Format results

The backreaction problem in quantum foundations and gravity
Jonathan Oppenheim University College London

Causality and Ideal Measurements of Smeared Fields in Quantum Field Theory
Ian Jubb Dublin Institute For Advanced Studies


Phenomenological thermodynamics with multiple quantities of interest
Lidia del Rio University of Zurich

Toys can't play: physical agents in Spekkens' theory
Lidia del Rio University of Zurich

Quantum nonlocality without entanglement via indefinite causal order
Ravi Kunjwal Funds for Scientific Research  FNRS


Quantum Reference Frames for Superpositions of Spacetimes
AnneCatherine de la Hamette University of Vienna

Quantum networks selftest all entangled states
Ivan Supic The French National Centre for Scientific Research

Causal Operations in Quantum Field Theory
Ian Jubb Dublin Institute For Advanced Studies

Contextuality, Finetuning and Teleological Explanation
Emily Adlam Chapman University


The backreaction problem in quantum foundations and gravity
Jonathan Oppenheim University College London
We consider two interacting systems when one is treated classically while the other remains quantum. Despite several famous nogo arguments, consistent dynamics of this coupling exist, and its most general form can be derived. We discuss the application of these dynamics to the foundations of quantum theory, and to the problem of understanding gravity when spacetime is treated classically while matter has a quantum nature.
The talk will be informal and I'll review and follow on from joint work with Isaac Layton, Andrea Russo, Carlo Sparaciari, Barbara Šoda & Zachary WellerDavies
https://arxiv.org/abs/2208.11722
https://arxiv.org/abs/2203.01982
https://arxiv.org/abs/1811.03116Zoom link: https://pitp.zoom.us/j/92520708199?pwd=WUowdnd4Z0k3dlU2YjVmVlAva3Q0UT09

Causality and Ideal Measurements of Smeared Fields in Quantum Field Theory
Ian Jubb Dublin Institute For Advanced Studies
The usual quantum mechanical description of measurements, unitary kicks, and other local operations has the potential to produce pathological causality violations in the relativistic setting of quantum field theory (QFT). While there are some operations that do not violate causality, those that do cannot be physically realisable. For local observables in QFT it is an open question whether the projection postulate, or more specifically the associated ideal measurement operation, is consistent with causality, and hence whether it is physically realisable in principle.
In this talk I will recap a criteria that distinguishes causal and acausal operations in real scalar QFT. I will then focus on operations constructed from smeared field operators  the basic local observables of the theory. For this simple class of operations we can write down a more practical causality criteria. With this we find that, under certain assumptions  such as there being a continuum spacetime  ideal measurements of smeared fields are acausal, despite prior heuristic arguments to the contrary. For a discrete spacetime (e.g. a causal set), however, one can evade this result in a ‘natural’ way, and thus uphold causality while retaining the projection postulate.Zoom link: https://pitp.zoom.us/j/94464896161?pwd=UkhPQnJONmlxYy9pQXJINThpY3l4QT09

On the system loophole of generalized noncontextuality
Victor Gitton ETH Zurich
Generalized noncontextuality is a wellstudied notion of classicality that is applicable to a single system, as opposed to Bell locality. It relies on representing operationally indistinguishable procedures identically in an ontological model. However, operational indistinguishability depends on the set of operations that one may use to distinguish two procedures: we refer to this set as the reference of indistinguishability. Thus, whether or not a given experiment is noncontextual depends on the choice of reference. The choices of references appearing in the literature are seldom discussed, but typically relate to a notion of system underlying the experiment. This shift in perspective then begs the question: how should one define the extent of the system underlying an experiment? Our paper primarily aims at exposing this question rather than providing a definitive answer to it. We start by formulating a notion of relative noncontextuality for prepareandmeasure scenarios, which is simply noncontextuality with respect to an explicit reference of indistinguishability. We investigate how verdicts of relative noncontextuality depend on this choice of reference, and in the process introduce the concept of the noncontextuality graph of a prepareandmeasure scenario. We then discuss several proposals that one may appeal to in order to fix the reference to a specific choice, and relate these proposals to different conceptions of what a system really is.
arXiv link: https://arxiv.org/abs/2209.04469
Zoom link: https://pitp.zoom.us/j/97393198973?pwd=dWhCOUJQLytxeXVIVmEvOHRnRHc1QT09

