**Giulio Chiribella, **University of Oxford

*Agents, Subsystems, and the Conservation of Information*

Dividing the world into subsystems is an important component of the scientific method. The choice of subsystems, however, is not defined a priori. Typically, it is dictated by our experimental capabilities, and, in general, different agents may have different capabilities. Here we propose a construction that associates every agent with a subsystem, equipped with its set of states and its set of transformations. In quantum theory, this construction accommodates the traditional notion of subsystems as factors of a tensor product, as well as the notion of classical subsystems of quantum systems. We then restrict our attention to systems where all physical transformations act invertibly. For such systems, the future states are a faithful encoding of the past states, in agreement with a requirement known as the Conservation of Information. For systems satisfying the Conservation of Information, we propose a dynamical definition of pure states, and show that all the states of all subsystems admit a canonical purification. This result extends the purification principle to a broader setting, in which coherent superpositions can be interpreted as purifications of incoherent mixtures. As an example, we illustrate the general construction for subsystems associated with group representations.

**Thomas Galley**, University College London

*Compatibility of implicit and explicit observers in quantum theory and beyond*

The observer is implicitly present in the measurement postulates of quantum theory. However the observer can also be modeled as a quantum system interacting with other quantum systems. A theory where every action implicitly undertaken by an agent (such as a measurement or preparation) can be explicitly modeled as non-classical systems interacting is called a universal theory. By modifying the measurement postulates of quantum theory (and preserving the other postulates) we create theories where the observer can still be explicitly modeled as a pure quantum state, but where the implicit observer is different. We argue that any modification of the measurement postulates of quantum theory gives a theory which is not universal. That is to say there are certain actions implicitly carried out by an agent which cannot be explicitly modeled.

**Markus Mueller, **Perimeter Institute and Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, Vienna

*From observers to physics via algorithmic information theory I & II*

Motivated by the conceptual puzzles of quantum theory and related areas of physics, I describe a rigorous and minimal “proof of principle” theory in which observers are fundamental and in which the physical world is a (provably) emergent phenomenon. This is a reversal of the standard view, which holds that physical theories ought to describe the objective evolution of a unique external world, with observers or agents as derived concepts that play no fundamental role whatsoever.

Using insights from algorithmic information theory (AIT), I show that this approach admits to address several foundational puzzles that are difficult to address via standard approaches. This includes the measurement and Boltzmann brain problems, and problems related to the computer simulation of observers. Without assuming the existence of an external world from the outset, the resulting theory actually predicts that there is one as a consequence of AIT — in particular, a world with simple, computable, probabilistic laws on which different observers typically (but not always) agree. This approach represents a consistent but highly unfamiliar picture of the world, leading to a new perspective from which to approach some questions in the foundations of physics.

**Renato Renner, **ETH Zurich

Q*uantum theory cannot consistently describe the use of itself*

**Jess Riedel, **Perimeter Institute

*Wavefunction branches as a foundation for constructing foil theories*

**Carlo Maria Scandolo, **University of Oxford

*Microcanonical thermodynamics in general physical theories*

Microcanonical thermodynamics studies the operations that can be performed on systems with well-defined energy. So far, this approach has been applied to classical and quantum systems. Here we extend it to arbitrary physical theories, proposing two requirements for the development of a general microcanonical framework. We then formulate three resource theories, corresponding to three different choices of basic operations. We focus on a class of physical theories, called sharp theories with purification, where these three sets of operations exhibit remarkable properties. In these theories, a necessary condition for thermodynamic transitions is given by a suitable majorisation criterion. This becomes a sufficient condition in all three resource theories if and only if the dynamics allowed by the theory satisfy a condition that we call "unrestricted reversibility". Under this condition, we derive a duality between the resource theory of microcanonical thermodynamics and the resource theory of pure bipartite entanglement.

**Ruediger Schack**, Royal Holloway University of London

*QBism and Wigner's friend*

**Kendrick Smith**, Perimeter Institute

*CHIME: the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment*

CHIME is a new interferometric telescope at radio frequencies 400-800 MHz. The mapping speed (or total statistical power) of CHIME is among the largest of any radio telescope in the world, and the technology powering CHIME could be used to build telescopes which are orders of magnitude more powerful. This breakthrough sensitivity has the power to revolutionize radio astronomy, but meeting the computational challenges will require breakthroughs on the algorithmic side. I'll give a status update on CHIME, with an emphasis on new algorithms developed at Perimeter to search for fast radio bursts (FRB's) and pulsars.

**Rob Spekkens, **Perimeter Institute

*Motility of the internal-external cut as a foundational principle*