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Professor Popescu awarded ERC Advanced Research Grant

15 November 2011

The University of Toronto selected Professor Popescu to receive the prize in recognition of "his enormous contributions to the field of quantum mechanics."

popescu
In May Professor Sandu Popescu from the School of Physics was awarded the 2011 John Stewart Bell Prize. The University of Toronto selected Professor Popescu to receive the prize in recognition of "his enormous contributions to the field of quantum mechanics."

Now his high profile is confirmed with his recent award of the prestigious - and competitive - European Research Council Advanced Research Grant. The €1.7 million grant will fund his research on the foundations of quantum mechanics.

Quantum mechanics is the theory physicists believe describes everything in nature. Yet with predictions such as the fact that any small particle, an atom for example, can be in two places at the same time, the story it tells us is so remote from our everyday experience that it looks – and is – deeply mysterious. Over the years scientists have learned to live with these bizarre ideas and even harness them for practical purposes. However more than 80 years since its discovery, quantum mechanics remains as mysterious as ever.

"The fact that so often one discovers seemingly paradoxical new quantum effects is a sign that a deep and intuitive understanding is still missing," says Popescu.

Professor Popescu's research is on quantum non-locality, arguably the most paradoxical, and with potentially most powerful applications, of all these effects.

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