Markus Mueller

Markus Mueller's picture
Western University - Department of Applied Mathematics

Areas of Research:
Phone: x7532

Research Interests

I'm interested in the Foundations of Physics from a, broadly speaking, (quantum-)information-theoretic perspective. The main motivation of my research is summarized in Wheeler's "it from bit" doctrine: all things physical are information-theoretic in origin.

More concretely, some questions that I'm interested in are:
* Foundations of quantum mechanics: How can the abstract mathematical formalism of quantum theory be understood in terms of simple physical principles? Could quantum theory be modified in some regime, and how can we build experiments to test for this? Are quantum theory and spacetime fundamentally related, and what does this tell us about quantum gravity?
* Quantum thermodynamics: How do closed quantum systems thermalize? Is entanglement a crucial factor for the emergence of statistical ensembles, as conjectured in the longstanding "eigenstate thermalization hypothesis"? What is the role of information-theoretic resources like correlations or algorithmic complexity in the behavior of heat and work in microscopic systems?
* Physics as induction -- see the announcement of my upcoming FQXi project: and

Positions Held

  • since 07/2015: Departments of Applied Mathematics and Philosophy, University of Western Ontario, Assistant Professor, and Canada Research Chair in the Foundations of Physics; Associate Faculty member at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.
  • 09/2013 - 05/2015: Institute for Theoretical Physics, Heidelberg University, Germany, Junior Research Group Leader.
  • 10/2010 - 08/2013: Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Postdoctoral fellow.


  • Birkhoff-von Neumann prize 2016, awared by the International Quantum Structures Association (IQSA):

Recent Publications

  • P. A. Hoehn and M. P. Mueller, An operational approach to spacetime symmetries: Lorentz transformations from quantum communication, New J. Phys. 18, 063026 (2016), arXiv: 1412.8462
  • M. P. Mueller and M. Pastena, A generalization of majorization that characterizes Shannon entropy, IEEE Trans. Inf. Th. 62(4), 1711-1720 (2016), arXiv: 1507.06900
  • M. Lostaglio, M. P. Mueller, and M. Pastena, Stochastic independence as a resource in small-scale thermodynamics, Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 150402 (2015), arXiv: 1409.3258.
  • M. P. Mueller, E. Adlam, Ll. Masanes, and N. Wiebe, Thermalization and canonical typicality in translation-invariant quantum lattice systems, Commun. Math. Phys. 340(2), 499-561 (2015), arXiv: 1312.7420
  • G. Gour, M. P. Mueller, V. Narasimhachar, R. W. Spekkens, and N. Yunger Halpern, The resource theory of informational nonequilibrium in thermodynamics, Physics Reports 583, 1-58 (2015), arXiv: 1309.6586
  • Ll. Masanes, M. P. Mueller, D. Perez-Garcia, and R. Augusiak, Entanglement and the three-dimensionality of the Bloch ball, J. Math. Phys. 55, 122203 (2014), arXiv: 1111.4060
  • H. Barnum, M. P. Mueller, and C. Ududec, Higher-order interference and single-system postulates characterizing quantum theory, New J. Phys. 16, 123029 (2014), arXiv: 1403.4147
  • Lluis Masanes, Markus P. Mueller, Remigiusz Augusiak, and David Perez-Garcia, Existence of an information unit as a postulate of quantum theory, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 110(41), 16373 (2013), arXiv: 1208.0493
  • Markus P. Mueller and Lluis Masanes, Three-dimensionality of space and the quantum bit: an information-theoretic approach, New J. Phys. 15, 053040 (2013), arXiv: 1206.0630.
  • G. de la Torre, Ll. Masanes, A. J. Short, M. P. Mueller, Deriving quantum theory from its local structure and reversibility, Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 090403 (2012), arXiv: 1110.5482
  • Jens Eisert, Markus P. Mueller, Christian Gogolin, Quantum measurement occurrence is undecidable, Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 260501 (2012), arXiv: 1111.3965
  • Markus P. Mueller, Jonathan Oppenheim, and Oscar C. O. Dahlsten, The black hole information problem beyond quantum theory, Journal of High Energy Physics 2012 (9), 116, arXiv: 1206.5030
  • Markus P. Mueller, Cozmin Ududec, The structure of reversible computation determines the self-duality of quantum theory, Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 130401 (2012), arXiv: 1110.3516
  • Markus P. Mueller, Oscar C. O. Dahlsten, and Vlatko Vedral, Unifying typical entanglement and coin tossing: on randomization in probabilistic theories, Commun. Math. Phys. 316 (2), 441-487 (2012), arXiv: 1107.6029
  • Lluis Masanes, Markus Mueller, A derivation of quantum theory from physical requirements, New J. Phys. 13, 063001 (2011), arXiv: 1004.1483
  • Nihat Ay, Markus Mueller, Arleta Szkola, Effective complexity of stationary process realizations, Entropy 13 (6), 1200-1211 (2011)
  • Markus Mueller, David Gross, and Jens Eisert, Concentration of Measure for Quantum States with a Fixed Expectation Value, Commun. Math. Phys. 303 (3), 785-824 (2011), arXiv: 1003.4982
  • Markus Mueller, Dierk Schleicher, How to add a non-integer number of terms: from axioms to new identities, American Mathematical Monthly 118 (2), 136-152 (2011), arXiv: 1001.4695
  • Christian Gogolin, Markus P. Mueller, and Jens Eisert, Absence of Thermalization in Nonintegrable Systems, Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 040401 (2011), arXiv: 1009.2493
  • Nihat Ay, Markus Mueller, and Arleta Szkola, Effective complexity and its relation to logical depth, IEEE Trans. Inf. Th. 56 (9), 4593-4607 (2010), arXiv: 1001.2686
  • David Gross, Markus Mueller, Roger Colbeck, and Oscar C. O. Dahlsten, All reversible dynamics in maximally non-local theories are trivial, Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 080402 (2010), arXiv: 0910.1840
  • Markus Mueller, Convex Trace Functions on Quantum Channels and the Additivity Conjecture, Phys. Rev. A 79, 052332 (2009), arXiv: 0809.4060
  • Markus Mueller, Caroline Rogers, Rajagopal Nagarajan, Lossless Quantum Prefix Compression for Communication Channels that are Always Open, Phys. Rev. A 79, 012302 (2009), arXiv: 0808.2003
  • Markus Mueller, Caroline Rogers, Quantum Bit Strings and Prefix-Free Hilbert Spaces, ITSL '08 (Information Theory and Statistical Learning) conference proceedings (2008), arXiv: 0804.0022
  • Markus Mueller, Does Probability become Fuzzy in Small Regions of Spacetime?, Phys. Lett. B 673, 166-167 (2009), arXiv: 0712.4090
  • Markus Mueller, On the Quantum Kolmogorov Complexity of Classical Strings, Int. J. Quant. Inf. 7 (4), 701-711 (2009), arXiv: 0707.2924
  • Markus Mueller, Stationary Algorithmic Probability, Theoretical Computer Science 411, 113-130 (2010), arXiv: cs/0608095
  • Markus Mueller, Strongly Universal Quantum Turing Machines and Invariance of Kolmogorov Complexity, IEEE Trans. Inf. Th. 54 (2), 763-780 (2008), arXiv: quant-ph/0605030
  • Fabio Benatti, Tyll Krueger, Markus Mueller, Rainer Siegmund-Schultze, and Arleta Szkola, Entropy and Quantum Kolmogorov Complexity: A Quantum Brudno's Theorem, Commun. Math. Phys. 265 (2), 437-461 (2006), arXiv: quant-ph/0506080
  • Markus Mueller and Dierk Schleicher, Fractional Sums and Euler-like Identities, The Ramanujan Journal 21 (2), 123-143 (2010), arXiv: math/0502109
  • J. Scharlau and M. P. Mueller, Quantum Horn's lemma, finite heat baths, and the third law of thermodynamics, arXiv: 1605.06092
  • A. J. P. Garner, M. P. Mueller, and O. C. O. Dahlsten, The quantum bit from relativity of simultaneity on an interferometer, arXiv: 1412.7112
  • H. Barnum, J. Barrett, M. Krumm, and M. P. Mueller, Entropy, majorization and thermodynamics in general probabilistic theories, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 195 (2015), arXiv: 1508.03107
  • M. Mueller, J. Oppenheim, and O. C. O. Dahlsten, Hiding information in theories beyond quantum mechanics, and its application to the black hole information problem, Horizons of Quantum Physics Conference Proceedings, Foundations of Physics, Springer, 2014.
  • M. Mueller and C. Rogers, Quantum bit strings and prefix-free Hilbert spaces, ITSL '08 conference proceedings, arXiv: 0804.0022
  • M. P. Mueller and Ll. Masanes, Information-theoretic postulates for quantum theory, in "Quantum Theory: Informational Foundations and Foils", G. Chiribella and R. W. Spekkens (editors), Springer, 2016. arXiv: 1203.4516


