Live webcast to explore how to decipher quantum mysteries


Join physicist Robert Spekkens for a live webcast Feb. 7 as he draws unexpected parallels between Egyptian hieroglyphs, Plato’s philosophy, and the puzzles of quantum theory.  

February 7, 2018 (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) – If science is like puzzle-solving, then making sense of quantum theory is a particularly thorny kind of brain-twister.

But what if we are asking the wrong kinds of questions?

In a live webcast event on Wednesday February 7 at 7PM ETRobert Spekkens will explain why some quantum puzzles may be the result of “category mistakes” – misjudgments about the type of things you’re seeking to explain.

To illustrate this idea, Spekkens will use historical examples of category mistakes, ranging from Platonic philosophy and Egyptian hieroglyphs to recent instances of poorly implemented drug trials.

Spekkens’ talk, titled “The riddle of the quantum sphinx: Quantum states and category mistakes,” is part of the Perimeter Institute Public Lecture Series. The talk will be webcast live on insidetheperimeter.ca and via partner organizations.

Spekkens is a Faculty member at Perimeter Institute whose research examines the foundations of quantum theory. He co-edited the book Quantum Theory: Informational Foundations and Foils, and he is a Project Leader of the international research collaboration “Quantum Causal Structures.” In 2012, he won first prize in the Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi) essay contest “Questioning the Foundations: Which of Our Assumptions Are Wrong?” He lives in Waterloo with his wife and three-year-old son.

Following the talk, Spekkens will answer questions from the online and in-house audience – including questions submitted prior to and during the talk via Facebook and Twitter (using the hashtag #piLIVE). Questions are welcomed from everyone – aspiring scientific explorers, school classes, physics buffs, and general math and science enthusiasts.

View past PI Public Lectures and events, and read more about PI’s research, training, and outreach activities at www.insidetheperimeter.ca.

LIVE WEBCAST DETAILS

Institut Périmètre de Physique Théorique

L'Institut Périmètre est le plus grand centre de recherche en physique théorique au monde. Fondé en 1999, cet institut indépendant vise à favoriser les percées dans la compréhension fondamentale de notre univers, des plus infimes particules au cosmos tout entier. Les recherches effectuées à l’Institut Périmètre reposent sur l'idée que la science fondamentale fait progresser le savoir humain et catalyse l'innovation, et que la physique théorique d'aujourd'hui est la technologie de demain. Situé dans la région de Waterloo, cet établissement sans but lucratif met de l'avant un partenariat public-privé unique en son genre avec entre autres les gouvernements de l'Ontario et du Canada. Il facilite la recherche de pointe, forme la prochaine génération de pionniers de la science et communique le pouvoir de la physique grâce à des programmes primés d'éducation et de vulgarisation.

 

http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/

 

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