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 Sep 27, 2011
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Wheeler's delayed choice (WDC) is one of the "standard experiments in foundations". It aims at the puzzle of a photon simultaneously behaving as wave and particle. Bohr-Einstein debate on wave-particle duality prompted the introduction of Bohr's principle of complementarity, ---`.. the study of complementary phenomena demands mutually exclusive experimental arrangements" . In WDC experiment the mutually exclusive setups correspond to the presence or absence of a second beamsplitter in a Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI). A choice of the setup determines the observed behaviour.

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Tuesday Jul 19, 2011
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This is a very informal talk about some of the issues associated with the notion of "macroscopic realism" (MR) and its relation to quantum mechanics (QM).

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Tuesday May 24, 2011

This is a geometric tutorial about straight and twisted vectors and forms (ie, de Rham currents) leading to some wild thoughts about the EM field as a *thing*, ie with properties similar to a piece of matter; and to some even wilder thoughts about a metric-free GR.

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Wednesday May 18, 2011
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I provide a reformulation of finite dimensional quantum theory in the circuit framework in terms of mathematical axioms, and a reconstruction of quantum theory from operational postulates. The mathematical axioms for quantum theory are the following: [Axiom 1] Operations correspond to operators. [Axiom 2] Every complete set of positive operators corresponds to a complete set of operations. The following operational postulates are shown to be equivalent to these mathematical axioms: [P1] Definiteness.

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Tuesday May 17, 2011
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Quantum theory can be thought of a noncommutative generalization of classical probability and, from this perspective, it is puzzling that no quantum generalization of conditional probability is in widespread use. In this talk, I discuss one such generalization and show how it can unify the description of ensemble preparations of quantum states, POVM measurements and the description of correlations between quantum systems.

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Tuesday May 17, 2011
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We will analyze different aspects of locality in causal operational probabilistic theories. We will first discuss the notion of local state and local objective information in operational probabilistic theories, and define an operational notion of discord that coincides with quantum discord in the case of quantum theory. Using such notion, we will show that the only theory in which all separable states have null discord is the classical one. We will then analyze locality of transformations, reviewing some general properties of no-signaling channels in causal theories.

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Tuesday May 03, 2011
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A new ensemble interpretation of quantum mechanics is proposed according to which the ensemble associated to a quantum state really exists: it is the ensemble of all the systems in the same quantum state in the universe. Individual systems within the ensemble have microscopic states, described by beables. The probabilities of quantum theory turn out to be just ordinary relative frequencies probabilities in these ensembles.

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Tuesday Apr 26, 2011
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We begin with a fundamental approach to quantum mechanics based on the unitary representations of the group of diffeomorphisms of physical space (and correspondingly, self-adjoint representations of a local current algebra). From these, various classes of quantum configuration spaces arise naturally.

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Tuesday Apr 12, 2011
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Ideal measurements are described in quantum mechanics textbooks by two postulates: the collapse of the wave packet and Born’s rule for the probabilities of outcomes. The quantum evolution of a system then has two components: a unitary (Hamiltonian) evolution in between measurements and non-unitary one when a measurement is performed. This situation was considered to be unsatisfactory by many people, including Einstein, Bohr, de Broglie, von Neumann and Wigner, but has remained unsolved to date.

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