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PERIMETER INSTITUTE RECORDED SEMINAR ARCHIVE

From Information Geometry to Quantum Theory
Speaker(s): Philip Goyal
Abstract: The unparalleled empirical success of quantum theory strongly suggests that it accurately captures fundamental aspects of the workings of the physical world. The clear articulation of these aspects is of inestimable value --- not only for the deeper understanding of quantum theory in itself, but for its further development, particularly for the development of a theory of quantum gravity. However, such articulation has traditionally been hampered by the fact that the quantum formalism consists of postulates expressed in an abstract mathematical language to whose elementary objects (complex vectors and operators) our physical intuition cannot directly relate. Recently, there has been growing interest in elucidating these aspects by expressing, in a less abstract mathematical language, what we think quantum theory might be telling us about how nature works, and trying to derive, or reconstruct, quantum theory from these postulates. In this talk, I describe a very simple reconstruction of the finite- dimensional quantum formalism. The derivation takes places with a classical probabilistic framework equipped with the information (or Fisher-Rao) metric, and rests upon a small number of elementary ideas (such as complementarity and global gauge invariance). The complex structure of quantum formalism arises very naturally. The derivation provides a number of non-trivial insights into the quantum formalism, such as the extensive nature of the role of information geometry in determining the quantum formalism, and the importance (or lack thereof) of assumptions concerning separated systems.
Date: 29/09/2008 - 4:30 pm
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