Dr. Matthew Leifer

Dr. Matthew Leifer

Assistant Professor, Program Director for the Faculty of Physics
Schmid College of Science and Technology; Physics
Office Location: Hashinger Science Center 223
Phone: (714) 744-7985
University of Manchester, Bachelor of Science
University of Bristol, Ph.D.


I am interested in the quantum information theory and the foundations of quantum theory, and especially in topics at the intersection of the two areas.

I am an academic who straddles the line somewhere between mathematics, philosophy, and theoretical physics.  My main interests are in Quantum Information Theory and the Foundations of Quantum Theory.

Since January 2015, I have been an Assistant Professor of Physics at the Schmid College of Science and Technology at Chapman University, and a member of the Institute for Quantum Studies

I received my bachelors degree in Physics with Theoretical Physics from The University of Manchester in 1999, followed by a Masters of Advanced Study in Mathematics (Maths Tripos part III) from the Department of Applied Maths and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge in 2000, where I was a member of Girton College.

I studied for my Ph.D. in the School of Mathematics at the Univeristy of Bristol(2000-2003) under the supervision of Prof. Noah Linden, where I was a member of the Quantum Computing Group.

After a brief stint as a research assistant at Bristol, I arrived at Perimeter Institute as a Postdoctoral Fellow in January 2004, where I worked until September 2006. From October 2006, I was a research associate in theCentre for Quantum Computation at the University of Cambridge for three months. In January 2007, I arrived back in Waterloo for a second postdoctoral position, in which I was affiliated with the Institute for Quantum Computing and the Department of Applied Math at the University of Waterloo, and with the Perimeter Institute. The latter was due to a research grant from theFoundational Questions Institute.

Between April 2008 and August 2010, I was on leave of absence from work due to illness, after which I returned to work on a part time basis at University College London in the Quantum Information Group of the Physics and Astronomy department. Between December 2011 and August 2013, I was off work again due to illness. From August 2013 to December 2015, I returned to the Perimeter Institute as a long term visitor.

For further information about me, take a look at my CV, or download the pdf version. You can also view my Google Scholar profile.

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

L. Catani, M. Leifer, G. Scala, D. Schmid, R. Spekkens, What is Nonclassical about Uncertainty Relations?, Phys. Rev. Lett. 129(24) 240401 (2022).
M. Leifer and C. Duarte, Noncontextuality inequalities from antidistinguishability, Phys. Rev. A, vol. 101, 062113
M. Leifer, Against Fundamentalism, in "What Is Fundamental?", A. Aguirre, B. Foster, Z. Merali (eds.), The Frontiers Collection (Springer), pp. 13-25.
M. Leifer, Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime by Sean Carroll, Physics Today, vol. 72, iss. 12, pp. 56
J. Combes, C. Ferrie, M. Leifer and M. Pusey, Why protective measurement does not establish the reality of the quantum state, Quantum Studies: Mathematics and Foundations, vol. 2, number 2, pp. 189-211
M. Leifer, QBism: The Future of Quantum Physics by Hans Christian von Baeyer, Physics in Perspective, vol. 19, pp. 76-83
M. Leifer and M. Pusey, Is a time symmetric interpretation of quantum theory possible without retrocausality?, Proc. Roy. Soc. A, vol. 473, iss. 2202.
M. Leifer, Mathematics is Physics, in "Trick or Truth? The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics", A. Aguirre, B. Foster, Z. Merali (eds.), The Frontiers Collection (Springer), pp. 21-40.
M. Leifer, Einstein and the Quantum: The Quest of the Valiant Swabian by A. Douglas Stone, Spontaneous Generations, vol. 8, iss. 1, pp. 105-108
M. Leifer, "It from Bit" and the Quantum Probability Rule, in "It From Bit or Bit From It?", A. Aguirre, B. Foster, Z. Merali (eds.), The Frontiers Collection (Springer) pp. 5-23.
M. Pusey and M. Leifer, Logical pre- and post-selection paradoxes are proofs of contextuality, Proceedings of the 12th International Workshop on Quantum Physics and Logic, C. Heunen, P. Selinger, J. Vicary (eds.)
D. Jennings and M. Leifer, No Return to classical reality, Contemporary Physics, vol. 57, iss. 1, pp. 60-82.
M. Leifer, Is the Quantum State Real? An Extended Review of Psi-ontology Theorems, Quanta, vol. 3, iss. 1, pp.67-155.
M. Leifer, Psi-Epistemic Models are Exponentially Bad at Explaining the Distinguishability of Quantum States, Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 122, iss. 16, 160404.