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

 

 

Friday Nov 27, 2020
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A priori, there exists no preferential temporal direction as microscopic physical laws are time-symmetric. Still, the second law of thermodynamics allows one to associate the 'forward' temporal direction to a positive variation of the total entropy produced in a thermodynamic process, and a negative variation with its 'time-reversal' counterpart.

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Friday Nov 20, 2020
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A proposal is made for a fundamental theory,  in which the history of the universe is constituted of views of itself.  Views are attributes of events, and the theory's only be-ables; they comprise information about energy and momentum transferred to an event from its causal past. 

 

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Friday Nov 13, 2020
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Using a process-theoretic formalism, we introduce the notion of a causal-inferential theory: a triple consisting of a theory of causal influences, a theory of inferences (of both the Boolean and Bayesian varieties), and a specification of how these interact. Recasting the notions of operational and realist theories in this mold clarifies what a realist account of an experiment offers beyond an operational account.

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Friday Oct 30, 2020

The compatibility-hypergraph approach to contextuality (CA) and the contextuality-by-default approach (CbD) are usually presented as products of entirely different views on how physical measurements and measurement contexts should be understood: the latter is based on the idea that a physical measurement has to be seen by a collection of random variables, one for each context containing that measurement, while the imposition of the non-disturbance condition as a physical requirement in the former precludes such interpretation of measurements.

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Friday Oct 09, 2020
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To analyze the performance of adaptive measurement protocols for the detection and quanti cation of state resources, we introduce the framework of quantum preparation games. A preparation game is a task whereby a player sequentially sends a number of quantum states to a referee, who probes each of them and announces the measurement result. The measurement setting at each round, as well as the final score of the game, are decided by the referee based on the past history of settings and measurement outcomes.

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Thursday Apr 30, 2020
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A standard approach to quantifying resources is to determine which operations on the resources are freely available and to deduce the ordering relation among the resources that these operations induce. If the resource of interest is the nonclassicality of the correlations embodied in a quantum state, that is, entanglement, then it is typically presumed that the appropriate choice of free operations is local operations and classical communication (LOCC).

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Tuesday Mar 03, 2020
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Defining a generic quantum system requires, together with a Hilbert space and a Hamiltonian, the introduction of an algebra of observables, or equivalently a tensor product structure. Assuming a background time variable, Cotler, Penington and Ranard showed that the Hamiltonian selects an almost-unique tensor product structure. This result has been advocated by Carrol and collaborators as supporting the Everettian interpretation of quantum mechanics and providing a pivotal tool for quantum gravity.

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Tuesday Feb 18, 2020
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Causal reasoning is vital for effective reasoning in science and medicine. In medical diagnosis, for example, a doctor aims to explain a patient’s symptoms by determining the diseases causing them. This is because causal relations---unlike correlations---allow one to reason about the consequences of possible treatments. However, all previous approaches to machine-learning assisted diagnosis, including deep learning and model-based Bayesian approaches, learn by association and do not distinguish correlation from causation.

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Tuesday Dec 03, 2019
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A superoscillatory function is a bandlimited function that, on some interval, oscillates faster than the highest frequency component shown in the function's Fourier transform. Superoscillations can be arbitrarily fast and of arbitrarily long duration but come at the expense of requiring a correspondingly large dynamic range. I will review how superoscillatory wave forms can be constructed and I will discuss the unusual behavior of wave functions that superoscillate. For example, they can describe particles that automatically strongly accelerate when passing through a slit.

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Tuesday Nov 26, 2019
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We consider a consistent theory of classical systems coupled to quantum ones. The dynamics is linear in the density matrix, completely positive and trace-preserving. We apply this to construct a theory of classical gravity coupled to quantum field theory. The theory doesn't suffer the pathologies of semi-classical gravity and reduces to Einstein's equations in the appropriate limit.

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