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A Popular Talk from Sean Carroll

The Many Worlds of Quantum Mechanics by Sean Carroll. Coming Fall 2020.

One of the great intellectual achievements of the twentieth century was the theory of quantum mechanics, according to which observational results can only be predicted probabilistically rather than with certainty. Yet, after decades in which the theory has been successfully used on an everyday basis, most physicists would agree that we still don't truly understand what it means. I will talk about the source of this puzzlement, and explain why an increasing number of physicists are led to an apparently astonishing conclusion: that the world we experience is constantly branching into different versions, representing the different possible outcome of quantum measurements. This could have important consequences for quantum gravity and the emergence of spacetime.

Stay after the talk for a raffle and book signing!

A Popular Talk from Anthony Aguirre

Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? by Anthony Aguirre. 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4th 2020, in 201 Argyros Forum.

The physical universe has a 13.8 billion year history as told by modern cosmology, from the early ultrahot "big-bang" stages to the formation of stars, planets, life, and very recently and locally, civilization. Underlying this material history of matter following the laws of physics, however, is an often-untold history of information, and the processing of information through physical, computational, biological, mental and social systems. Aguirre, arguing that the information is perhaps even more fundamental than the matter, will trace this history to tell a new story of our origins, our nature as thinking systems, and our potential long-term future.

A Popular Talk from Stephon Alexander

Reflections on Jazz and the Quantum World.

7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 12th in 201 Argyros Forum.

Dr. Alexander has straddled the two worlds of theoretical physics and jazz music for over two decades. He will delve into the secret link between music and the structure of the universe, the jazz of physics.

A Popular Talk from Sandu Popescu

sanduHow to Be in Two Places at the Same Time by Sandu Popescu.
5 p.m. on Thursday, November 21st in 209 Argyros Forum.

Quantum theory tells us that microscopic particles, atoms, molecules, sub-atomic particles and so on, can be in many places at the same time. In this talk, Sandu Popescu will explain how science knows this, and what the implications of this fact are for understanding Nature.

A Popular Talk from Yakir Aharonov

Yakir AharonovModern Physics and the Mind by Yakir Aharonov.
5 p.m. on Monday, October 21st in 404 Beckman Hall.

Modern physics has radically revised our common-sense assumptions about the world, including our concepts of time, free will, and physical reality. Many of our fundamental beliefs about the physical world lack a firm scientific foundation. In this talk, Professor Aharonov will discuss the tension between objective physical description and conscious experience. He will describe recent advances in the foundations of physics and quantum theory that offer the possibility of a fresh approach.

A popular talk from Lev Vaidman!

Post of Lev Vaidman's talk on Quantum MiraclesFrom Quantum Miracles to Many Worlds by Lev Vaidman.
February 8th at 2 p.m. in 404 Beckman Hall.

Abstract: Action at a distance is a miracle. Quantum phenomena such as interaction-free measurements, teleportation, Bell-type correlations apparently require such miracles. Accepting the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics avoids the necessity of action at a distance and thus removes paradoxes from quantum theory.

A popular talk by Sabine Hossenfelder

headshot of Sabine HossenfelderHow Beauty Leads Physics Astray by Sabine Hossenfelder.
November 29th at 7 p.m. in 208 Argyros Forum.

To develop fundamentally new laws of nature, theoretical physicists often rely on arguments from beauty. Simplicity and naturalness in particular have been strongly influential guides in the foundations of physics ever since the development of the standard model of particle physics. In this lecture, Dr. Hossenfelder argues that arguments from beauty have led the field into a dead end, and discusses what can be done about it.

A popular talk from Dr. Philip Mannheim

Poster of Dr Philip Mannheim's talk on Crisis of Fundamental PhysicsDr. Philip Mannheim, Professor of Physics at the University of Connecticut presents, "The Crisis in Fundamental Physics" on Friday, August 31st at 3:30 p.m. in 404 Beckman Hall. 

Abstract: Cosmology deals with the astrophysical macroscopic universe on large scales, while fundamental physics deals with the particle physics microscopic universe on small ones. Recently, it has become apparent that large and small scale physics are actually intertwined, leading to an astro-particle picture of the universe. At the present time, this picture has achieved great success, but at the same it has led to many open questions and challenges - challenges which threaten to potentially undermine the entire picture. These challenges include: dark matter, dark energy, the cosmological constant problem, quantum gravity, the status of supersymmetry, the multiverse picture, extra space-time dimensions, and the nature of the Higgs boson. In this talk, we review these issues, and suggest that their resolution would require a paradigm shift in our view of the universe.

A popular talk from Dr. Neil Turok

Poster of Neil Turok's speech on Quantum UniverseDr. Neil Turok, Director of Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada, presents "Quantum Universe" on Thursday, March 1st at 5:30 p.m. in Fish Interfaith Center.

Abstract: Observations reveal the cosmos to be astonishingly simple, and yet deeply puzzling, on the largest scales. Why is it so nearly symmetrical? Why is there a cosmological constant, or dark energy, and what fixes its value? How did everything we see emerge from a singular "point" in the past?


