From quantum bits to exotic particles

From quantum bits to exotic particles

Date:  Saturday, May 9, 2015 - 10:30

Venue:  Theoretical Physics, 1 Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3NP

‘I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics’ - Richard Feynman. The seventh Morning of Theoretical Physics was devoted to the idea of quantum computation and the strange behaviour of certain types of fundamental particle. The difficultly in understanding inevitably stems from the fact that the quantum world is so entirely unlike our everyday experience. Objects can be in quantum mechanical ‘superposition’ states – appearing to do two very different things at the same time; and objects can also be ‘entangled’ with each other such that measurement of one object can have ‘spooky’ (Einstein’s word) action on other objects far away.





Prof Andrew Steane

Quantum Computing

Video podcast Presentation (PDF)

What is quantum computing? It is the merger of quantum physics with the concept of information and information processing. This gives an insightful cross-fertilisation in both directions: concepts from computer science can be adapted to give new insights into what quantum systems can do; quantum physics in turn makes possible a new and very powerful form of computing. The talk introduces these ideas and gives a friendly but precise introduction into how quantum computers work.


Prof Steve Simon

Knots, World-lines, and Topological Quantum Computation

Video Podcast

In two dimensional “topological matter” (or “topological quantum field theories”), processes depend on gross topology rather than detailed geometry. Thinking in 2+1 dimensions, particle world-lines can be interpreted as knots, and the amplitude for certain processes becomes a topological invariant of that knot. While sounding rather exotic, we believe that such topological matter not only exists, but could provide a uniquely practical route to building a quantum computer.


Prof John March-Russell

Basics of Anyons and Nonabelian Aharanov-Bohm Effect

Video podcast

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