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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

Giulio Chiribella
Tsinghua University

Project Title

The fundamental principles of information-dynamics

Project Summary

Quantum mechanics is weird, everyone would say, and it is not surprising that much work is being done in providing plausible explanations of its weirdness. Recently, many exciting progresses came through an information-theoretic approach inspired by quantum information. However, most works focused on explaining the quantum rules for predicting the random outcomes of experiments, while the rules that govern the evolution of microscopic systems in time still remain mysterious. Think of the Schroedinger equation, which was discovered by guesswork using an adventurous analogy between particle mechanics and optics. What is the fundamental meaning of this equation, that describes so well the atoms and molecules constituting our world? Is there a fundamental relation between this particular type of evolution and the speed-up that quantum mechanics offers in doing calculations? In this project we will seek for a fundamental understanding of quantum dynamics from basic principles inspired by information processing and computation. At the same time, we want to question the very paradigm of dynamics, namely the idea that the state of a system evolves in time through a sequence of steps, exploring the possibility that time evolution could be the result of a more fundamental composition of systems in spacetime.

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