This series consists of talks in the area of Foundations of Quantum Theory. Seminar and group meetings will alternate.
Violations of Bell inequalities have traditionally been used to refute a local-realistic description of the world. Not surprisingly, under the assumption that the world is quantum, they can be used to certify quantum devices. What is surprising is that in some cases this characterisation turns out to be (almost) complete, i.e.~we can determine (almost) everything about the devices and this phenomenon is known as self-testing of quantum systems.
Studying the usefulness of resources can be formalized via the framework of a resource theory. However, the complete answer to the question whether a certain resource is more useful than another one is often hard to find in many of the numerous applications of the framework. Approximate answers can be found by identifying so-called monotones—measures of "resourcefulness". I will present several generic constructions of monotones, of which many monotones known in the literature are concrete examples of.
Abstract TBA
In general relativity, the picture of space–time assigns an ideal clock to each world line. Being ideal, gravitational effects due to these clocks are ignored and the flow of time according to one clock is not affected by the presence of clocks along nearby world lines. However, if time is defined operationally, as a pointer position of a physical clock that obeys the principles of general relativity and quantum mechanics, such a picture is, at most, a convenient fiction.
Convex optimization, linear and semidefinite programming in particular, has been a standard tool in quantum information theory, giving certificates of local and quantum correlations, contextuality, and more. Increasingly, similar methods are making headways in quantum many-body physics, giving lower bounds -- and thus certificates -- on the ground state energy. The disadvantage of such methods is that they do not scale well to large system sizes, whether those systems are multiparty Bell scenarios or lattice models of numerous sites. Machine
In physics, every observation is made with respect to a frame of reference. Although reference frames are usually not considered as degrees of freedom, in all practical situations it is a physical system which constitutes a reference frame. Can a quantum system be considered as a reference frame and, if so, which description would it give of the world?
There has been a dissatisfaction with the postulates of quantum mechanics essentially since the moment that those postulates were first written down. Over the years since there have therefore been many attempts (some successful and some less so) to reconstruct quantum theory from various sets of postulates. The aim being to gain a deeper understanding of the theory by providing a conceptually clear underpinning from which the standard formalism can be derived.
In order to think about the foundations of physics it is important to understand the logical relationships among the physical principles that sustain the building. As part of these axioms of physics there is the core hypothesis that, how the Universe is partitioned into systems and subsystems is a subjective choice of the observer that should not affect the predictions of physics. Other foundational principles are the Postulates of Quantum Mechanics. However, we prove that these are not independent from the “independence of subsystem partitioning” hypothesis described above.
The distillation of quantum resources such as entanglement and coherence forms one of the most fundamental protocols in quantum information and is of outstanding operational significance, but it is often characterized in the idealized asymptotic limit where an unbounded number of independent and identically distributed copies of a quantum system are available.
The methodology employed in reconstructing quantum theory involves defining a general mathematical framework that frames a landscape of possible theories and then positing principles that uniquely pick out quantum theory. In contrast, many traditional interpretations of quantum theory consider only quantum theory, not a larger space of possible theories. I will defend the modal methodology used in reconstruction by tracing the historical roots of Einstein’s distinction between principle and constructive theories.