Phenomenological thermodynamics with multiple quantities of interest
Lidia del Rio University of Zurich
Joint work (in progress) with Ladina Hausmann, Nuriya Nurgalieva and Renato Renner
We can classify contemporary approaches to thermodynamics in roughly four camps:
(1) Topdown microscopic approaches. These are for example resourcetheoretical approaches to quantum thermodynamics: they have a microscopic model of states and systems, and which microscopic restrictions implement macroscopic properties. For instance, in the resource theory of quantum thermodynamics, states are represented by density operators, thermal states in particular have a specific microcanonical form, and constraints like energy preservation are enforced by forcing quantum transformations to commute with a global Hamiltonian. These approaches success at deriving thermodynamic laws in general settings that satisfy the microscopic model (like nonrelativistic quantum systems.
(2) Bottomup microscopic approaches. These also start from a microscopic model, but rather than looking for universal restrictions, they search for explicit thermodynamics protocols: this is the case of recent proposals for quantum work extraction or nano quantum heat engines.
(3) Topdown phenomenological approaches. These try to derive thermodynamic laws from first principles independently of a microscopic model. In principle the results derived in this framework can be applied to a wider variety of explicit systems, and the challenge is then to find the right implementations. The first derivations of thermodynamics were naturally phenomenological, and some modern informationinspired derivations follow this approach.
(4) Bottomup phenomenological approaches. These approaches try to find explicit thermodynamic protocols independently of the microscopic model, based only on operational properties of the systems at hand. It was the case for Carnot's original engines and more recently for some approaches to deriving black hole thermodynamics, or thermodynamics of new materials; some experimental results also fit in this camp.
In this work we generalize topdown phenomenological approaches to the case of multiple conserved quantities. Note that multiple conserved quantities have been studied in topdown and bottomup microscopic approaches to quantum thermodynamics. We argue that our framework is more general, in that it can be applied to systems for which we don't have an explicit microscopic model; in particular we will apply the results of this framework to black hole thermodynamics. Moreover, having a phenomenological axiomatic approach to thermodynamics allows us to identify which properties are specific to a microscopic model like quantum physics, and which hold in any physical theory: our results can be applied to study the thermodynamics of generalized process theories, and other generalizations and foils of quantum mechanics. This generalization makes us reconsider the second law of thermodynamics, adapting for an exchange of different conserved quantities, for example, energy and angular momentum, or energy and spin. Our guiding principle here is to use information as a universal token of exchange to convert between different quantities via Landauer's principle.
Zoom Link: https://pitp.zoom.us/j/96001094153?pwd=YTArTGpPdEJ1NFBMcnFqV1dIRTVyZz09

Toys can't play: physical agents in Spekkens' theory
Lidia del Rio University of Zurich
Information is physical, and for a physical theory to be universal, it
should model observers as physical systems, with concrete memories where
they store the information acquired through experiments and reasoning.
Here we address these issues in Spekkens' toy theory, a noncontextual
epistemically restricted model that partially mimics the behaviour of
quantum mechanics. We propose a way to model physical implementations of
agents, memories, measurements, conditional actions and information
processing. We find that the actions of toy agents are severely limited:
although there are nonorthogonal states in the theory, there is no way
for physical agents to consciously prepare them. Their memories are also
constrained: agents cannot forget in which of two arbitrary states a
system is. Finally, we formalize the process of making inferences about
other agents' experiments and model multiagent experiments like
Wigner's friend. Unlike quantum theory or box world, in the toy theory
there are no inconsistencies when physical agents reason about each
other's knowledge.Zoom Link: TBD

Quantum nonlocality without entanglement via indefinite causal order
Ravi Kunjwal Funds for Scientific Research  FNRS
I will discuss a recent result on an intimate link between two a priori distinct phenomena: quantum nonlocality without entanglement and classicallyachievable indefinite causal order. The first phenomenon refers to a multipartite scenario where the parties are unable to perfectly discriminate orthogonal product states drawn from an ensemble of quantum states by using local operations and classical communication (LOCC). The second (hypothetical) phenomenon refers to a multipartite scenario where the parties can communicate classically but the local operations of each party are in the future of the other parties, i.e., they cannot be ordered causally. Specifically, I will show how three separated parties with access to a classical process exhibiting indefinite causal orderthe AF/BW processcan perfectly discriminate the states in an ensemblethe SHIFT ensemblethat exhibits quantum nonlocality without entanglement. Time permitting, I will discuss the generalization of this result beyond the tripartite case and comment on its connection with separable operations that are outside LOCC.
Based on joint work with Ämin Baumeler, arXiv:2202.00440.
Zoom Link: https://pitp.zoom.us/j/93727212623?pwd=cjVRL3cvMmhicDRic3lXRFBkNi9xZz09

Atomic clock interferometers: a test for a quantum generalization of Einstein’s Equivalence Principle and a quantum sensing analysis
Carlo Cepollaro Austrian Academy of Sciences
It is unknown how the Einstein Equivalence Principle (EEP) should be modified to account for quantum features. A possibility introduced in arXiv:2012.13754 is that the EEP holds in a generalized form for particles having an arbitrary quantum state. The core of this proposal is the ability to transform to a Quantum Reference Frame (QRF) associated to an arbitrary quantum state of a physical system, in which the metric is locally inertial. I will show that this extended EEP, initially formulated in terms of the local expression of the metric field in a QRF, can be verified in an interferometric setup via tests on the proper time of entangled clocks (arXiv:2112.03303). Moreover, the same setup can be analyzed with quantum sensing techniques (arXiv:2204.03006): I will talk about how gravitational time dilation may be used as a resource in quantum information theory, showing that it may enhance the precision in estimating the gravitational acceleration for long interferometric times.

