Harnessing quantum mechanics will lead to transformational technologies that will benefit society and become a new engine of economic development in the 21st century. 


Our mission is to develop and advance quantum information science and technology at the highest international level through the collaboration of computer scientists, engineers, mathematicians and physical scientists.

Strategic objectives

  1. To establish Waterloo as a world-class centre for research in quantum technologies and their applications.
  2. To become a magnet for highly qualified personnel in the field of quantum information.
  3. To be a prime source of insight, analysis and commentary on quantum information. 


Throughout history, society has been continually transformed by humankind’s ability to harness the laws of nature, from fire to steam to electromagnetism and more. We are driven by our innate human curiosity to understand and improve our world.

Our curiosity now leads us to look at nature’s most fundamental building blocks — those of the quantum realm. Quantum technologies have the potential to change everything.

Computers constantly become smaller and more powerful as computer engineers devise ways to fit more and more transistors on every micro chip. This miniaturization of computers is described by something called Moore’s Law (named for Intel co-founder Gordon Moore), which states that computers shrink by half every 18-24 months. This rule has held true for decades.

But Moore’s Law predicts that computer miniaturization is about to hit a crucial threshold: transistors will soon be the size of individual atoms. At such a tiny scale, the rules of physics change from “classical” to “quantum,” which is a whole new ball game.

The counter-intuitive laws of quantum mechanical effects pose some difficult problems for computing, but also provide some remarkable advantages.

The laws of quantum behaviour allow for systems to be in a multitude of states at once, which allows for unprecedented parallel computation. This vast increase in computing power will, among many possibilities, allow us to:

  • Solve mathematical problems once thought to be intractable
  • Develop unbreakable encryption of information
  • Build time-keeping devices with unparalleled precision
  • Make ultra-sensitive detectors with tremendous accuracy.

Harnessing quantum mechanics will lead to transformational technologies that will produce a revolution in the economy of the 21st century — one in which the manipulation of molecules and atoms will be utilized in daily work and life. 

IQC was created to take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity.

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Institute for Quantum Computing
University of Waterloo
200 University Ave. West
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
N2L 3G1

Phone: 519-888-4021
Fax: 519-888-7610