This series consists of talks in the area of Foundations of Quantum Theory. Seminar and group meetings will alternate.
Classical probabilistic models of quantum systems are not only relevant for understanding the non-classical features of quantum mechanics, but they are also useful for determining the possible advantage of using quantum resources for information processing tasks.
Experimental metaphysics is the study of how empirical results can reveal indisputable facts about the fundamental nature of the world, independent of any theory. It is a field born from Bell’s 1964 theorem, and the experiments it inspired, proving the world cannot be both local and deterministic. However, there is an implicit assumption in Bell’s theorem, that the observed result of any measurement is absolute (it has some value which is not ‘relative to its observer’).
The prepare-and-measure scenario is ubiquitous in physics. However, beyond the paradigmatic example of dense coding, there is little known about the correlations p(b|x,y) that can be generated between a sender with input x and a receiver with input y and outcome b. Contrasting dense coding, we show that the most powerful protocols based on qubit communication require high-dimensional entanglement.
Agency accounts of causation are often criticised as being unacceptably subjective: if there were no human agents there would be no causal relations, or, at the very least, if humans had been different then so too would causal relations. Here we describe a model of a causal agent that is not human, allowing us to explore the latter claim.
The predictions of quantum theory resist generalised noncontextual explanations. In addition to the foundational relevance of this fact, the particular extent to which quantum theory violates noncontextuality limits available quantum advantage in communication and information processing. In the first part of this work, we formally define contextuality scenarios via prepare-and-measure experiments, along with the polytope of general contextual behaviours containing the set of quantum contextual behaviours.
With ongoing efforts to observe quantum effects in larger and more complex systems, both for the purposes of quantum computing and fundamental tests of quantum gravity, it becomes important to study the consequences of extending quantum theory to the macroscopic domain. Frauchiger and Renner have shown that quantum theory, when applied to model the memories of reasoning agents, can lead to a conflict with certain principles of logical deduction.
A series of recent works has shown that placing communication channels in a coherent superposition of alternative configurations can boost their ability to transmit information. Instances of this phenomenon are the advantages arising from the use of communication devices in a superposition of alternative causal orders, and those arising from the transmission of information along a superposition of alternative trajectories.
While spacetime and quantum theory are crucial parts of modern theoretical physics, the problem of quantum gravity demonstrates that their full relationship is not yet completely understood. In my talk, I report on two recent results that aim to shed light on this relationship via ideas and tools from quantum foundations.
Consistent dynamics which couples classical and quantum systems exists, provided it is stochastic. This provides a way to
study the back-reaction of quantum systems on classical ones and has recently been explored in the context of quantum fields back-reacting
I will introduce a tool to construct self-testing Bell inequalities from the stabiliser formalism and present two applications in the framework of device-independent certification protocols. Firstly, I will show how the method allows to derive Bell inequalities maximally violated by the family of multi-qubit graph states and suited for their robust self-testing.