Quantum Reference Frames for Superpositions of Spacetimes
AnneCatherine de la Hamette University of Vienna
The current theories of quantum physics and general relativity on their own do not allow us to study situations in which spacetime is in a quantum superposition. In this talk, I propose a general strategy to determine the dynamics of objects on an indefinite spacetime metric, using an extended notion of quantum reference frame transformations. First, we study the situation of the gravitational source mass being in a spatial superposition state and, using a generalized principle of covariance, show how to transform to a frame in which the standard theories of GR and QFT allow to determine the dynamics. In the second part, we consider superpositions of conformally equivalent metrics inhabited by a massive quantized KleinGordon field. By requiring invariance of the KG equation under quantum conformal transformations, we find that the superposition is transferred to the quantum field in the form of an effective, spacetime dependent mass term. Overall, the proposed strategy allows to construct the respective explicit quantum frame change operators, and to study physical phenomena such as time dilation and cosmological particle production in different quantum frames.
Zoom Link: https://pitp.zoom.us/j/96903859307?pwd=aEtLUy9tME5GL25nTjBVNXVmb2N3Zz09

Quantum networks selftest all entangled states
Ivan Supic The French National Centre for Scientific Research
Certifying quantum properties with minimal assumptions is a fundamental problem in quantum information science. Selftesting is a method to infer the underlying physics of a quantum experiment only from the measured statistics. While all bipartite pure entangled states can be selftested, little is known about how to selftest quantum states of an arbitrary number of systems. Here, we introduce a framework for networkassisted selftesting and use it to selftest any pure entangled quantum state of an arbitrary number of systems. The scheme requires the preparation of a number of singlets that scales linearly with the number of systems, and the implementation of standard projective and Bell measurements, all feasible with current technology. When all the network constraints are exploited, the obtained selftesting certification is stronger than what is achievable in any Belltype scenario. Our work does not only solve an open question in the field but also shows how properly designed networks offer new opportunities for the certification of quantum phenomena.

Causal Operations in Quantum Field Theory
Ian Jubb Dublin Institute For Advanced Studies
While Quantum Field Theory is the most accurate theory we have for predicting the microscopic world, there are still open problems regarding its mathematical description. In particular, the usual quantum mechanical description of measurements, unitary kicks, and other local operations has the potential to produce pathological causality violations. Not all local operations lead to such violations, but any that do cannot be physically realisable. It is an open question whether a given local operation in the theory respects causality, and hence whether a given local operation is physical. In this talk I will work toward a general condition that distinguishes causal and acausal local operations.
Zoom Link: https://pitp.zoom.us/j/98089863001?pwd=K2RWL2lNWFd4VDZYd013eUN3alNmQT09

Contextuality, Finetuning and Teleological Explanation
Emily Adlam Chapman University
In this talk I will assess various proposals for the source of the intuition that there is something problematic about contextuality, and argue that contextuality is best thought of in terms of finetuning. I will suggest that as with other finetuning problems in quantum mechanics, this behaviour can be understood as a manifestation of teleological features of physics. I will also introduce several formal mathematical frameworks that have been used to analyse contextuality and discuss how their results should be interpreted.

Possibility of causal loops without superluminal signalling  a general framework
Vilasini Venkatesh University of York
Causality is fundamental to science, but it appears in several different forms. One is relativistic causality, which is tied to a spacetime structure and forbids signalling outside the future. On the other hand, causality can be defined operationally using causal models by considering the flow of information within a network of physical systems and interventions on them. From both a foundational and practical viewpoint, it is useful to establish the class of causal models that can coexist with relativistic principles such as no superluminal signalling, noting that causation and signalling are not equivalent. We develop such a general framework that allows these different notions of causality to be independently defined and for connections between them to be established. The framework first provides an operational way to model causation in the presence of cyclic, finetuned and nonclassical causal influences. We then consider how a causal model can be embedded in a spacetime structure and propose a mathematical condition (compatibility) for ensuring that the embedded causal model does not allow signalling outside the spacetime future. We identify several distinct classes of causal loops that can arise in our framework, showing that compatibility with a spacetime can rule out only some of them. We then demonstrate the mathematical possibility of causal loops embedded in Minkowski spacetime that can be operationally detected through interventions, without leading to superluminal signalling. Our framework provides conditions for preventing superluminal signalling within arbitrary (possibly cyclic) causal models and also allows us to model causation in postquantum theories admitting jamming correlations. Applying our framework to such scenarios, we show that postquantumjamming can indeed lead to superluminal signalling contrary to previous claims. Finally, this work introduces a new causal modelling concept of ``higherorder affects relations'' and several related technical results, which have applications for causal discovery in finedtuned causal models.