Quantum computers exploit quantum physical phenomena such as quantum entanglement. This allows them to solve particular problems, like factoring large numbers, exponentially faster than any classical machine. The “quantum speed-up” has recently also raised the interest of big companies, who are currently investing substantially in the development of quantum technologies. In my talk, I will explain the basic principles of quantum information processing, and also point to some dangers. For example, the ability to factor large numbers will render many of our current cryptosystems insecure.
Renato Renner is Professor for Theoretical Physics and head of the research group for Quantum Information Theory. Renner was born on December 11, 1974, in Lucerne. He studied physics, first at EPF Lausanne and later at ETH Zurich, where he graduated in theoretical physics. He then moved to the Computer Science Department to work on a thesis in the area of quantum cryptography. After getting his PhD degree, he spent two years in the UK, where he was a HP research fellow in the Department for Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge. In 2007 he started as an Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich. He was promoted in 2012 to an Associate Professor and in 2015 to a Full Professor. His research interests are in the area of Quantum Information Science, Quantum Thermodynamics, and the Foundations of Quantum Physics.