Quantum Foundations

This series consists of talks in the area of Foundations of Quantum Theory. Seminar and group meetings will alternate.

Seminar Series Events/Videos

Currently there are no upcoming talks in this series.

 

Thursday Jan 21, 2016
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One implication of Bell's theorem is that there cannot in general be hidden variable models for quantum mechanics that both are noncontextual and retain the structure of a classical probability space.  Thus, some hidden variable programs aim to retain noncontextuality at the cost of using a generalization of the Kolmogorov probability axioms.  We present a theorem to show that such programs are committed to the existence of a finite null cover for some quantum mechanical experiments, i.e., a finite collection of probability zero events whose disjunction exhausts the space of possibilities.

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Tuesday Jan 19, 2016
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Time in quantum mechanics has duly received a lot of attention over the years. Perfect clocks which can turn on/off a particular interaction at a precise time that have been proposed only exist in infinite dimensions and have unphysical Hamiltonians (their spectrum is unbounded from below). It was this observation which led many to conclude that an operator for time cannot exist in quantum mechanics. Here, we prove rigorous results about the accuracy of finite dimensional clocks and show that they can well approximate their infinite dimensional counterparts under the right conditions.

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Tuesday Nov 10, 2015
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The talk first offers a brief assessment of the realist and nonrealist understanding of quantum theory, in relation to the role of probability and statistics there from the perspective of quantum information theory, in part in view of several recent developments in quantum information theory in the work of M. G. D’Ariano and L. Hardy, among others. It then argues that what defines quantum theory, both quantum mechanics and quantum field theory, most essentially, including as concerns realism or the lack thereof and the probability and statistics, is a new (vs.

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Tuesday Nov 03, 2015
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The Reeh-Schlieder theorem says, roughly, that, in any reasonable quantum field theory, for any bounded region of spacetime R, any state can be approximated arbitrarily closely by operating on the vacuum state (or any state of bounded energy) with operators formed by smearing polynomials in the field operators with functions having support in R.

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Tuesday Oct 20, 2015
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In this talk we will discuss how C*-algebras can be identified and characterised in terms of certain cosheaves with self-action. The reason we are interested in such a study is it to try and give a rigorous mathematical derivation of the axioms of quantum theory. In particular, many of the standard axioms for C*-algebras have unclear physical and operational meaning, but by defining an equivalence of categories between C*-algebras and cosheaves with self-action, we believe that these axioms can acquire a clear operational meaning.

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Tuesday Jul 28, 2015
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The existence of observables that are incompatible or not jointly measurable is a characteristic feature of quantum mechanics, which is the root of a number of nonclassical phenomena, such as uncertainty relations, wave--particle dual behavior, Bell-inequality violation, and contextuality.

However, no intuitive criterion is available for determining the compatibility of even two (generalized) observables, despite the overarching importance of this problem and intensive efforts of many researchers over more than 80 years.

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Thursday May 28, 2015

In this talk, I will explore a timeless interpretation of quantum mechanics of closed systems, solely in terms of path integrals in non-relativistic timeless configuration space. What prompts a fresh look at the foundational problems in this context, is the advent of multiple gravitational models in which Lorentz symmetry is only emergent. In this setting, I propose a new understanding of records as certain relations between two configurations, the recorded one and the record-holding one.

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Tuesday May 26, 2015
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In this talk we will discuss the relation between the incompatibility of quantum measurements and quantum nonlocality. We show that any set of measurements that is not jointly measurable (i.e. incompatible) can be used for demonstrating EPR steering, a form of quantum nonlocality. This implies that EPR steering and (non) joint measurability can be viewed as equivalent. Moreover, we discuss the connection between Bell nonlocality and joint measurability, and give evidence that both notions are inequivalent.

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Tuesday May 19, 2015

To best distinguish between classical and non-classical models of nature requires a good notion of classicality. I will argue that noncontextuality is a good candidate for this notion. Until now, certain theoretical and experimental roadblocks have stood in the way of a test of noncontextuality which is free of unattainable experimental idealizations. I will present solutions to these roadblocks as well as the results of an experimental test.

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Wednesday May 13, 2015
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One necessity to avoid the measurement problem in quantum mechanics is a clear ontology. Such an ontology is for instance provided by Bohmian mechanics. In the non-relativistic regime, Bohmian mechanics is a theory about particles whose motion is governed by a velocity field. The latter is generated by a wave

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