Since 2002 Perimeter Institute has been recording seminars, conference talks, and public outreach events using video cameras installed in our lecture theatres. Perimeter now has 7 formal presentation spaces for its many scientific conferences, seminars, workshops and educational outreach activities, all with advanced audio-visual technical capabilities. Recordings of events in these areas are all available On-Demand from this Video Library and on Perimeter Institute Recorded Seminar Archive (PIRSA). PIRSA is a permanent, free, searchable, and citable archive of recorded seminars from relevant bodies in physics. This resource has been partially modelled after Cornell University's arXiv.org.
In a 1960 paper, E. C. G. Stueckelberg showed how one can obtain the familiar complex-vector-space structure of quantum mechanics by starting with a real-vector-space theory and imposing a superselection rule. In this talk I interpret Stueckelberg’s construction in terms of a single auxiliary real-vector-space binary object—a universal rebit, or “ubit." The superselection rule appears as a limitation on our ability to measure the ubit or to use it in state transformations. This interpretation raises the following questions: (i) What is the ubit?
Complex numbers are an intrinsic part of the mathematical formalism of quantum theory, and are perhaps its most mysterious feature. We show that it is possible to derive the complex nature of the quantum formalism directly from the assumption that a pair of real numbers is associated to each sequence of measurement outcomes, and that the probability of this sequence is a real-valued function of this number pair.
A new foundation of quantum mechanics for systems symmetric under a compact symmetry group is proposed. This is given by a link to classical statistics and coupled to the concept of a statistical parameter. A vector \phi of parameters is called an inaccessible c-variable if experiments can be provided for each single parameter, but no experiment can be provided for \phi. This is related to the concept of complementarity in quantum mechanics, but more generally to contrafactual parameters.
A significant part of quantum theory can be obtained from a single innovation relative to classical theories, namely, that there is a fundamental restriction on the sorts of statistical distributions over classical states that can be prepared.
Our universe has a split personality: quantum and relativity. Understanding how the two can coexist, i.e. how our universe can exist, is one of the greatest challenges facing theoretical physicists in the 21st century. The presentation focuses on a simple but mind-bending thought experiment that hints at some fascinating new ways of thinking that may be required to unravel this mystery. Could the world be like a hologram?