A popular talk by Dr. Andrew Jordan and Dr. Kater Murch

Poster of Dr Andrew Jordan's presentation "arrow of time in quantum mechanics"Dr. Andrew Jordan (University of Rochester) and Dr. Kater Murch (Washington University in St. Louis) present, "The arrow of time in quantum mechanics" 

Abstract: The question of why we perceive time moving from past to future is perplexing, especially in light of the fact that microscopic laws of motion are the same running forward or backwards in time. Some have thought that the answer to this puzzle may lay in quantum wavefunction collapse. We will discuss how recent experiments have shown that quantum measurement may not be as irreversible as commonly thought, and discuss deep questions relating to the flow of time and quantum physics. We will approach the topic from three points of view, that of the experimentalist, the quantum theorist, and the philosopher.

A technical talk from Dr. Alyssa Ney

poster of Dr Alyssa Ney's talk on Physics and FundamentalityDr. Alyssa Ney (from UC Davis) presents, "Physics and Fundamentality"

Abstract: What justifies the allocation of funding to research in physics when many would argue research in the life and social sciences may have more immediate impact in transforming our world for the better? Many of the best justifications for such spending depend on the claim that physics enjoys a kind of special status vis-a-vis the other sciences, that physics or at least some branches of physics exhibit a form of fundamentality. The goal of this paper is to articulate a conception of fundamentality that can support such justifications. I argue that traditional conceptions of fundamentality in terms of dynamical or ontic completeness rest on mistaken assumptions about the nature and scope of physical explanations.

A technical talk by Dr. Kater Murch

Poster of Dr. Kater Murch talk on the Quantum Zeno EffectDr. Kater Murch (from Washington University in St. Louis) presents, "Measurement and control in superconducting qubits: from the quantum Zeno effect to quantum enhanced metrology"

Abstract: The quantum Zeno effect is a feature of measurement-driven quantum evolution where frequent measurement inhibits the decay of a quantum state. We will explore how the opposite effect; the anti-Zeno effect - where frequent measurement accelerates decay - can also emerge from frequent measurement. The emergence of one effect or the other elucidates the nature of quantum measurement and the role measurement plays in controlling quantum evolution. In a second experiment, we investigate how control over a single qubit can be used achieve a quantum speedup in the precision of frequency measurements, demonstrating a frequency sensitivity that improves as 1/T^2, where T is the duration of the experiment.

Taylor Patti receives Cheverton Award

three students posing with awardsSenior Taylor Lee Patti, triple Physics, Math, and Spanish Major (with a Chemistry Minor), receives Chapman's prestigious Cecil F. Cheverton Award, the highest honor the university awards to only one student annually.

She has 2 peer-reviewed journal publications: one in the field of biochemistry and food science in collaboration with Dr. Rosalee Hellberg, and the other in quantum foundations with Dr. Yakir Aharonov, National Medal of Science recipient and Director of Chapman's Institute for Quantum Studies.

Professor Justin Dressel awarded Wang-Fradkin Professorship

A NASA perspective...

Sandu Popescu elected as Fellow of the Royal Society

Headshot of Sandu PopescuDr. Sandu Popescu, Professor of Physics at University of Bristol and a member of Chapman's Institute for Quantum Studies, is among 50 distinguished scientists to have been elected as Fellows of the Royal Society.

Cozzarelli Prize Announcement from the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences

natural academy of sciences logoCongratulations to Institute for Quantum Studies!

The Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences will bestow the Cozzarelli Prize this year to Yakir Aharonov, Fabrizio Colombo, Sandhu Popescu, Irene Sabadini, Chapman University President Daniele C. Struppa, and Jeff Tollaksen in recognition for their article "Quantum violation of the pigeonhole principle and the nature of quantum correlations."

To read the story behind the science, click here!

Professor Roman Buniy awarded Wang-Fradkin Professorship

QS: M&F - Article of the Year

Quantum Studies journal coverRead the Quantum Studies: Mathematics and Foundations Article of the Year - Heisenberg scaling with weak measurement: a quantum state discrimination point of view.

Congratulations to the authors - Andrew Jordan, Jeff Tollaksen, James Troupe, Justin Dressel, Yakir Aharonov.


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Superoscillations - Theoretical Aspects and Applications Symposium

view of Grand Hotel in San Marcos

Superoscillations were identified independently by Sir Michael Berry and Yakir Aharonov in very different contexts, but in the last several years the communities of mathematicians and physicists have taken increased interest in this phenomenon, both because of its interesting mathematical characteristics, and because of its many potential applications. This symposium is intended not only to present the state of the art on (theoretical and applied) research on superoscillations, but also to look at the future of this field. Click here for more conference info.

Sir Michael Berry Visits Chapman

A Few Physics Wonders - Superoscillations series - Divergent series -

A Few Physics Wonders poster

Sir Michael Berry came visiting Chapman campus ready to talk about some of the beautiful things that physicists actually do. Intentionally accessible to anybody, this free and open to the community colloquium uses non-technical language and a multi-media experience. A Few Physics Wonders is generally appealing to an audience interested in science, especially those who find the work of other great physicists, like Einstein or Hawking, inspirational.

Following his fun, standing-room-only popular talk, Sir Michael Berry hosted an open, five-part series of technical seminars focused on Superoscillations, and concluded with a supplementary sixth presentation from his Divergent Series: From Thomas Bayes's Bewilderment to Today's Resurgence Via the Rainbow.

Yakir Aharonov's 80th Birthday Conference

Yakir Aharonov's birthdayTo help celebrate Yakir Aharonov's 80th birthday, a party of the world’s most acclaimed physicists mingled at Chapman University and spoke to our conference on the foundations of quantum physics.

Quantum Conference 2010