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John Selby

Phd: Imperial College London 2017

Area of Research:

Research Interests

My research focuses on the foundations of physics. There has been a large amount of research in the quantum foundations community on understanding quantum theory ``from the outside''. That is, as just one particular theory within some much broader landscape of potential theories of nature. For example, the generalised probabilistic theory framework provides a landscape of operationally consistent theories, and the framework of process theories provides a landscape of compositionally well defined theories. I aim to use these frameworks not only to gain a better understanding of quantum theory itself (for example studying the computational and information theoretic properties of these theories) but, more importantly, to see if we can use these frameworks to get an understanding of the theory that may one day replace quantum theory.

Positions Held

  • 2013 - 2017 Controlled Quantum Dynamics Centre for Doctoral Training, Imperial College London & Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford PhD Student

Recent Publications

  • How to make unforgeable money in generalised probabilistic theories JH Selby, J Sikora arXiv preprint arXiv: 1803.10279
  • Reconstructing quantum theory from diagrammatic postulates JH Selby, CM Scandolo, B Coecke arXiv preprint arXiv: 1802.00367
  • The time-reverse of any causal theory is eternal noise B Coecke, S Gogioso, JH Selby arXiv preprint arXiv: 1711.05511


  • University of Bristol, Physics Department, 27/7/2018: No-go theorems for theories that decohere to quantum theory
  • Quantum Physics and Logic, Halifax, 5/6/2018: Cone programs and generalised probabilistic theories
  • Quantum Physics and Logic, Halifax, 5/6/2018: Entanglement is necessary for emergent classicality in all physical theories
  • OASIS, University of Oxford, Computer Science Department, 12/1/2018: Information processing in generalised probabilistic theories.