Tom Leinster recently introduced a curious notion of entropy modulo p (https://arxiv.org/abs/1903.06961). While entropy has a certain meaning in information theory and physics, mathematically it is simply a function with certain properties. Stating these as axioms, the function is unique. Surprisingly, Leinster shows that a function obeying the same axioms can also be found for "probability distributions" over a finite field, and this function is unique too.
In quantum information, mutually unbiased bases is an important set of measurements and an example of a quantum design. While in odd prime power dimensions their construction is based on a finite field, in dimension 2^n it relies on an unpleasant Galois ring. I will replace this ring by length-2 Witt vectors whose arithmetic involves only finite field operations and Leinster's entropy mod 2. This expresses qubit mutually unbiased bases entirely in terms of a finite field and allows deriving an explicit unitary correspondence between them and the affine plane over this field.
Most people are familiar with periodic tessellations and lattices; from the floor in the PI Bistro to their favourite spin systems. In this talk, I will discuss two less familiar families of tessellations and their applications to high energy physics, condensed matter physics, and mathematics: hyperbolic tessellations and quasicrystals. After introducing the basics of regular hyperbolic lattices, I will survey constructions and surprising properties of quasicrystals (like the Penrose tiling), including their classically forbidden symmetries, long-range order, and self-similar structure. Inspired by the AdS/CFT correspondence, I will describe a mathematical relationship between hyperbolic lattices in (D+1)-dimensions and quasicrystals in D-dimensions, as well as the resolution of a conjecture by Bill Thurston. Based on work to appear with Latham Boyle.
Interacting quantum particles can form non-trivial states of matter characterized by topological order, which features several unconventional properties such as topological degeneracy and fractionalized quasiparticles. In addition, it also provides a promising platform for realizing quantum computing in a robust manner. In this series of lectures, I will introduce the basics of topological order and its connection to quantum computing from various aspects involving lattice models, symmetry, and entanglement structure. Several frontier topics such as fracton topological phases, self-correcting quantum memory, state preparation, and quantum LDPC codes will be briefly discussed.
Two of the most beautiful examples of the interaction between mathematics and physics involve knot theory and mirror symmetry. In this talk, I will describe a new connection between them. The solution to a central problem in knot theory, the knot categorification problem, comes from a new application of mirror symmetry.