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In the last few decades, there has been a growing consensus that information theory is of fundamental importance for theoretical physics. The information paradigm has yielded successes in many different areas of the foundations of physics, including the development and application of quantum information theory, Jacobson’s thermodynamic derivation of the Einstein equations, the black-hole information paradox, Jaynes’ maximum entropy principle, or operational approaches to the foundations of quantum mechanics. These novel approaches are obviously motivated by the development of modern computer science and information technology, continuing the linkage of science and technology that once also linked the steam engine to the development of thermodynamics.
Parallel to this fruitful development, there is a growing number of physicists who endorse the general attitude that fundamental physics may need new foundations or at least a new perspective. Despite amazing recent successes, there remains the profound challenge that experiments have not confirmed many of the recent theoretical ideas: the universe seems simpler than our ideas of unification predicted. Information-theoretic approaches can provide a starting point, which is exceptionally careful in the assumptions that it makes, and broad in its applicability, since it does not rely on specific laws of motion or formal properties of underlying theories. As such it can complement other research activities in the field. For instance, information-theoretic operational approaches may also help in developing a missing "operational sense" and a conceptual scheme for already existing approaches to quantum gravity.
Triggered by quantum information theory, information-theoretic approaches to fundamental physics are currently experiencing an exceptional growth, with a flourishing of new results and an increasing amount of scientists joining the general research direction. We want to boost this process by organizing a conference that is able to bring together researchers from different fields of theoretical physics, in order to discuss information-theoretic approaches and their potential for innovations in the foundations of physics, ideally building an international community of researchers that are aware of this new direction and pursue it in fruitful collaborations. The aim of the conference is to provide an overview and discussion over existing ideas and approaches, promoting the exchange and cross-fertilization of ideas, developing a common language for different communities involved, and enabling collaborative work in a relaxed atmosphere.
In order to foster this process, the schedule will be restricted to five talks a day, together with a substantial amount of time reserved for free discussions and collaboration. There will also be organized discussion sessions which will allow people from different fields to engage in the cross-community common topic discourse. The organized sessions will be subject to a more structured time plan to have more people speak out.
Registration for this conference is now closed.
Sponsorship for this conference has been provided by:
- Howard Barnum, University of New Mexico
- Cédric Bény, Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Hannover
- Dorje Brody, Brunel University London
- Časlav Brukner, Institute for Quantum Optics & Quantum Information Vienna
- Ariel Caticha, University at Albany
- Giulio Chiribella, Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences
- Gemma De las Cuevas, Max Planck Institute
- Felix Finster, Regensburg University
- Doreen Fraser, University of Waterloo
- Steve Giddings, University of California, Santa Barbara
- Lucien Hardy, Perimeter Institute
- David Jennings, Imperial College London
- Achim Kempf, University of Waterloo
- Tim Koslowski, University of New Brunswick
- Lluis Masanes, University of Bristol
- Rob Myers, Perimeter Institute
- Robert Oeckl, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
- Jonathan Oppenheim, University College London
- Ruediger Schack, University of London
- Lee Smolin, Perimeter Institute
- Robert Spekkens, Perimeter Institute
- Daniel Terno, Macquarie University
- Gerard 't Hooft, Utrecht University
- Erik Verlinde, University of Amsterdam
- Javier Alvarez, UNAM
- Howard Barnum, University of New Mexico
- Cédric Bény, Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Hannover
- Daniel Brod, Perimeter Institute
- Časlav Brukner, Institute for Quantum Optics & Quantum Information Vienna
- Ariel Caticha, University at Albany
- Giulio Chiribella, Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences
- Dorje Brody, Brunel University London
- Gemma De las Cuevas, Max Planck Institute
- Felix Finster, Regensburg University
- Doreen Fraser, University of Waterloo
- Antonia Frassino, Perimeter Institute
- Henrique Gomes, Perimeter Institute
- Carlos Gonzalez-Gullen, University of Ottawa
- Matthew Graydon, Perimeter Institute
- Lucien Hardy, Perimeter Institute
- Philipp Hoehn, Perimeter Institute
- David Jennings, Imperial College London
- Achim Kempf, University of Waterloo
- Tim Koslowski, University of New Brunswick
- Ryszard Kostecki, Perimeter Institute
- Marius Krumm, Heidelberg University
- Matthew Leifer, Perimeter Institute
- Lluis Masanes, University of Bristol
- Markus Mueller, Heidelberg University
- Rob Myers, Perimeter Institute
- Robert Oeckl, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
- Jonathan Oppenheim, University College London
- Matthew Pusey, Perimeter Institute
- Daniel Ranard, Perimeter Institute
- Katja Reid, Perimeter Institute
- Aldo Riello, Perimeter Institute
- Ruediger Schack, University of London
- John Selby, Imperial College London
- Lee Smolin, Perimeter Institute
- Robert Spekkens, Perimeter Institute
- Barak Shoshany, Perimeter Institute
- Daniel Terno, Macquarie University
- Gerard 't Hooft, Utrecht University
- Cozmin Ududec, Invenia Technical Computing
- Erik Verlinde, University of Amsterdam
- Steven Weinstein, University of Waterloo
- Elie Wolfe, Perimeter Institute
Monday, May 11, 2015
Time |
Event |
Location |
8:30 – 9:00am |
Registration |
Reception |
9:00 – 9:15am |
Welcome and Opening Remarks |
Bob Room |
9:15 – 10:05am |
Caslav Brukner, |
Bob Room |
10:05 – 10:55am |
Ruediger Schack, University of London |
Bob Room |
10:55 – 11:15am |
Coffee Break |
Bistro – 1^{st} Floor |
11:15 – 12:05pm |
Giulio Chiribella, |
Bob Room |
12:05 – 12:55pm |
Jonathan Oppenheim, University College |
Bob Room |
12:55 – 2:15pm |
Lunch |
Bistro – 2^{nd} Floor |
2:15 – 3:05pm |
Howard Barnum, University of New Mexico |
Bob Room |
3:05 – 3:55pm |
David Jennings, Imperial College London |
Bob Room |
3:55 – 4:10pm |
Coffee Break |
Bistro – 1^{st} Floor |
4:10 – 5:10pm |
Organized Discussion Session: |
Bob Room |
5:10pm onwards |
Open Discussion Space |
Bob Room |
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Time |
Event |
Location |
9:00 – 9:50am |
Philipp Hoehn, Perimeter Institute |
Bob Room |
9:50 – 10:40am |
Markus Mueller, Heidelberg University |
Bob Room |
10:40 – 11:00am |
Coffee Break |
Bistro – 1^{st} Floor |
11:00 – 11:50am |
Lucien Hardy, Perimeter Institute |
Bob Room |
11:50 – 12:40pm |
Robert Spekkens, Perimeter Institute |
Bob Room |
12:40 – 2:00pm |
Lunch Break |
Bistro – 2^{nd} Floor |
2:00 – 2:50pm |
Lee Smolin, Perimeter Institute |
Bob Room |
2:50 – 3:40pm |
Daniel Terno, Macquarie University |
Bob Room |
3:40 – 3:50pm |
Conference Photo |
TBA |
3:50 – 4:10pm |
Coffee Break |
Bistro – 1^{st} Floor |
4:10 – 4:50pm |
Organized Discussion Session: |
Bob Room |
4:50pm onwards |
Open Discussion Space |
Bob Room |
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Time |
Event |
Location |
9:00 – 9:50am |
Tim Koslowski, University of New Brunswick |
Bob Room |
9:50 – 10:40am |
Robert Myers, Perimeter Institute |
Bob Room |
10:40 – 11:00am |
Coffee Break |
Bistro – 1^{st} Floor |
11:00 – 11:50am |
Achim Kempf, University of Waterloo |
Bob Room |
11:50 – 12:40pm |
Steve Giddings, University of California, Santa Barbara |
Bob Room |
12:40 – 2:00pm |
Lunch Break |
Bistro – 2^{nd} Floor |
2:00 – 3:30pm |
Erik Verlinde, University of Amsterdam |
Theater |
3:30 – 4:00pm |
Coffee Break |
Bistro – 1^{st} Floor |
4:00 – 5:00pm |
Open Discussion Space |
Bob Room |
6:00pm onwards |
Banquet |
Bistro – 2^{nd} Floor |
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Time |
Event |
Location |
9:00 – 9:50am |
Ryszard Kostecki, Perimeter Institute |
Bob Room |
9:50 – 10:40am |
Ariel Caticha, University at Albany |
Bob Room |
10:40 – 11:00am |
Coffee Break |
Bistro – 1^{st} Floor |
11:00 – 11:50am |
Cedric Beny, University of Hannover |
Bob Room |
11:50 – 12:40pm |
Gemma De las Cuevas, Max Planck Institute |
Bob Room |
12:40 – 2:00pm |
Lunch Break |
Bistro – 2^{nd} Floor |
2:00 – 3:30pm |
Gerard ‘t Hooft, Utrecht University |
Theater |
3:30 – 4:00pm |
Coffee Break |
Bistro – 1^{st} Floor |
4:00 – 5:00pm |
Organized Discussion Session: |
Bob Room |
5:00pm onwards |
Open Discussion Space |
Bob Room |
Friday, May 15, 2015
Time |
Event |
Location |
9:00 – 9:50am |
Felix Finster, Regensburg University |
Bob Room |
9:50 – 10:40am |
Robert Oeckl, |
Bob Room |
10:40 – 11:00am |
Coffee Break |
Bistro – 1^{st} Floor |
11:00 – 11:50am |
Lluis Masanes, University of Bristol |
Bob Room |
11:50 – 12:40pm |
Dorje Brody, Brunel University London |
Bob Room |
12:40 – 2:00pm |
Lunch Break |
Bistro – 2^{nd} Floor |
2:00 – 2:50pm |
Doreen Fraser, University of Waterloo |
Bob Room |
2:50 – 3:05pm |
Coffee Break |
Bistro – 1^{st} Floor |
3:05 – 4:05pm |
Organized Discussion Session: |
Bob Room |
4:05pm onwards |
Open Discussion Space |
Bob Room |
Howard Barnum, University of New Mexico
Entropy, majorization, and thermodynamics in general probabilistic theories.
Cedric Beny, Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Hannover
Tangent field theory
Prospects and limitations of information theoretic approaches
Theories of heat as inspiration for electrodynamics: From Kelvin to QFT
Perhaps the first use of the mathematical theory of heat to develop another theory was Thomson’s use of Fourier’s equations to formulate equations for electrostatics in the 1840s. After extracting a lesson from this historical case, I will fast forward more than a century to examine the relationship between classical statistical mechanics and QFT that is induced by analytic continuation.
Communication without transmission
It is sometimes envisaged that the behaviour of elementary particles can be characterised by the information content it carries, and that exchange of energy and momentum, or more generally the change of state through interactions, can likewise be characterised in terms of its information content. But exchange of information occurs only in the context of a (typically noisy) communication channel, which traditionally requires a transmitter and a receiver; whereas particles evidently are not equipped with such devices.
A derivation (and quantification) of the third law of thermodynamics
The third law of thermodynamics has a controversial past and a number of formulations due to Planck, Einstein, and Nernst. It's most accepted version, the unattainability principle, states that "any thermodynamic process cannot reach the temperature of absolute zero by a finite number of steps and within a finite time". Although formulated in 1912, there has been no general proof of the principle, and the only evidence we have for it is that particular cooling methods become less efficient as a the temperature lowers.
Towards new foundations of quantum theory from first principles and from quantum field theory
As is well known, time plays a special role in the standard formulation of quantum theory, bringing the latter into severe conflict with the principles of general relativity. This suggests the existence of a more fundamental and (as it turns out) covariant and timeless formulation of quantum theory. A conservative way to look for such a formulation would be to start from quantum theory as we know it, taken in its experimentally most successful form of quantum field theory, and try to uncover structure in the formalism made for actual physical predictions.
Causal fermion systems from an information theoretic perspective
The theory of causal fermion systems is an approach to describe fundamental physics. It gives quantum mechanics, general relativity and quantum field theory as limiting cases and is therefore a candidate for a unified physical theory. Instead of introducing physical objects on a preexisting space-time manifold, the general concept is to derive space-time as well as all the objects therein as secondary objects from the structures of an underlying causal fermion system. The dynamics of the system is described by the causal action principle.
Emergence of space-time
The CA interpretation of quantum mechanics
The CA interpretation presents a view on the origin of quantum mechanical behavior of physical degrees of freedom, suggesting that, at the Planck scale, bits and bytes are processed, rather than qubits or qubites, so that we are dealing with an ordinary classical cellular automaton. We demonstrate how this approach naturally leads to Born's expression for probabilities, shows how wave functions collapse at a measurement, and provides a natural resolution to Schroedinger's cat paradox without the need to involve vague decoherence arguments.
What discrete states have a continuum limit?
Renormalization to low energies is widely used in condensed matter theory to reveal the low energy degrees of freedom of a system, or in high energy physics to cure divergence problems. Here we ask which states can be seen as the result of such a renormalization procedure, that is, which states can “renormalized to high energies". Intuitively, the continuum limit is the limit of this "renormalization" procedure. We consider three definitions of continuum limit and characterise which states satisfy either one in the context of Matrix Product States.
Tangent field theory
The modern understanding of quantum field theory underlines its effective nature: it describes only those properties of a system relevant above a certain scale. A detailed understanding of the nature of the neglected information is essential for a full application of quantum information-theoretic tools to continuum theories.
Pages
Scientific Organizers:
Philipp Hoehn, Perimeter Institute
Ryszard Kostecki, Perimeter Institute
Markus Mueller, Heidelberg University