Bernard van Heck

On 3 October 2016, Bernard van Heck received the Christiaan Huygens Science Award for his PhD research at Leiden University in 2015. 'Van Heck has produced a dissertation of Einsteinian quality,' according to jury chairman Jan Zaanen.

Majorana particles

Drawing on the principles of superconducting electronics, Van Heck designed an electrical circuit that gets Marjorana particles to braid on command. His research clears the path to building a Marjorana quantum computer, a machine that can perform calculations at exponentially higher speeds than conventional models.

About the laureate

Bernard van Heck (born in Rome, Italy, in 1986) received his PhD on 6 May 2015 for his dissertation Quantum computation with Majorana modes in superconducting circuits. His supervisors were Carlo Beenakker and Anton Akhmerov.

Van Heck, who is now a postdoctoral associate at Yale University, studied physics at the Sapienza University of Rome. His research focuses on mesoscopic physics and quantum information.