Bacon and Eggheads

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This flagship series brings together Parliamentarians with experts in science and engineering, showcasing outstanding Canadian research accomplishments. Its purpose is to provide unbiased insight into topical scientific issues, within a non-partisan forum. This prestigious forum represents a unique opportunity for scientists to communicate important findings to a distinguished and influential audience.

The series is organized by PAGSE, an umbrella group of 25 + science and engineering organizations operating under the auspices of the Royal Society, and is supported by NSERC.

The ABC's of Quantum Magic


Gilles Brassard, Université de Montréal

Quantum mechanics is perhaps the most spectacular scientific theory of all time. Yet, more than one hundred years after its discovery, few people have even the most basic grasp of what it means. Professor Brassard will describe in simple terms how quantum mechanics is being harnessed to spark a revolution in information processing. For instance, a quantum computer could theoretically perform more computation than would be possible for an ordinary computer the size of the universe. Such computing power could trigger a complete meltdown of the schemes currently used over the Internet to protect the security of electronic commerce. Fortunately, quantum cryptography allows us to fight back, making it possible to communicate with unconditional confidentiality.

Professor Brassard is renowned for his ability to bring the quantum world alive for the public. He is also one of Canada's most accomplished scientists, internationally acclaimed as a pioneer in the creation of quantum information science. His most celebrated breakthroughs are the discovery of quantum cryptography and quantum teleportation, now universally recognized as fundamental cornerstones of the field. He is the author of three books translated into eight languages, and his papers have been cited more than fifteen thousand times. His many awards and honours include the Prix Marie-Victorin du Québec, the Rank Prize in optoelectronics and the NSERC Award of Excellence. He is the sole Canadian to have been elevated to the rank of Fellow by the International Association for Cryptologic Research.

Organized by: The Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE)

Sponsored by:

--the Speaker of the Senate
--the Speaker of the House of Commons
--Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

Date: Thursday April 22, 2010 from 7:30 am - 9:00 am
Place: Room 200, West Block, Parliament Hill
Cost: No charge to Members of the House of Commons, Senators and Media. All others $20
Registration: Please register by contacting Donna Boag, PAGSE Manager: 613-991-6369,
Registration Deadline: Monday April 19, 2010