Bohrs Principle of Complementarity of wave and particle aspects of quantum systems has been a cornerstone of quantum mechanics since its inception. Einstein, Schrödinger and deBroglie vehemently disagreed with Bohr for decades, but were unable to point out the error in Bohrs arguments. I will report three recent experiments in which Complementarity fails, and argue that the results call for an upgrade of the Quantum Measurement theory. Finally, I will introduce the novel concept of Contextual Null Measurement (CNM) and discuss some of its surprising applications.
Web-page: users.rowan.edu/~afshar/ Preprint (published in Proc. SPIE 5866, 229-244, 2005): http://www.irims.org/quant-ph/030503/
In the standard cosmological model, galaxies and large-scale structure grew by a process of gravitational instability from initial perturbations which were of the simplest statistical form imaginable: a statistically homogeneous and isotropic Gaussian random field. One of the properties of such a field is that its Fourier transform has real and imaginary parts which are independently Gaussian and consequently the phases are uniformly random. The same thing applies to the phases of the spherical harmonic coefficients involved when observed fluctuations over the celestial sphere, such as in the cosmic microwave background. Defining anything other than random phases as "weird", I discuss various aspects of cosmic weirdness and the non-randomness they produce in harmonic space. I introduce some novel methods for visualizing weirdness in CMB data and elsewhere, and discuss their relationship to more conventional statistical analyses. If I have time I will also discuss a few other interest things to do with CMB fluctuations.
Optical experiments led the way to quantum information with striking examples of Bell's inequality tests and entangled state synthesis. Early demonstrations of quantum communication proved that optics are important for quantum communication and more recent ideas about linear optic quantum computing raised hopes that this would also be true for computing. I will give an overview of the various elements that are required for optical QIP and the state-of-the-art characteristics. I will then specialize on sources of single photons and entangled photon pairs and show how they need to be adapted to the task at hand.
We show that the origin of the dark matter and dark energy problems originates in the assumption of standard Einstein gravity that Newton's constant is fundamental. We discuss an alternate, conformal invariant, metric theory of gravity in which Newton's constant is induced dynamically, with the global induced one which is effective for cosmology being altogether weaker than the local induced one needed for the solar system. We find that in the theory dark matter is no longer needed, and that the accelerating universe data can be fitted without fine-tuning using a cosmological constant as large as particle physics suggests. In the conformal theory then it is not the cosmological constant which is quenched but rather the amount of gravity that it produces.
Richard Feynman is said to have said that philosophy of science is of no more use to scientists than ornithology is to birds. I will describe how a sociologist looks at the search for gravitational waves. Is it ornithology to birds?
I will review some recent claims of anomalous signatures in the WMAP data of the CMB - specifically those that indicate a departure from Statistical Isotropy. This will include an outline of various methods of analysis and the issues involved in testing the Gaussianity and Statistical Isotropy of the CMB. I will then discuss the various implications of the observations - the most exciting of which is that our Universe is not Isotropic and more complicated cosmological models need to be considered.