# 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

Currently there are no upcoming talks in this series.

## American Pragmatism and the Construction of the Universe

Tuesday May 20, 2008
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Some theoretical physicists, Chris Fuchs among them, take quantum mechanics to go hand in hand with an anti-representationalist account of truth and reality such as that offered by the American pragmatists - William James, Charles Peirce, Richard Rorty, etc. On this view, scientific theories are instruments, rather than mirrors of the real world. In this talk, I’ll suggest that if the quantum physicist is to team up with the pragmatist, he’d do best to join not with James and Rorty, who see the world as radically plastic or malleable.

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## Entanglement Dynamics of Detectors in a Relativistic Quantum Field

Tuesday May 06, 2008
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## A new no-go theorem for hidden variables theories

Tuesday Apr 29, 2008
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Consider the quantum predictions for EPR-type measurements on two systems with Hilbert space of dimension at least 3 in any maximally entangled state. I show that the only possible hidden variables model of these probabilities that satisfies both Shimony\'s and Jarrett\'s condition of parameter independence (or locality\') and Jones and Clifton\'s condition of conditional parameter independence (or constrained locality\') is trivial, i.e. given by the quantum probabilities themselves. I shall attempt to discuss also the meaning of the conditions and of this result.

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## Particle dynamics in a relativistic invariant stochastic medium

Tuesday Apr 22, 2008
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The dynamics of particles moving in a medium defined by its relativistically invariant stochastic properties is investigated. For this aim, the force exerted on the particles by the medium is defined by a stationary random variable as a function of the proper time of the particles. The equations of motion for a single one-dimensional particle are obtained and numerically solved. A conservation law for the drift momentum of the particle during its random motion is shown.

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## Topos theory in the formulation of theories of physics

Tuesday Apr 08, 2008
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Chris Isham in pre-recorded video, with Andreas Doring fielding questions and clarifications. Like watching commentators Scott Hamilton and Katarina Witt analyze Kristi Yamaguchi\'s performance at the World Figure Skating Championships for CBS News, join us for something different in quantum foundations. Chris Isham parries the intricacies of topos theory; Andreas Doring shows us how to see the moves in slow motion. Bring your own popcorn and plenty of questions.

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## Popescu-Rohrlich boxes in quantum measure theory

Tuesday Apr 01, 2008
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Quantum measure theory describes quantum theory as a generalization of a classical stochastic process, which may be fruitful for quantum gravity. I will describe the approach, and show that, in the context of an EPRB setup with two distant experimenters, two alternative experiments, and two outcomes per experiment, any set of no signaling probabilities can be realized, albeit by violating a `strong positivity\' condition.

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## Nonrelativistic limit of quantum field theory

Tuesday Mar 18, 2008
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It is usually expected that nonrelativistic many-body Schroedinger equations emerge from some QFT models in the limit of infinite masses. For instance, from Yukawa\'s QFT, if the initial state contains 2 fermions, we expect to recover a 2-fermion nonrelativistic Schroedinger equation with 2-body Yukawa potential (in the limit of infinite fermion mass). I will give an easy (but still heuristic) derivation of this, based on the analysis of the corresponding Feynman diagrams and on the behaviour of the complete propagators for large spacetime distances.

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## Combining An Infinite Number of Quantum Systems

Thursday Mar 13, 2008
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A single classical system is characterized by its manifold of states; and to combine several systems, we take the product of manifolds. A single quantum system is characterized by its Hilbert space of states; and to combine several systems, we take the tensor product of Hilbert spaces. But what if we choose to combine an infinite number of systems? A naive attempt to describe such combinations fails, for there is apparently no natural notion of an infinite product of manifolds; nor of an infinite tensor product of Hilbert spaces.

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## Measurement ordering contextuality and the search for psi-epistemic theories

Tuesday Feb 26, 2008
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We prove that all non-conspiratorial/retro-causal hidden variable theories has to be measurement ordering contextual, i.e. there exists
*commuting* operator pair (A,B) and a hidden state \\\\lambda such that the outcome of A depends on whether we measure B before or after.
Interestingly this rules out a recent proposal for a psi-epistemic due to Barrett, Hardy, and Spekkens. We also show that the model was in fact partly discovered already by vanFraassen 1973; the only thing missing was giving a probability distribution on the space of ontic states (the hidden variables).

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## Introduction of bosonic fields into causal set theory

Tuesday Feb 19, 2008
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The purpose of this talk is to describe bosonic fields and their Lagrangians in the causal set context. Spin-0 fields are defined to be real-valued functions on a causal set. Gauge fields are viewed as SU(n)-valued functions on the set of pairs of elements of a causal set, and gravity is viewed as the causal relation itself.

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## RECENT PUBLIC LECTURE

### From the Mathematics of Supersymmetry to the Music of Arnold Schoenberg

Speaker: S. James Gates Jr.