Since 2002 Perimeter Institute has been recording seminars, conference talks, and public outreach events using video cameras installed in our lecture theatres. Perimeter now has 7 formal presentation spaces for its many scientific conferences, seminars, workshops and educational outreach activities, all with advanced audio-visual technical capabilities. Recordings of events in these areas are all available On-Demand from this Video Library and on Perimeter Institute Recorded Seminar Archive (PIRSA). PIRSA is a permanent, free, searchable, and citable archive of recorded seminars from relevant bodies in physics. This resource has been partially modelled after Cornell University's arXiv.org.
Complex numbers are an intrinsic part of the mathematical formalism of quantum theory, and are perhaps its most mysterious feature. But what is their physical origin? In this talk, I show how it is possible to trace the complex nature of the quantum formalism directly to the basic symmetries associated with the basic operations which allow elementary experiments to be combined into more elaborate ones.
The aim of this talk is to review and discuss some aspects of quantum entanglement in the quantum field theoretic (QFT) domain. The discussion takes place in the algebraic approach to QFT, the motivation for which is briefly discussed. We consider in what sense this approach is sometimes called 'local quantum theory'. We discuss a possible 'realist' understanding of quantum entanglement within this framework, addressing some conceptual and methodological worries raised by Einstein (among others).
The de Broglie-Bohm pilot-wave program is an attempt to formulate quantum theory (including quantum field theory) as a theory without observers, by assuming that the wave-function is not the complete description of a system, but must be supplemented by additional variables (beables).
The effects of closed timelike curves (CTCs) in quantum dynamics, and its consequences for information processing have recently become the subject of a heated debate. Deutsch introduced a formalism for treating CTCs in a quantum computational framework. He postulated a consistency condition on the chronology-violating systems which led to a nonlinear evolution on the systems that come to interact with the CTC.
We consider quantum mechanical particles that traverse general relativistic wormholes in such a way that they can interact with their own past, thus forming closed timelike curves. Using a simple geometric argument we reproduce the solutions proposed by Deutsch for such systems. Deutsch's solutions have attracted considerable interest because they do not contain paradoxes, however, as originally posed, they do contain ambiguities. We show that these ambiguities are removed by following our geometric derivation.
Can a density matrix be regarded as a description of the physically real properties of an individual system? If so, it may be possible to attribute the same objective significance to statistical mechanical properties, such as entropy or temperature, as to properties such as mass or energy. Non-linear modifications to the evolution of a density matrix can be proposed, based upon this idea, to account for thermodynamic irreversibility.
Feynman showed that the path of least action is determined by quantum interference. The interference may be viewed as part of a quantum algorithm for minimising the action. In fact, Lloyd describes the Universe as a giant quantum computer whose purpose is to calculate its own state. Could the direction of time that the universe is apparently following be determined by a quantum algorithm? The answer lies in the violation of time reversal (T) invariance that is being observed in an increasing number of particle accelerator experiments.