This series consists of talks in the area of Foundations of Quantum Theory. Seminar and group meetings will alternate.
It is well known - to those who know it - that noise and randomness can enhance signal resolution. I'll present an easy-to-follow example from digital audio that illustrates the way in which adding noise ("dither") prior to measurement enhances the accuracy with which we are able to distinguish the features of the sound or image. I will then explore the way in which the environmental interactions prior to measurement ordinarily characterized as environment-induced decoherence may play a similar role.
We present a formal logic modeling some aspects of the behavior of the quantum measurement process, and study some properties of the models of this logic, from which we deduce some characteristics that any such model should verify. In the case of a Hilbert space of dimension at least 3, we then show that no model can lead to the prediction with certainty of more than one atomic outcome. Moreover, if the Hilbert space is finite dimensional, we can precisely describe the structure of the predictions of any model of our logic.
This talk touches on three questions regarding the ontological status of quantum states using the ontological models
framework: it is assumed that a physical system has some underlying ontic state and that quantum states correspond to probability distributions over these ontic states.
After a brief motivation of this question, the presentation is divided in two parts. We first introduce the principle of quantum information causality, which states the maximum amount of quantum information that a transmitted quantum system can communicate as a function of its Hilbert space dimension, independently of any quantum physical resources previously shared by the communicating parties.
The Church-Turing thesis is one of the pillars of computer science; it postulates that every classical system has equivalent computability power to the so-called Turing machine. While this thesis is crucial for our understanding of computing devices, its implications in other scientific fields have hardly been explored. What if we consider the Church-Turing thesis as a law of nature?
Pure states and pure transformations play a crucial role in most of the recent reconstructions of quantum theory. In the frameworks of general probabilistic theories, purity is defined in terms of probabilistic mixtures and bears an intuitive interpretation of ``maximal knowledge" of the state of the system or of the evolution undergone by it. On the other hand, many quantum features do not need the probabilistic structure of the theory.
We present a first principles approach to a probabilistic description of nature based on two guiding principles: spacetime locality and operationalism. No notion of time or metric is assumed, neither any specific physical model. Remarkably, the emerging framework converges with the recently proposed positive formalism of quantum theory, obtained constructively from known quantum physics. However, it also seems to embrace classical physics.
I will present a new approach to information-theoretic foundations of quantum theory, that does not rely on probability theory, spectral theory, or Hilbert spaces. The direct nonlinear generalisations of quantum kinematics and dynamics are constructed using quantum information geometric structures over algebraic states of W*-algebras (quantum relative entropies and Poisson structure). In particular, unitary evolutions are generalised to nonlinear hamiltonian flows, while Lueders? rules are generalised to constrained relative entropy maximisations.
Interferometers capture a basic mystery of quantum mechanics: a single particle can exhibit wave behavior, yet that wave behavior disappears when one tries to determine the particle's path inside the interferometer. This idea has been formulated quantitatively as an inequality, e.g., by Englert and Jaeger, Shimony, and Vaidman, which upper bounds the sum of the interference visibility and the path distinguishability. Such wave-particle duality relations (WPDRs) are often thought to be conceptually inequivalent to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, although this has been debated.