Archive for October 2007

Get paid to do quantum foundations

13th October 2007

It’s not often that I get to write a post with a title like this, but right now there are two opportunities worth mentioning. Firstly, if you are a student looking for a Ph.D. position in foundations then Caslav Brukner has one available in Vienna. The advert is attached below.

Secondly, the application process for the next round of fqxi grants now appears to be open. I haven’t received an email from them about this yet, but I just noticed that the form was up on their website. They have funded quantum foundations projects in the previous round, along with projects on many other foundational questions in physics.

OK, here is the Vienna advert:

PhD position in the group “Quantum Optics, Quantum Nanophysics, Quantum
Information” (www.quantum.at) at the Faculty of Physics, University of
Vienna is available immediately. The student will undertake research on
the foundations of quantum physics and theoretical quantum information
in collaboration with Prof. Caslav Brukner
(http://homepage.univie.ac.at/Caslav.Brukner/).

Candidate is expected to have an undergraduate degree in Physics, Maths,
Computer Science or Engineering. She/he will be able to work
independently and collaboratively. Interest to work on foundations of
physics and experience in quantum theory and/or information theory will
be advantageous. Enthusiasm will be essential.

The position is supposed to be fully integrated into the Doctoral
Program “Complex Quantum Systems” (www.coqus.at). Applications, prepared
to meet the standards (http://www.coqus.at/index.php?id=333) of the
application to the CoQus Doctoral Program, should be sent to Canan
Goeser (Secretary) (canan.goeser@univie.ac.at).

The position is funded by the FWF-Project “Quantum Information:
Foundations and Transition to Classicality” of the Austrian Science Fund
(FWF).

Quantum Cryptography to be used in Swiss Election

13th October 2007

According to Wired, one of id Quantique‘s quantum cryptography systems will be used to transmit votes securely from voting machines in Geneva in the upcoming national election.  This is certainly good PR for quantum crypto, especially given the security issues surrounding the use of automated voting machines.  Maybe I’m missing something though, because I thought that the main security problems had to do with the possibility of hacking the machines themselves rather than with the transmission of votes.  Public key crypto would probably have been just as good in practice, unless the Swiss government believes that someone in the locale has built a quantum computer.

von Neumann celebrations

6th October 2007

I think I might have mentioned before that von Neumann is a bit of a hero of mine.  I transferred my affections from Feynman as soon as I was old enough to realize how much exaggeration must be involved in the “Surely you’re joking” stories.  Sure, von Neumann may have made a mistake about hidden variable theories, but we are talking about a guy who gave us the first rigorous formulation of quantum theory, made major contributions to game theory and invented the modern computer architecture, so I’m willing to cut him some slack on that point.

Anyway, I thought I’d just mention the workshop at Princeton to mark 50 years since von Neumann’s death and 75 years since the publication of his book on quantum theory.  Looks like there were many interesting talks.

Fqxi article

5th October 2007

A popular article about my fqxi project has just appeared on the fqxi community page.  Download it here.

Intelligent Models?

3rd October 2007


This could not go without comment. Via Shtetl Optimized.


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