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Matthew Leifer: on 6/11/07 at 22:58pm UTC, wrote It's been a while since my last post and the number one rule of blogging is...


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March 30, 2017

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TOPIC: Quantum Distractions [refresh]
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Blogger Matthew Saul Leifer wrote on Jun. 11, 2007 @ 22:58 GMT
It's been a while since my last post and the number one rule of blogging is never to apologise for your absence. On the other hand, since fqxi is all about breaking the rules I'll say that I'm sorry, but I have the excuse that there were good quantum foundational reasons for my absence.

Firstly, there is a month long series of workshops in Waterloo going on at the moment under the banner Taming The Quantum World. Last week we had a very interesting one organized by Paul Busch and Lucien Hardy entitled Operational Quantum Physics and the Quantum-Classical Contrast. You can find recordings of the talks here. Last time I checked the audio wasn't working, but hopefully that will be fixed soon.

What I liked most about this workshop was that it somehow managed to avoid the usual arguments about interpretations, i.e. which one is correct, that are often found at such meetings. Instead, it focussed on three main areas, all of which are becoming increasingly interesting to me:

- How to properly account for the emergence of apparent classicality from quantum theory.

- The relationship between quantum mechanics and causality.

- The relationship between quantum theory and information processing.

I highly recommend looking at some of the talks if you are interested in any of these areas.

The second major distraction was that a couple of weeks ago Lucien Hardy asked me to help with the assesment of the applications that we received for the Quantum Foundations Summer School to be held here this August. I am not sure I would have agreed if I had realized that there were over 350 applications to sort through! Many of them came from students in high energy and condensed matter physics, and not just from closely allied fields that traditionally worry about foundational issues, e.g. quantum cosmology. OK, so we did a good advertising campaign, but nevertheless this seems to be another piece of evidence that foundational research is gradually gaining credibility in the mainstream. I'd like to know if other people have the same impression, or if it's simply because I'm looking from the vantage point of an institute that cares deeply about foundational questions.

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