International Summer School for Young Physicists is a national two-week summer school designed to capture the scientific imagination of grade 11 students (secondaire V in Québec) and nurture their passion for physics through an exploration of the fascinating mysteries of our universe.
In this talk, I describe some very simple but significant phenomena predicted by quantum theory. These are described simply in terms of what is observed in the laboratory, without making any presumptions about what sort of microscopic picture of reality might account for these observations.
It is an open question why gravity is so much weaker than the other three interactions we know. One possible answer which has been suggested is that this mismatch is only apparently so, and a feature we observe on large distances.
In the first part of the talk, a brief introduction to general relativity and quantum theory is given. Their independent successes are discussed, as well as the desire and difficulty in merging them, to obtain a unique language to describe the universe.
Then I focus on Loop quantum gravity, a particular approach towards this objective, in which a discrete microscopic structure of spacetime is envisaged.
The world at the size of individual atoms obeys very different laws of physics from those we are used to in the everyday world around us. Quantum mechanics rules, allowing atoms to be, in some sense, in more than one place at a time.
The world at the size of individual atoms obeys very different laws of physics from those we are used to in the everyday world around us. Quantum mechanics rules, allowing atoms to be, in some sense, in more than one place at a time. Researchers all over the world are working to build \"quantum computers\" whose memories manipulate an inherently new type of information, \"quantum information.\"
One simple way to think about physics is in terms of information. We gain information about physical systems by observing them, and with luck this data allows us to predict what they will do next. Quantum mechanics doesn\'t just change the rules about how physical objects behave - it changes the rules about how information behaves. In this talk we explore what quantum information is, and how strangely it differs from our intuitions.