Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Oxford questions on quantum reality

I am looking forward to the conference Quantum Physics and the Nature of Reality beginning in 10 days in Oxford. It is in honour of the 80th Birthday of Sir John Polkinghorne.

The following have been proposed as The Oxford Questions which will be refined at the conference.
  • 1. Are quantum states fact or knowledge, and how would you distinguish? (Stig Stenholm)
  • 2. What does quantum physics teach us about the concept of physical reality? (Richard Healey)
  • 3. What statements about quantum reality could be experimentally evaluated?
  • 4. Are complex quantum systems best described in terms of constituents or relationships?
  • 5. How does macroscopic classical behaviour emerge from microscopic quantum properties? (Gerard Milburn)
  • 6. Why isn't nature more non-local? (Sandu Popescu)
  • 7. Is realism compatible with true randomness? (Nicolas Gisin)
  • 8. Is emergence the nature of physical reality? (Ross McKenzie)
  • 9. Who (or what) is the quantum mechanical observer? (Alexei Grinbaum)
  • 10. Can quantum theory and special relativity peacefully coexist? (M. Seevinck)
  • 11. Quantum theory: science, mathematical metaphysics or mysticism? (Nicolaas Landsman)
  • 12. What is conception of time best coheres with quantum formalism? (Daniel Greenberger)
  • 13. Can strict irreversibility resolve the quantum measurement problem? (Andrew Steane)
  • 14. What does physical reality tell us about the limitations of quantum theory and the possibility of going beyond it? (Andreas Doering & Chris Isham)

The cartoon is from xkcd.

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