Quantum Entaglement and Macroscopic Quantum Superpositions

Speaker: 
Dirk Bouwmeester (University of California,Santa Barbara/University of Leiden)
Event Date and Time: 
Wed, 2011-11-16 19:30 - 20:30
Location: 
St. John's College, 2111 Lower Mall (Fairmont Social Lounge)
Local Contact: 
Philip Stamp
Intended Audience: 
Public

The founders of quantum mechanics, including Einstein and Bohr, asked how quantum physics could be understood in terms of familiar classical concepts, leading to the most famous debate in 20th century science. However more recent discussions focus instead on how the classical world emerges from the underlying quantum laws. As a result, some scientists are now convinced that there are multiple universes, others advocate an 11-dimensional world, and yet others are compelled to combine general relativity and quantum mechanics in unconventional ways. Apart from this interest in such fundamental questions, there is also a rapidly growing practical interest in the foundations of quantum mechanics, because of the revolutionary cryptographic and computational schemes it suggests.

This presentation will address both the fundamental and the practical aspects of quantum physics. After reviewing the basic ideas, the presentation will describe ongoing experiments that aim at testing the mysterious concepts of quantum superpositions and quantum entanglement up to the macroscopic scale.

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