthrough result
of Shor who demonstrated that the factoring problem, which is thought to be
outside P on a classical computer, can be solved efficiently on a quantum
computer. Shor's result presents some evidence that quantum computers can solve
certain computational problems more efficiently than classical computers.
Further progress has been achieved in finding applications that are either
provably impossible or considerably less efficient on classical devices. Examples
include the possibility of unconditionally secure key distribution (which is
now being offered commercially), algorithms that provide efficient solutions
for problems that are believed to be hard on any classical device, and more
efficient solutions to communication problems. These results indicate the potential power and
implications of quantum information processing devices. For example, most of
modern cryptography is based on the fact that no fast algorithms for the factorization
problem are known. However with a working quantum computer all of modern
cryptography, including electronic banking and Internet security, will be
broken. The main focus of quantum information
processing has been twofold. On one side there has been a lot of effort in the
physical implementation of quantum information devices and qubits. On the
other, there has been a considerable effort in finding new algorithms and applications
of quantum information processing. This workshop focuses on the second area: finding
novel quantum information protocols and applications. We will invite people
from computer science, theoretical physics, and mathematics. As a by product,
we believe that a better understanding of the algorithmical issues of quantum
information processing will help the implementation side as well. [Back] |