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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

Miguel Navascués
Bilkent University

Project Title

Towards an almost quantum physical theory

Project Summary

Conceived circa 1932, Quantum Mechanics has so far not failed in providing an accurate picture of the world. Some of its predictions, such as the anomalous magnetic moment of the electron, have been verified experimentally up to a precision of 10 decimal digits. In addition, quantum mechanics is the basis for most of the technology around us, like computers, lasers and mobile phones. At the same, time, quantum mechanics is full of conceptual problems; its description of physical systems as simple as a copper bar is complicated to the point of becoming useless; and cannot be reconciled with gravity in a straightforward way. And yet we physicists keep clinging to it. Why? Mainly because we don’t have an alternative theory. Previous attempts to extend or generalize quantum mechanics have led to scientific theories with extremely unphysical features, such as faster-than-light communication. In an earlier work, we studied physical theories from the point of view of the correlations that they generate between different events. Our research suggests that there could exist a physical theory beyond quantum and also points where to find it. The goal of the project is to identify such a theory and test it experimentally against quantum mechanics.

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