Artur Ekert's research extends over most aspects of information processing in quantum-mechanical systems, with a focus on quantum cryptography and quantum computation. Building on the idea of quantum non-locality and Bell's inequalities he introduced entanglement-based quantum key distribution in his 1991 paper which generated a spate of new research that established a vigorously active new area of physics and cryptography, and is still the most cited paper in the field. His subsequent work with John Rarity and Paul Tapster, from the Defence Research Agency (DRA) in Malvern, resulted in the proof-of-principle experimental quantum key distribution, introducing parametric down-conversion, phase encoding and quantum interferometry into the repertoire of cryptography. He was the first to develop the concept of a security proof based on entanglement purification. Ekert has made a number of pioneering contributions to both theoretical aspects of quantum computation and proposals for its experimental realisations. These include proving that almost any quantum logic gate operating on two quantum bits is universal, proposing one of the first realistic implementations of quantum computation, e.g. using the induced dipole-dipole coupling in an optically driven array of quantum dots, introducing more stable geometric quantum logic gates, and proposing "noiseless encoding", which became later known as decoherence free subspaces. His other notable contribution include his work on quantum state swapping, optimal quantum state estimation and quantum state transfer. He is also known for his work on connections between the notion of mathematical proofs and the laws of physics and his semi-popular writing on the history of science.
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