Since 2002 Perimeter Institute has been recording seminars, conference talks, public outreach events such as talks from top scientists 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 and 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.
Accessibly by anyone with internet, Perimeter aims to share the power and wonder of science with this free library.
The standard formulation of quantum theory relies on a fixed space-time metric determining the localisation and causal order of events. In general relativity, the metric is influenced by matter, and it is expected to become indefinite when matter behaves quantum mechanically. Here we explore the problem of operationally defining events and their localisation in the presence of gravitating quantum systems. We develop a framework for "time reference frames," in which events are defined in terms of quantum operations with respect to a quantum clock.
I will discuss various models of how quantum systems might interact with Closed Time-like Curves and some of the curious effects that can arise. I will then use this to motivate a speculative gravitational decoherence model and describe a recent space-based experiment which made the first test of such models.
At the heart of the quantum measurement problem lies the ambiguity about exactly when to use the unitary evolution of the quantum state and when to use the state-update in dynamics of quantum mechanical systems. In the Wigner’s friend gedankenexperiment, different observers (one of whom is observed by the other) describe one and the same interaction differently. One – the friend – uses the state-update rule and the other – Wigner – chooses unitary evolution.
Relative locality is a quantum gravity phenomenon in which whether an event is local or not-and the degree of non-locality-is dependent on the position and motion of the observer, as well as on the energy of the observer’s probes. It was first discovered and studied, beginning in 2010, in a limit in which h and G both go to zero, with their ratio, which is the Planck energy-squared, and c held fixed (arXiv:1101.0931, arXiv:1103.5626).
Quadratic gravity is a renormalizeable theory of quantum gravity which is unitary, but which violates causality by amounts proportional to the inverse Planck scale. To understand this, I will first discuss the arrow of causality in quantum field theory (with a detour concerning the arrow of time), and then discuss theories with dueling arrows of causality. But the causality violation might be better described by causality uncertainty. This is discussed both in quadratic gravity and in the effective field theory of general relativity.
There are a number of cases in the history of particle physics in which analogies to non-relativistic condensed matter physics models guided the development of new relativistic particle physics models. This heuristic strategy for model construction depended for its success on the causal structure of the non-relativistic models and the fact that this causal structure is not preserved in the relativistic models. Focusing on the case of spontaneous symmetry breaking, the heuristic role of representations of causal structure and time in the non-relativistic models will be examined.
I will discuss how the standard frameworks for operational theories involve a scrambling of causal and inferential concepts. I will then present a new framework for operational theories which separates out the inferential and the causal aspects of a given physical theory. Generalized probabilistic theories and operational probabilistic theories are recovered within our framework when one ignores some of these distinctions.