Robert Spekkens received his B.Sc. in physics and philosophy from McGill University and completed his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Toronto. He held a postdoctoral fellowship at Perimeter Institute and an International Royal Society Fellowship at the University of Cambridge. He has been a faculty member at Perimeter Institute since November 2008. His research is focused upon identifying the conceptual innovations that distinguish quantum theories from classical theories and investigating their significance for axiomatization, interpretation, and the implementation of various information-theoretic tasks.
Adjunct faculty, Department of Physics, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada
Adjunct Reserach Fellow, Centre for Quantum Dynamics, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
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E. T. Jaynes famously described quantum theory as an omelette of epistemological and ontological elements, all scrambled up in a way that no one has yet seen how to unscramble. One of the central aims of my research is to unscramble the quantum omelette. In recent years I have been focussed upon distinguishing causation from correlation, or influence from inference, in the quantum formalism, In particular, I have been developing the concepts of quantum Bayesian inference and quantum causal models, as well as their applications for inferring causal structure from observed correlations. This framework provides a novel perspective on the topics of locality and noncontextuality in quantum theory. I also work on quantum resource theories, where various properties of quantum states and operations are formalized as resources. Resources of current interest include asymmetry, thermal nonequilibrium, coherence, and incompatibility.