Quantum Foundations

This series consists of talks in the area of Foundations of Quantum Theory. Seminar and group meetings will alternate.

Seminar Series Events/Videos

Currently there are no upcoming talks in this series.

 

Tuesday Nov 05, 2019
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Can a relativistic quantum field theory be consistently described as a theory of localizable particles? There are many well-known obstructions to such a description. Here, we trace exactly how such obstructions arise in the regime between nonrelativistic quantum mechanics and relativistic quantum field theory. Perhaps unexpectedly, we find that in the nonrelativistic limit of QFT, there are persisting issues with the localizability of particle states.

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Tuesday Sep 24, 2019
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Weak values are quantities accessed through quantum experiments involving weak measurements and post-selection. It has been shown that ‘anomalous’ weak values (those lying beyond the eigenvalue range of the corresponding operator) defy classical explanation in the sense of requiring contextuality [M. F. Pusey, Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 200401, arXiv:1409.1535]. We elaborate on and extend that result in several directions. Firstly, the original theorem requires certain perfect correlations that can never be realised in any actual experiment.

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Friday Sep 13, 2019
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 In the framework of ontological models, the features of quantum

theory that emerge as inherently nonclassical always involve properties that

are fine tuned, i.e.  properties that hold at the operational level but break at the

ontological level (they only hold for fine tuned values of the ontic parameters). Famous

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Thursday Sep 12, 2019
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Schur-Weyl duality, arising from tensor-power representations of the unitary group, is a big useful hammer in the quantum information toolbox. This is especially the case for problems which have a full unitary invariance, say, estimating the spectrum of a quantum state from a few copies. Many problems in quantum computing have a smaller symmetry group: the Clifford group. This talk will show how to decompose tensor-power Clifford representations through a Schur-Weyl type construction. Our results are also relevant for the theory of Howe duality between symplectic and orthogonal groups.

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Wednesday Sep 04, 2019
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Bell inequalities are important tools in contrasting classical and quantum behaviors. To date, most Bell inequalities are linear combinations of statistical correlations between remote parties. Nevertheless, finding the classical and quantum mechanical (Tsirelson) bounds for a given Bell inequality in a general scenario is a difficult task which rarely leads to closed-form solutions. Here we introduce a new class of Bell inequalities based on products of correlators that alleviate these issues. Each such Bell inequality is associated with a non-cooperative coordination game.

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Tuesday Sep 03, 2019
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The no-signalling principle, preventing superluminal communication and the consequent logical paradoxes, is typically formulated within the information-theoretic framework in terms of admissible correlations in composite systems. In my talk, I will present its complementary incarnation associated with dynamics of single systems subject to invasive measurements. The `dynamical no-signalling principle' applies to any theory with well defined rules of calculating detection statistics in spacetime.

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Tuesday Aug 13, 2019
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Randomness is a valuable resource in both classical and quantum networks and we wish to generate desired probability distributions as cheaply as possible. If we are allowed to slightly change the distribution under some tolerance level, we can sometimes greatly reduce the cardinality of the randomness or the dimension of the entanglement. By studying statistical inequalities, we show how to upper bound of the amount of randomness required for any given classical network and tolerance level. We also present a problem we encounter when compressing the randomness in a quantum network.

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Thursday Jul 18, 2019

We investigate the emergence of classicality and objectivity in arbitrary physical theories. First we provide an explicit example of a theory where there are no objective states. Then we characterize classical states of generic theories, and show how classical physics emerges through a decoherence process, which always exists in causal theories as long as there are classical states. We apply these results to the study of the emergence of objectivity, here recast as a multiplayer game.

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Tuesday Jul 16, 2019
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Canonical quantization is not well suited to quantize gravity, while affine quantization is. For those unfamiliar with affine quantization the talk will include a primer. This procedure is then applied to deal with three nonrenormalizable, field theoretical, problems of increasing difficulty, the last one being general relativity itself.

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Tuesday May 28, 2019
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The need for a time-shift invariant formulation of quantum theory arises from fundamental symmetry principles as well as heuristic cosmological considerations. Such a description then leaves open the question of how to reconcile global invariance with the perception of change, locally. By introducing relative time observables, we are able to make rigorous the Page-Wootters conditional probability formalism to show how local Heisenberg evolution is compatible with global invariance.

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