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Thursday, March 10th 2011

5:00 pm:

A quantum magician can play tricks that defy our classical imagination. For example, two futuristic quantum dice rolled at an arbitrary distance will show the same number, or quantum balls hidden under a cup can exhibit colors impossible in any classical scenario. These are just two examples of consequences of the challenges to classical reality in the quantum world posed by experiments testing the foundations of quantum physics. Such experiments became seminal in the development of Quantum Information science and technology. Most notably entanglement, dismissed as “spooky” by Einstein while called “the characteristic trait of quantum mechanics” by Schrödinger emerged both as a central fundamental concept in quantum physics and as important, in most cases even crucial, for key protocols like quantum cryptography, quantum computation, and quantum teleportation. Today entangled states can cover large distances, for example between two Canary Islands, or employ a significant number of particles. The emerging picture suggests that the notions of reality or objectivity have to be scrutinized more deeply and information itself plays a fundamental role in the understanding the foundations of quantum mechanics.

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