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.

 

Tuesday Oct 09, 2012
Speaker(s): 

I will
give an idea of what category theory is and how it can be successfully applied in mathematics and the mathematical sciences by means of example. The example is a notion from mathematical logic formalizing the intuitive concept of "property". The new category-theoretical
definition of this notion can physically be interpreted as a measurement. Unraveling this definition in particular categories can be regarded as defining the concept of "property" in different context, e.g. in classical, probabilistic

Collection/Series: 
Scientific Areas: 

 

Tuesday Aug 07, 2012
Speaker(s): 

A very general way of describing the abstract structure of quantum theory is to say that the set of observables on a quantum system form a C*-algebra.  A natural question is then, why should this be the case - why can observables be added and multiplied together to form any algebra, let alone of the special C* variety?  I will present recent work with Markus Mueller and Howard Barnum, showing that the closest algebraic cousins to standard quantum theory, namely the Jordan-algebras, can be characterized by three principles having an informational flavour, namely: (1) a generalized spectral d

Collection/Series: 
Scientific Areas: 

 

Tuesday May 29, 2012
Speaker(s): 

It is certainly possible to express ordinary quantum mechanics in the framework of a real vector space: by adopting a suitable restriction on all operators--Stueckelberg’s rule--one can make the real-vector-space theory exactly equivalent to the standard complex theory.  But can we achieve a similar effect without invoking such a restriction?  In this talk I explore a model within real-vector-space quantum theory in which the role of the complex phase is played by a separate physical system called the ubit (for “universal rebit”).  The ubit is a single binary real-vector-space quantum obje

Collection/Series: 
Scientific Areas: 

 

Tuesday May 08, 2012
Speaker(s): 

The distinction between a realist interpretation of quantum theory that is psi-ontic and one that is psi-epistemic is whether or not a difference in the quantum state necessarily implies a difference in the underlying ontic state. Psi-ontologists believe that it does, psi-epistemicists that it does not. This talk will address the question of whether the PBR theorem should be interpreted as lending evidence against the psi-epistemic research program.

Collection/Series: 
Scientific Areas: 

 

Tuesday May 01, 2012
Speaker(s): 

It is sometimes pointed out as a curiosity that the state space of quantum theory and actual physical space seem related in a surprising way: not only is space three-dimensional and Euclidean, but so is the Bloch ball which describes quantum two-level systems. In the talk, I report on joint work with Lluis Masanes, where we show how this observation can be turned into a mathematical result: suppose that physics takes place in d spatial dimensions, and that some events happen probabilistically (dropping quantum theory and complex amplitudes altogether).

Collection/Series: 
Scientific Areas: 

 

Tuesday Apr 17, 2012
Speaker(s): 

One of the most important open problems in physics is to reconcile quantum mechanics with our classical intuition. In this talk we look at quantum foundations through the lens of mathematical foundations and uncover a deep connection between the two fields. We show that Cantorian set theory is based on classical concepts incompatible with quantum experiments. Specifically, we prove that Zermelo-Fraenkel axioms of set theory (and the background classical logic) imply a Bell-type inequality.

Collection/Series: 
Scientific Areas: 

 

Friday Apr 13, 2012
Speaker(s): 

We establish a tight relationship between two key quantum theoretical notions: non-locality and complementarity. In particular, we establish a direct connection between Mermin-type non-locality scenarios, which we generalise to an arbitrary number of parties, using systems of arbitrary dimension, and performing arbitrary measurements, and a new stronger notion of complementarity which we introduce here.    Our derivation of the fact that strong complementarity is a necessary condition for a Mermin scenario provides a crisp operational interpretation for strong complementarity.

Collection/Series: 
Scientific Areas: 

 

Tuesday Apr 10, 2012
Speaker(s): 

I present our work on inferring causality in the classical world and encourage the audience to think about possible generalizations to the quantum world. Statistical dependences between observed quantities X and Y indicate a causal relation, but it is a priori not clear whether X caused Y or Y caused X or there is a common cause of both. It is widely believed that this can only be decided if either one is able to do interventions on the system, or if X and Y are part of a larger set of variables.

Collection/Series: 
Scientific Areas: 

Pages