Webinar on “Quantum Mechanics for Non-experts”, May 4, 2024

We are excited to sponsor the upcoming one-day webinar by two of our members who are experts on quantum mechanics. This event aims to give an general introduction to quantum mechanics for those who are not trained in it, as well as address cutting-edge topics such as the increasing belief in “many-worlds” quantum mechanics, whether consciousness plays a role in measurements in quantum mechanics, and the billion-dollar investments going into “quantum computing.” This event is in many ways a “book release” event for both speakers, who have new books published by Cambridge University Press this year. Links for these book are given in the bios below.

To register, go to this link.

Day: May 4, 2024


10:00 AM Eastern time: David Snoke, “Wave-particle duality in the context of quantum field theory

I will present a basic introduction to quantum mechanics as it is presently understood. Many discussions of quantum mechanics include various myths that are no longer seen as correct. I will discuss what is not really that strange and what is still problematic in the modern understanding.

11:00 AM Eastern time: Andrew Jordan, “Weak and continuous measurement – new results and insights”

I will review basic effects and results about weak and continuous measurements, highlighting results from my newly published book, Quantum Measurement: Theory and Practice.  I will show how these new types of measurements break the cardinal properties of traditional measurements.  They can be reversed, be non-projective, and take a finite amount of time.  Physical examples will be given.

12:00 PM Eastern: Break

1:00 PM Eastern: Dave Snoke, “Comparing Copenhagen, many-worlds, and spontaneous collapse interpretations”

There are many “interpretations” of quantum mechanics that try to define what is really going on, physically. In this talk I will give a quick survey of these, but focus on just three: the traditional Copenhagen interpretation, which says that conscious observers play a key role, the many-worlds interpretation, which says that there are infinite, parallel universes in which every quantum possibility happens, and spontaneous collapse, which says that inanimate forces can act they way that the Copenhagen interpretation says that consciousness does.

2:00 PM Eastern: Andrew Jordon, “What is a quantum computer, and how does it work?”

Quantum computation is a relatively new paradigm in computer science.  By using quantum physical systems as the “hardware” of the computer, new ways of making a computation become possible.  By writing new kinds of “software” using the rules of quantum physics, certain algorithms can be shown to perform tasks faster than the best known algorithms in conventional computer science.  I will give some examples of these algorithms and discuss where the field is going.

3:00 Eastern time: Open discussion moderated by Mark Tabladillo of Ratio Christi.


David Snoke is Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Pittsburgh, where he is also co-director of the Pittsburgh Quantum Institute. He leads an experimental lab that studies quantum effects of semiconductors using laser optical methods, and also has published on the theory of nonequilibrium quantum mechanics. He has published several books with Cambridge University Press, including Interpreting Quantum Mechanics: Modern Foundations (2024).

Andrew Jordan has served on the faculty at the University of Rochester and is presently at Chapman University, where is he is co-director of the Institute for Quantum Studies. He specializes in the theory of weak measurements and collaborates with experimentalists doing work on quantum computers. He recently published Quantum Measurement: Theory and Practice (2024), with co-author Irfan Siddiqi of Berkeley.

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