Peter W. Shor

Peter W. Shor
Peter W. Shor

Biography

Peter W. Shor’s dramatic breakthroughs have fueled the modern quantum information revolution and ignited a global race to build the world’s first practical quantum computer. Shor’s 1994 integer factoring algorithm demonstrated that quantum computers could solve concrete and highly sensitive problems much faster than silicon computers. His algorithm also showed that encryption codes could be broken, which has had great implications for the security of classical communication systems. Shor proved skeptics of quantum communication wrong by pioneering the development of quantum error-correction codes to protect quantum states against decoherence and noise. His quantum accuracy threshold theorem provides confidence in the potential for constructing large-scale quantum computers since it guarantees that quantum computation is possible despite imperfections, provided the noise level is sufficiently low.

An IEEE member, Shor is the Morss Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.