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 recent years there has been a growing awareness that studies on quantum foundations have close relationships with other fields such as probability and information theory. In this talk I give another example of how such interdisciplinary work can be fruitful, by applying some of the lessons from quantum mechanics, in particular from Bell\'s theorem, to a debate on the philosophical foundations of decision theory.
I\'ll sketch of a proposal for unifying classical and quantum probability, arguing first for the need to recognize a measure over phase space as a component of classical theories (indeed, of any theory satisfying certain constraints and capable of generating predictions for open systems) and then showing how to use that measure to define objective chances. Time permitting, I\'ll briefly address questions about the nature and interpretation of the measure.
As is well known, time-energy uncertainty generically manifests itself in the short time behavior of a system weakly coupled to a bath, in the energy non-conservation of the interaction term (H_I does not commute with H_0). Similarly, the monotonic evolution of the system density operator to its equilibrium value which is a universal property of quantum dynamical semigroups (Spohn\'s theorem), e.g., systems with Lindbladian evolution, is in general violated at short (non-Markovian) timescales.
In reference [1] R. D. Sorkin investigated a formulation of quantum mechanics as a generalized measure theory. Quantum mechanics computes probabilities from the absolute squares of complex amplitudes, and the resulting interference violates the (Kolmogorov) sum rule expressing the additivity of probabilities of mutually exclusive events.However, there is a higher order sum rule that quantum mechanics does obey, involving the probabilities of three mutually exclusive possibilities.
It has sometimes - though usually informally - been suggested that the psychological arrow can be reduced to the thermodynamic arrow through information processing properties of the brain. In this talk we demonstrate that this particular suggestion cannot succeed, as, insofar as information processing (at least in the sense of a classical computer) has an arrow of time, it is not governed by the thermodynamic arrow.
I will discuss fine tuning in modified gravity models that can account for today’s dark energy. I will introduce some models where the underlying cosmological constant may be Planck scale but starts as a redundant coupling which can be eliminated by a field redefinition. The observed vacuum energy arises when the redundancy is explicitly broken. I’ll give a recipe for constructing models that realize this mechanism and satisfy all solar system constraints on gravity, including one based on Gauss-Bonnet gravity which provides a technically natural explanation for dark energy.
In contrast to Heisenberg\'s position-momentum uncertainty relation, the status of the time-energy uncertainty relation has always remained dubious, For example, it is often said that \'time\' in quantum theory is not an observable and not represented by a self-adjoint operator. I will review the background of the problem and propose a view on the uncertainty relations in which the cases of position-momentum and time-energy can be treated in the same way.
In frustrated systems, competing interactions lead to complex phase diagrams and sometimes entirely new states of matter. Frustration often arises from the lattice geometry, leaving the system delicately balanced between a variety of possible orders. A number of normally weak effects can lead to a lifting of this degeneracy. For example, I will discuss how quantum fluctuations can stabilize a supersolid phase, where the system is at once both a crystal and a superfluid.
In this talk I will discuss a feature of quantum state evolution in a relativistic spacetime, the feature that David Albert has recently dubbed \'non-narratability.\' This is: a complete state history given along one foliation does not always, by itself (that is, without specification of the dynamics of the system), determine the history along another foliation. The question arises: is this a deep distinction between quantum and classical state evolution, that deserves our fuller attention? I will discuss some results relevant to this question.
It has been a common viewpoint that the process of quantization ought to replace the singularities of classical general relativity by some chaotic-looking structure at the scale of the Planck length. In this talk I shall argue that whereas this is to be expected at black-hole singularities, Nature\'s true picture of what goes on at the Big Bang is very different, where clocks cannot exist and the conformal geometry is completely smooth.