‘Tis the season to get employed as a foundations researcher. Perimeter Institute is currently advertising vacancies for Junior Faculty positions in Quantum Foundations. See here for more details. Deadline for applications is Jan 15th.

## Archive for the ‘Quantum’ category

### Get Paid to do Foundations III

6th December 2007### Get paid to do Foundations II

23rd November 2007It seems that this blog is becoming the official website for Quantum Foundations job announcements. Sadly, in the current climate this still means that I don’t have to bug you with job adverts too often. In any case, there are two postdocs available via the PIAF (Perimeter Institute — Australia Foundations) partnership, which look like a pretty sweet deal for any finishing postdocs/grad students in Foundations. They involve spending 9 months of the year in Sydney and 3 months here in Waterloo. Theoretically, this means that you could completely avoid experiencing winter for the three years of the postdoc. The job ad is posted here and the deadline is 7th December 2007.

### Get paid to do quantum foundations

13th October 2007It’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 2007According 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 2007I 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 2007A 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.

### 3 Month visit opportunity for a graduate student

28th August 2007There is an opportunity for a graduate student to visit Perimeter Institute for a 3 month period to work with me on a technical project in Quantum Foundations. The main idea is to give students who are interested in quantum foundations, but working in other fields for their grad studies, the opportunity to take a break and think about quantum theory seriously for a short period. The position is funded by FQXi under my project “Abstract Quantum Probability” and the project would be selected by mutual agreement from one of the topics covered by the grant.

Funding will be provided, but the exact amount depends on Canadian immigration issues, i.e. we can only provide subsistence expenses (travel, accommodation and a per-diem for meals) to non-Canadian residents. The visit can take place at any time during the year, depending on what is most convenient for the student and myself.

If you are interested then please send your CV, a short (one or two paragraph) explanation of why you would like to visit PI and a letter of recommendation from your advisor to me at this address. There is no official deadline for applications and the search will continue until a suitable candidate is found. However, I expect there will be enough applications to make a decision by the end of September.

For further details of the possible areas of research for this project, please see the reading list below.

- Information processing In generalized probabilistic theories:
- Generalized subsystems in quantum theory:
- Causality from Statistics
- L. Hardy, Towards Quantum Gravity: A Framework for Probabilistic Theories with Non-Fixed Causal Structure.
- M. Leifer and D. Poulin, Quantum Graphical Models and Belief Propagation.
- M. Leifer, Quantum Dynamics as an Analog of Conditional Probability.
- M. Leifer, Conditional Density Operators and the Subjectivity of Quantum Operations.

- Bayesian foundations of quantum theory
- Many papers by Caves, Fuchs and Schack would be good background reading, particularly quant-ph/0404156, quant-ph/0205039, quant-ph/0206110 and quant-ph/0106133.
- M. Leifer, Conditional Density Operators and the Subjectivity of Quantum Operations.

- Axiomatic foundations of quantum theory
- L. Hardy, Quantum Theory from Five Reasonable Axioms.
- C. Fuchs, Quantum Mechanics as Quantum Information (and only a little more).
- G. d’Ariano, Operational Axioms for a C*-algebraic formulation of quantum mechanics as well as earlier related papers by d’Ariano.
- Also the papers on information processing in generalized probabilistic theories and this paper by H. Barnum.

### Quantum Foundations Resources

14th May 2007Since I get asked a lot, I have added a collection of links to resources on quantum foundations to the About page. Any suggestions for additions will be gratefully received, especially if you know of any good quality popular talks that can be viewed online.

P.S. In case you were thinking of asking, neither “The Tao of Physics” or “What The Bleep Do We Know?” are ever going to be added.

### Baez on Quantum Foundations

11th May 2007I just wrote another post on the fqxi site, but to cut a long story short it gives a link to the latest “This Week’s Finds..” on quantum foundations.

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