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

Mischa Woods
University College London


Jonathan Oppenhenim, University College London; Stephanie Werner, QuTech/Delft University of Technology

Project Title

Finite dimensional Quantum Observers

Project Summary

Quantum mechanics is a highly successful science, and promises to bring us many important technologies such as the quantum internet and quantum computers. However, just like in everyday life experience, there are observers in quantum mechanics. The observers are necessary for many aspects of the quantum technologies which are on our doorstep. However, we still do not understand their fundamental properties and limitations. At present, they are never explicitly present in any of the theories we use. My research will attempt to address this issue, by putting them on the same footing as the quantum technologies they will be observing. Not only will it address issues such as how fallible are observers at the quantum scale, but also open the door to other questions such how do quantum effects of the observer affect their ability to make observations. Can these observers make observations forever, or will they degrade until they are no longer able to observe at all, after performing many observations?

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