Ignacio Cirac heads the Theory Division of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Germany). His research concerns the quantum theory of information, particularly the development of a quantum computing system which will enable the design of far faster algorithms, the key to more efficient and secure communications. He also works in quantum optics and quantum many-body systems.
He has developed applications that demonstrate the viability of his theories, performing calculations that are impossible with current systems of data processing and transmission, and has also researched into degenerated quantum gases and strongly correlated atomic systems. His distinctions include the 2008 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Basic Sciences and the 2013 Wolf Prize.