Large Grants
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Previous Programs

2018 Agency in the Physical World
Awardees; RFP download

2016 Physics of the Observer
Awardees; RFP download

2015 The Physics of What Happens
Awardees; RFP download

2013 Physics of Information
Awardees; RFP download

2010 The Nature of Time
Awardees; RFP download

2008 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
Awardees; RFP download

2006 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
Awardees; RFP download

Dr. Antony Valentini
Imperial College

Project Title

Hidden Variables in Physics and Cosmology

Project Summary

The project is to complete a book that re-examines basic physics and cosmology from the viewpoint of "hidden-variables theories." These are theories in which the apparently random outcomes of quantum experiments are actually determined in advance, by hidden parameters that are presently outside our control. A particular theory due to de Broglie and Bohm is used as a model, but by general reasoning one may draw conclusions about all such theories. A key idea is "quantum non-equilibrium," a state in which the values of the hidden entities have an anomalous distribution, so that the statistics predicted by quantum theory are violated. Quantum theory is seen as a special case of a wider, "non-equilibrium" physics. In the wider physics, it is possible to communicate across space faster than the speed of light, to beat Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, to crack quantum codes, and (perhaps) to outpace even quantum computers. Relic non-equilibrium particles from the very early universe, for example, would enable us to perform these currently impossible tasks. We propose tests searching for statistical anomalies in the microwave radiation left over from the big bang, and in the light emitted from the neighbourhood of supermassive black holes.

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