For two Yale quantum physicists, an honor from the north

The University of Toronto has awarded two Yale physicists its John Stewart Bell Prize for contributions to the field of quantum mechanics.

Michel Devoret and Robert Schoelkopf, professors of applied physics and physics at Yale, will receive the award Aug. 15 in Toronto. The scientists, who are deeply involved in research related to quantum computing, will also lecture about their work.

“Michel and Robert have set forth an optimum platform for the community to further explore, examine and exploit quantum mechanical effects that is likely to fuel astounding advances in the field,” says Professor Amr Helmy, director of the University of Toronto’s Centre for Quantum Information and Quantum Control (CQIQC), which sponsors the award.

The prize will be presented during a bi-annual conference hosted by the center and the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences.

CQIQC is an interdisciplinary organization that promotes research collaborations in quantum information and quantum control. Quantum mechanics describes the sometimes counterintuitive physics of the atomic world.

Devoret and Schoelkopf stand at the forefront of fundamental quantum physics and the development of quantum technologies. A recent paper from Schoelkopf’s lab, published in Nature, described a new way to manipulate microwave signals that could aid the long-term effort to develop a quantum computer, for example. A recent paper from Devoret’s lab, published in Science, reported a way to observe quantum information while preserving its integrity. In March, they jointly published a review piece in Science called “Superconducting Circuits for Quantum Information: An Outlook” (abstract here).

Devoret is the Frederick William Beinecke Professor of Applied Physics & Physics. Schoelkopf is Sterling Professor of Applied Physics and Physics.

The John Stewart Bell Award is named after the 20th-Century Northern Irish physicist celebrated for originating Bell’s theorem, also known as Bell’s inequality.

Read the University of Toronto’s full statement about the latest Bell Award recipients.