Robert Spekkens received his B.Sc. in physics and philosophy from McGill University and completed his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Toronto. He held a postdoctoral fellowship at Perimeter Institute and an International Royal Society Fellowship at the University of Cambridge. He has been a faculty member at Perimeter Institute since November 2008. His research is focused upon identifying the conceptual innovations that distinguish quantum theories from classical theories and investigating their significance for axiomatization, interpretation, and the implementation of various information-theoretic tasks.
Adjunct faculty, Department of Physics, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada
Adjunct Reserach Fellow, Centre for Quantum Dynamics, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
E. T. Jaynes famously described quantum theory as an omelette of epistemological and ontological elements, all scrambled up in a way that no one has yet seen how to unscramble. The focus of my research program is to try and unscramble this omelette. In particular, I am pursuing the idea that quantum states are representations of an agent's incomplete knowledge of a system and that much of the formalism of quantum theory is best understood as a theory of Bayesian inference, with quantum collapse being in part a form of Bayesian updating. On the more practical side, I have been working on quantum resource theories, in particular, the resource theories of quantum states that break symmetry and quantum states that are out of thermal equilibrium.