Symposium in honour of Gilles Brassard and Charles Bennett - winners of the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics



19:00 - 21:00 hrs


Amsterdam: KNAW Trippenhuis (Kloveniersburgwal 29)


Gilles Brassard (Université de Montréal) and Charles Bennett (IBM Research) have been awarded the 2023 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, the world’s largest science prize. In honour of this achievement, the KNAW is organising a symposium which will focus exclusively on their pioneering work in quantum information. Both Brassard and Bennett will speak during this symposium.

BB84-protocol for quantum cryptography
In 1984, Gilles Brassard and Charles Bennett invented the BB84 protocol for quantum cryptography. This marked the birth of quantum cryptography. Their protocol benefits from fundamental principles of quantum mechanics and enables secure communication between parties. Nowadays, their protocol is commercially available and forms the core of many other protocols on quantum cryptography and quantum information in general.

Brassard and Bennett share the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics 2023 with David Deutsch and Peter Shor.

Until November 2022, Brassard holds the Turing Chair for Quantum Software at the University of Amsterdam, and he is hosted at QuSoft at NWO institute Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI).


  • Stacey Jeffery, Senior Researcher at CWI and QuSoft  – Quantum Computing: The Next Quantum Revolution
  • Charles Bennett, IBM Fellow at IBM Research – Quantum Information for Beginners
  • Barbara Terhal, Professor Quantum Information Theory at QuTech – The unreasonable effectiveness of quantum theorists in experimental physics
  • Gilles Brassard, Professor of Computer Science, Université de Montreal Computer Science, Université de Montreal – Quantum Cryptography, Past, Present and Future 

Attendance of this symposium is free, but registration is required. More information (and the link for registration) can be found on this KNAW webpage.

The KNAW is the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences: the guardian and interpreter of science in the Netherlands.