Large Grants
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Current Program

2017-18 Agency in the Physical World
Submit RFP by February 1, 2018
Previous Programs

2016 Physics of the Observer
2016 Awardees

2015 The Physics of What Happens
2015 Awardees

2013 Physics of Information
2013 Awardees

2010 The Nature of Time
2010 Awardees

2008 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
2008 Awardees

2006 Foundational Questions in Physics and Cosmology
2006 Awardees

Dr. Caslav Brukner
University of Vienna


Tomasz Paterek, University of Vienna

Project Title

Theories of Systems with Limited Information Content - Quantum Theory and Beyond

Project Summary

Quantum theory is our most accurate description of nature. It led to the discovery of the transistor and to understanding of chemistry. In a view of its enormous success, can we consider it as a final ultimate theory? History teaches that a scientific framework accepted at a time, is replaced by more complete description of nature. Flat Earth theory, e.g., accurate for scales much smaller than the Earth's radius, was superseded by spherical Earth theory. History teaches also that new breakthroughs usually require abandonment of old concepts. Insisting on them often led to models of increasing complexity, similar to the Ptolemaic planetary system with numerous epicycles. To date, almost all proposed alternative to quantum theory try to save some of pre-quantum concepts of classical physics. We put forward new theories that share the fundamental features with quantum theory, such as superposition of two distinct states at the same time. All of them are based on the principle of limited information content of physical systems, but differ in the dimensionality of the abstract space in which the system "lives". It is intriguing to speculate that these theories might be realized in Nature in a domain that is still beyond our observations.

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