  • Interference, spacetime, and the structure of quantum information, keynote talk at "Quantum Structures 2016" in Leicester, UK.
  • An operational approach to spacetime symmetries: Lorentz transformations from quantum communication, "Foundations 2016 (18th UK and European Conference on Foundations of Physics)", London School of Economics, UK.
  • Consistency with thermodynamics and higher-order interference in reconstructions of quantum theory, invited talk at the "Quantum Correlations, Contextuality, and All That Again" meeting, Natal, Brazil.
  • Stochastic independence as a resource in small-scale thermodynamics, Third Conference on Quantum Thermodynamics (COST Action MP1209), Porquerolles, France.
  • Spacetime and the state space geometry of quantum theory, invited talk at the Second AGM Meeting on Geometric Quantum Dynamics, Brunel University, London, UK.
  • From physical principles to quantum theory and beyond, Colloquium talk, Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Western Ontario.
  • Majorization, thermodynamics, and a characterization of Shannon entropy, Colloquium talk, Department of Mathematics, University of Western Ontario.
  • A resource-theoretic approach to thermodynamics, mini workshop on the foundations of statistical mechanics (with David Wallace), University of Western Ontario.
  • Consistent exclusivity and interference in probabilistic theories, invited talk at "Contextuality: why and how", Linkoping, Sweden.
  • PIRSA:16080025, Does relativistic causality constrain interference phenomena?, 2016-08-04, Formulating and Finding Higher-Order Interference
  • PIRSA:16070054, Focus Lecture on the "Eigenstate Thermalization Hypothesis", 2016-07-28, It from Qubit Summer School
  • PIRSA:15110103, The Page curve from less than the full quantum formalism, 2015-11-26, PI Day - November, 2015
  • PIRSA:15050078, Quantum theory and spacetime: allies, not enemies, 2015-05-12, Information Theoretic Foundations for Physics