Virtual Seminars

Flaminia Giacomini
ETH ZürichQuantum effects in gravity beyond the Newton potential from a delocalised quantum source

Understanding the fundamental nature of gravity at the interface with quantum theory is a major open question in theoretical physics. Recently, the study of gravitating quantum systems, for instance a massive quantum system prepared in a quantum superposition of positions and sourcing a gravitational field, has attracted a lot of attention: experiments are working towards realising such a scenario in the laboratory, and measuring the gravitational field associated to a quantum source is expected to give some information about quantum aspects of gravity. However, there are still open questions concerning the precise conclusions that these experiments could draw on the nature of gravity, such as whether experiments in this regime will be able to test more than the Newtonian part of the gravitational field. In this talk, I will show that a static mass in a quantum state gives rise to effects that cannot be reproduced using the Newton potential nor with a known classical model of gravity. These effects can in principle be measured by performing an interference experiment, and are independent of graviton emission.
Identifying stronger quantum aspects of gravity than those reproducible with the Newton potential is crucial to prove the nonclassicality of the gravitational field and to plan a new generation of experiments testing quantum aspects of gravity in a broader sense than what proposed so far.

Jonathan Oppenheim
University College LondonA post quantum theory of classical gravity

I will present a consistent theory of classical systems coupled to quantum ones via the path integral formulation. The dynamics is linear in the density matrix, completely positive and trace-preserving. We then apply the formalism to general relativity, since it’s reasonable to question whether spacetime should have a quantum nature given it’s status within quantum field theory. In the classical-quantum formalism, the measurement postulate of quantum mechanics is not needed since the interaction of the quantum degrees of freedom with classical spacetime necessarily causes collapse of the wave-function. Any such classical quantum theory necessarily has an experimental signature which can be used to test the quantum nature of gravity. I’ll conclude with an update on the current status of the program.

Christopher J. Fewster
University of YorkMeasurement in Quantum Field Theory: Problems and Solutions

Many presentations of quantum mechanics include a postulate that the state of a system undergoes an instantaneous change following a measurement. This is clearly incompatible with special and general relativity and raises questions concerning the description of measurement in quantum field theory (QFT). Attempts to extend measurement postulates to QFT by hand have produced pathologies, …

Christopher J. Fewster
University of YorkMeasurement in Quantum Field Theory: Problems and Solutions
Read More »

Borivoje Dakić
University of ViennaReconstruction of Quantum Particle Statistics: Bosons, Fermions, and Transtatistics

Identical quantum particles exhibit only two types of statistics: bosonic and fermionic. Theoretically, this restriction is commonly established through the symmetrization postulate or (anti)commutation constraints imposed on the algebra of creation and annihilation operators. The physical motivation for these axioms remains poorly understood, leading to various generalizations by modifying the mathematical formalism in somewhat arbitrary …

Borivoje Dakić
University of ViennaReconstruction of Quantum Particle Statistics: Bosons, Fermions, and Transtatistics
Read More »

Flavio Del Santo
University of Geneva & Constructor UniversityPotentiality realism: Classical and quantum indeterminism

We will discuss an interpretation of physics named “potentiality realism”. This view, which can be applied to classical as well as to quantum physics, regards potentialities (i.e. intrinsic, objective propensities for individual events to obtain) as elements of reality, thereby complementing the actual values taken by physical variables. This allows one to naturally reconcile realism …

Flavio Del Santo
University of Geneva & Constructor UniversityPotentiality realism: Classical and quantum indeterminism
Read More »

Erik Curiel
Munich Center for Mathematical PhilosophySchematizing the Observer and the Epistemic Content of Theories

Following some observations of Howard Stein, I argue that, contrary to contemporary standard philosophical views of physical theories, one cannot understand the structure and nature of our knowledge in physics without an analysis of the way that observers (and, more generally, measuring instruments and experimental arrangements) are modeled in theory. One upshot is that standard …

Erik Curiel
Munich Center for Mathematical PhilosophySchematizing the Observer and the Epistemic Content of Theories
Read More »

Pierre Martin-Dussaud
Institut National du Service PublicCan French Administration be more sexy than Quantum Gravity?

After ten years in science, wandering between quantum gravity and quantum foundations, I have entered l’Institut National du Service Public (ex-ENA) to pursue a career as top executive in the French administration. In this unusual talk, I will offer my personal take on the following questions: – Is there a life after academia? – What …

Pierre Martin-Dussaud
Institut National du Service PublicCan French Administration be more sexy than Quantum Gravity?
Read More »

Markus Müller
IQOQI Vienna How spacetime constrains the structure of quantum theory

Modern physics has taught us that space and time are described by different “theories of geometry” in different regimes, from Galilean spacetime in Newtonian mechanics to semi-Riemannian manifolds in general relativity. In a very similar, but less well-known sense, classical probability theory and quantum theory (QT) are special cases in a large landscape of “theories …

Markus Müller
IQOQI Vienna How spacetime constrains the structure of quantum theory
Read More »

Sean Carroll
Johns Hopkins UniversityExtracting the Universe from the Wave Function

Quantum mechanics is a theory of wave functions in Hilbert space. Many features that we generally take for granted when we use quantum mechanics — classical spacetime, locality, the system/environment split, collapse/branching, preferred observables, the Born rule for probabilities — should in principle be derivable from the basic ingredients of the quantum state and the …

Sean Carroll
Johns Hopkins UniversityExtracting the Universe from the Wave Function
Read More »

Abhay Ashtekar
Pennsylvania State UniversityThe many faces of photons

In the standard Fock representation, the 1-photon Hilbert space is spanned by positive frequency, source-free solutions of Maxwell’s equations. The quantum information they carry corresponds precisely to the two radiative modes of the Maxwell fields.  However, this Fock representation is inadequate in a number of physical situations involving sources, and one then has to use appropriate non-Fock representations. …

Abhay Ashtekar
Pennsylvania State UniversityThe many faces of photons
Read More »