This series covers all areas of research at Perimeter Institute, as well as those outside of PI's scope.
"A well constructed theory is in some respects undoubtedly an artistic production." - Sir Ernest Rutherford
"Design is the synthesis of form and content."-Paul Rand
On the surface, the scientific method (primarily analytic) and design methodologies (primarily synthetic) seem to be quite different processes but there is considerable overlap and communicating science involves a blend of both. Scientists tend to use a scientific approach when
In the past few years, optical cooling and manipulating of macroscopic objects, such as micro-mirrors and cantilevers has developed into an active field of research. In mechanical systems, the oscillator is attached to its suspension, a thermal contact that limits the motion isolation. On the other hand, when these small objects are levitated using the radiation pressure force of lasers, the excellent thermal isolation even at room temperatures helps produce very sensitive force detectors, and eventually quantum transducers for quantum computation purposes.
When a large number of quantum mechanical particles are put together and allowed to interact, various condensed matter phases emerge with macroscopic quantum properties. While conventional quantum phases like superfluids or quantum magnets can be understood as a simple collection of
Shor's algorithm can be a meaningful test for experimental quantum processing systems, when suitably realized. I present results from a recent implemenation of quantum factoring using trapped ion qubits, demonstrating feed-forward control, use of quantum memory during computation, and cascaded three-qubit gates. Such capabilities are necessary ingredients for a future large-scale,
fault-tolerant quantum computing system.
The direct detection of gravitational waves promises to open up a new spectrum that is otherwise mostly closed to electromagnetically based astronomical observations. Detecting gravitational waves from binary black holes and neutron stars, as well as estimating their parameters, requires a sufficiently accurate prediction for the expected waveform signal.
While quantum measurement remains the central philosophical conundrum of quantum mechanics, it has recently grown into a respectable (read: experimental!) discipline as well. New perspectives on measurement have grown out of new technological possibilities, but also out of
attempts to design systems for quantum information processing, which promise to be exponentially more powerful than any possible classical computer. I will try to give a flavour about some of these perspectives, focussing largely on a particular paradigm known as "weak measurement."
The ground-based gravitational-wave telescopes LIGO and Virgo approach the era of first detections. Gravitational-wave observations will provide a unique probe for exploring strong-field general relativity and compact-binary astrophysics. In this talk, I describe recent predictions regarding the distributions of black-hole and neutron-star binary mergers, and progress on solving the inverse problem of turning gravitational-wave observations into astrophysical information.
Causal set quantum gravity is based on the marriage between the concept of causality as an organising principle more basic even than space or time and fundamental atomicity. Causal sets suggest novel possibilities for "dynamical laws" in which spacetime grows by the accumulation of new spacetime atoms, potentially realising within physics C.D. Broad's concept of a growing block universe
One of the main challenges that we face both as individual persons and as a species concerns the distribution and use of resources, such as water, time, capital, computing power or negatively valued
resources like nuclear waste. Also within theoretical physics, one
frequently deals with resources like free energy or quantum entanglement. I will describe a mathematical theory of resources which makes quantitative predictions about how many resources are required for
producing a certain commodity and outline some applications to information theory.