(Nature) The Micius Foundation has announced winners for the 2018 and 2019 Micius Quantum Prizes, which recognize quantum computation and quantum communication, respectively. Six scientists won for each year, all of whom will receive one million yuan (about US$150,000). The Micius Foundation was established in 2018 with 100 million yuan in donations from private entrepreneurs.
The winners include stars of quantum science, such as Peter Shor, a mathematician at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, and David Deutsch, a physicist at the University of Oxford, UK — both of whom wrote pioneering quantum algorithms — and Pan Jian-Wei, a physicist at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in Hefei. Pan was the main architect of the world’s first quantum-communications space satellite, also called Micius, after an ancient Chinese philosopher. Eleven of the winners are from Europe and North America; Pan is the only award recipient from China.
The prize celebrates a field that China increasingly values and contributes to. “The prize symbolizes China’s growing ambition but also research accomplishments in quantum technologies,” says quantum physicist Artur Ekert of the University of Oxford, UK, who is one of the 2019 prizewinners, for his theoretical contributions that helped to establish the field of quantum cryptography.