Lecture times and locations:
Tuesdays 2:30-3:50 p.m. at Perimeter Institute, Bob Room, Thursdays 2:30-3:50 p.m. at RAC 2009
Tuesday, January 12, 2010.
For undergraduates: permission of the instructor, or AMATH 473/PHYS 454.
There are no prerequisites for graduate students.
From a practical point of view, quantum theory has been an enormously successful
theory. It correctly predicts both non-relativistic and relativistic phenomena to extraordinary precision and has driven major technological developments such as the laser,
superconductivity and micro-circuitry. More recently, we have seen the coherence and
entanglement of single quantum systems veried routinely in todays labs and these distinctive quantum phenomena are now being directly exploited as the basis for emerging
quantum technologies. And yet, in spite of these successes, there are questions and controversy surrounding very basic issues about the physical nature of the theory. While
such questions are sometimes dismissed as mere philosophy, the study of these foundational issues has played a critical role in conceptual breakthroughs in areas ranging from
quantum computation and quantum cryptography to the nature of quantum chaos and
the quantum-classical transition.
After a review of the axiomatic formulation of quantum theory, the generalized operational structure of the theory will be introduced (including POVM measurements,
sequential measurements, and CP maps). There will be an introduction to the orthodox
(sometimes called Copenhagen) interpretation of quantum mechanics and the historical
problems/issues/debates regarding that interpretation, in particular, the measurement
problem and the EPR paradox, and a discussion of contemporary views on these topics. The majority of the course lectures will consist of guest lectures from international
experts covering the various approaches to the interpretation of quantum theory (in
particular, many-worlds, de Broglie-Bohm, consistent/decoherent histories, and statistical/epistemic interpretations, as time permits) and fundamental properties and tests
of quantum theory (such as entanglement and experimental tests of Bell inequalities,
contextuality, macroscopic quantum phenomena, and the problem of quantum gravity,
as time permits).
Video lectures and lecture notes from the previous course offering are available here.
||Tentative Lecture Title
||Axioms for quantum mechanics
||Week of January 11, 2009
||Basic problems of interpretation
||Week of January 18, 2009
||Constraints on hidden variable models
||Week of January 25, 2009
||Probability and its interpretation
||Week of February 1, 2009
||Experimental tests of Bell inequality
||Week of February 8, 2009
|Reading week-no lectures
||Reading week-no lectures
||Week of February 15, 2009
||Convex sets framework for probabilistic theories
||Week of February 22, 2009
||Week of March 1, 2009
||Quantum Bayesian view
||Week of March 8, 2009
||The many-worlds interpretation
||Week of March 15, 2009
||Fundamental tests of quantum mechanics
||Week of March 22, 2009
||Macroscopic quantum coherence
||Week of March 29, 2009
Transportation: Shuttle transportation to/from PI and RAC is available as follows. Priority will be given to students registered in the course. Pick up at EIT will be at the entrace facing DC. The shuttle driver can be reached at the following number: 519-572-4198.
2:05 EIT to PI
2:25 EIT to PI (this trip is reserved for those who have class on main campus until 2:20)
3:55 PI to EIT
2:05 EIT to RAC
2:25 EIT to RAC (this trip is reserved for those who have class on main campus until 2:20)
3:55 RAC to EIT
You can find the complete PI Video Archives at: