Ray Laflamme

Experience science and technology through discovery, innovation, and imagination with fascinating lectures delivered by renowned experts. Lectures will be held in the Mike Lazaridis Theatre of Ideas at Perimeter Institute. Watch lecture on-demand.

Supported by: 

discovery - From wonder to wow: why the quantum age is closer than you think

with Raymond Laflamme, Director, Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) and Associate Faculty, Perimeter Institute

Tuesday, October 1 at 4:00 pm 

Perimeter Institute - Mike Lazaridis Theatre 

The world around holds amazing properties. What is even more amazing is that we are able to understand them, to control them, and turn them in to technologies. From fire to electricity and magnetism, these properties have been tamed and have transformed society. But what is coming up?

What are the properties of nature that will be tamed in the 21st century and impact all of us? Dr. Raymond Laflamme will describe how the quantum world behaves, share the latest breakthroughs and some of the biggest challenges ahead in the quest to build technologies based on quantum properties. Hear how researchers at the forefront of science are navigating and controlling the subatomic realm to develop new technologies that will change the ways we work, communicate, and live.

Raymond Laflamme is originally from Québec City, where he studied Physics as an undergraduate at the Université Laval.  Prof. Laflamme and his colleague Don Page are responsible for having changed Hawking’s mind on the reversal of the direction of time in a contracting universe (see Hawking’s book, A Brief History of Time). After surviving Part III of the Mathematical Tripos at the University of Cambridge, Raymond Laflamme 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.  From 1988-1992, Laflamme held a Killam Postdoctoral fellowship at UBC, and a Postdoctoral fellowship at Peterhouse College, University of Cambridge. From 1992-2001, Prof. 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 conducted 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 computers can be robust to errors. With colleagues, he has developed a blueprint for a quantum information processor using linear optics, and devised and implemented new methods to for making quantum information robust against corruption in both cryptographic and computational settings.

In 2001, Laflamme returned to Canada as the founding Executive Director of the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC), and as a founding member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. Dr. Laflamme was the Scientific Director of QuantumWorks, Canada’s 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 its inception in 2003. 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.  In 2010 he founded Universal Quantum Devices, a start-up commercializing spinoffs of quantum information research, with colleagues Thomas Jennewein and Steve MacDonald.

Dr. Laflamme has the long-standing world record for the largest quantum computer achieved to date, at 12 qubits.

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