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.
Non-relativistic quantum theory is derived from information codified into an appropriate statistical model. The basic assumption is that there is an irreducible uncertainty in the location of particles so that the configuration space is a statistical manifold with a natural information metric. The dynamics then follows from a principle of inference, the method of Maximum Entropy: entropic dynamics is an instance of law without law. The concept of time is introduced as a convenient device to keep track of the accumulation of changes.
What belongs to quantum theory is no more than what is needed for its derivation. Keeping to this maxim, we record a paradigmatic shift in the foundations of quantum mechanics, where the focus has recently moved from interpreting to reconstructing quantum theory. We present a quantum logical derivation based on Rovelli's information-theoretic axioms. Its strengths and weaknesses will be studied in the light of recent developments, focusing on the subsystems rule, continuity assumptions, and the definition of observer.
I will consider physical theories which describe systems with limited information content. This limit is not due observer's ignorance about some “hidden” properties of the system - the view that would have to be confronted with Bell's theorem - but is of fundamental nature. I will show how the mathematical structure of these theories can be reconstructed from a set of reasonable axioms about probabilities for measurement outcomes.
Quantum theory is the most accurate scientific theory humanity has ever devised. But it is also the most mysterious. No one knows what the underlying picture of reality at quantum level is. This presentation will introduce you to some of the many interpretations of quantum theory that scientists have devised and discuss the infamous 'measurement problem'.
Violation of local realism can be probed by theory–independent tests, such as Bell’s inequality experiments. There, a common assumption is the existence of perfect, classical, reference frames, which allow for the specification of measurement settings with arbitrary precision. However, if the reference frames are ``bounded'', only limited precision can be attained. We expect then that the finiteness of the reference frames limits the observability of genuine quantum features.
We understand the history of our universe very well but remain ignorant on one key question: what is most of the universe actually made of? Beautiful measurements, by satellites, balloon-basted observatories, the Hubble telescope and ground-based telescopes have allowed us to accurately trace this history of the history of the ordinary matter we are made of. Yet these measurements also show us that most of the universe is dark - that is to say it cannot be seen visibly no matter how bright a light is shone on it.
Physics emerged from the twentieth century with two remarkably successful descriptions of nature which stand in striking contrast. Quantum mechanics describes the subatomic realm with intrinsic uncertainties and probabilities. On the other hand, Einstein's general relativity describe gravitational phenomena in an exacting geometric arena. Theoretical physicists have struggled for over fifty years trying to combine these views in a single unified framework. More recently, superstring theory has drawn a huge amount of interest as a leading contender to provide such a unification.
The Baryon Acoustic Oscillations (BAO) are the latest weapon in the quest for precision cosmology and dark energy. Many presentations on BAO are complicated and unclear and I will therefore present BAO with particular emphasis on trying to give the simplest theoretical description, both at the linear and nonlinear level, and will describe some of the observational challenges to measuring BAO.
Check back for details on the next lecture in Perimeter's Public Lectures Series