We started the summer in Zurich with a school and a workshop to explore quantum foundations.
Lectures at the summer school
- Roger Colbeck, University of York, UK – Bell inequalities
- Angela Karanjai, University of Sydney, Australia – Epistemic models
- Matthew Leifer, Chapman University, US – No-go theorems
- Lluis Masanes, UCL, UK – Axiomatic derivations of quantum theory
- Renato Renner, ETH Zurich, Switzerland – Interpretations of quantum theory
- Katja Ried, U. Innsbruck, Austria – Causality
- Ana Belén Sainz, Perimeter Institute, Canada – Contextuality
- Robert W. Spekkens, Perimeter Institute, Canada – Experimental quantum foundations
Confirmed speakers for the workshop
- Simon Kochen, U. Princeton, USA
- Alastair Abbott, Institut Néel, France
- Joseba Alonso, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
- Chris Fuchs, University of Massachusetts Boston, USA
- Jürg Fröhlich, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
- Angela Karanjai, U. Sidney, Australia
- Otfried Gühne, U. Siegen, Germany
- Robert Raussendorf, U. British Columbia, Canada
- Marc-Olivier Renou, U. Geneva, Switzerland
- Ana Belén Sainz, Perimeter Institute, Canada
- Robert W. Spekkens, Perimeter Institute, Canada
In 2017 we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Kochen-Specker theorem, developed partly at ETH Zurich, where Ernst Specker lectured. The theorem ruled out a whole class of intuitive hidden variable theories for observations consistent with quantum mechanics, and established contextuality as a key feature of nature.
Half a century on, research in quantum foundations is more prolific than ever. Bell inequalities have been generalized to explore nonlocality, and found applications in device-independent cryptography and free randomness expansion; axiomatic approaches to quantum theory derive the mathematical formalism of quantum theory from physical principles; epistemic models have been proposed to explain quantum strangeness, and ruled out by no-go theorems developed in response; contextuality has been shown fundamental for universal quantum computation; the measurement problem has become even more problematic with extensions to Wigner’s friend thought experiment; and high-precision experiments have started to probe quantum theory towards the mesoscopic regime.
Summer school on quantum foundations, 18-21 June
Despite there being a large community actively working on quantum foundations, and several specialized workshops for experts, there has been a lack of events directed at junior researchers entering the field, particularly in Europe. This summer school on quantum foundations comes to fill that gap, providing a solid introduction to different approaches and problems within foundations.
The school is mostly directed at PhD students and junior postdocs in quantum information and related fields who are interested on quantum foundations. More senior researchers and master students are also welcome.
Workshop on contextuality, 22-23 June
The school will be followed by a workshop on contextuality directed at experts. The aim of this workshop is to bring together to the ETH Zurich, the place where the Kochen-Specker theorem was conceived, leading researchers in all contextuality-related fields in order to develop broader perspectives, draw connections between different approaches, stimulate collaborations, and envision objectives for future research.