22 October 2018
Spacetime tangled up in quantum information
In recent years, a new scientific paradigm
is beginning to form that space and time, or combined spacetime, are not a God-given backdrop to the world, but instead might emerge from the material contents of the universe in a way closely related to how qubits are entangled in a quantum computer. This quantum entanglement strips interacting particles of their separate identities, correlating their properties, even over large spatial or temporal separations. Our everyday conception of (the arrow of) time, as measured by clocks, can be thought of as a manifestation of the statistical tendency toward ever increasing entanglement, not unlike the cooling of a cup of coffee or deflation of an opened gas cylinder. On a microscopic scale, the latest experiments reveal a reality that seriously messes with our intuition. Not only do they show a retroactive linkage between future and past events, but also a correlation such that it becomes impossible to say which event is earlier and which is later. So, what then about causality?
On Monday October 22nd in the Science Café Nijmegen, quantum information theorist Michael Walter (UvA, QuSoft) and physicist and philosopher of physics Dennis Dieks (UU) will discuss (in English) this exciting revolution happening at the interface of quantum information and physics. Michael Walter will discuss his current research in this field, elaborating on the mechanisms relating spacetime and entanglement. Dennis Dieks will provide us with his expert insights in the more philosophical approaches to concepts such as quantum information, spacetime, and locality. Be there and let’s get tangled up in this fascinating information!