Quantum Foundations at the APS March Meeting

If you’re a member of the APS topical group on Quantum Information (GQI) you recently received an email from Chris Fuchs about the upcoming APS March meeting (to be held in Dallas, Texas this year.)  If you’re not a member, shame on you, you should become a member!  But more importantly Chris has made a very good effort this year to have a good showing of talks from the quantum foundations community.  There is a focus session this year, “Quantum Information for Quantum Foundations” with Giulio Chiribella (Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics) as the invited speaker.  Giulio will give a talk titled “Toward a Conceptual Foundation of Quantum Information Processing.”  Further Anton Zeilinger (University of Vienna) will be giving a symposium talk, “Quantum Information and the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics: A Story of Mutual Benefit.”

One of the explicit reasons for forming GQI, in addition to the explosive growth of quantum information science, was a place for all who are tightly tied to quantum theory and in particular for quantum foundations folks.  The mission statement of GQI makes this explicit:

The Group is committed to serving as the home within the American Physical Society for researchers in the foundations of quantum mechanics. The Topical Group will promote a continuation of the active and beneficial exchange of ideas between quantum foundations and quantum information science.

Over the years this has resulted in varying degrees of success.  I can remember a few foundations sessions at the March meeting that were top notch and very interesting, but increasingly there has not been a strong foundations showing.

I would, of course, encourage all quantum information related people to attend (submit a talk or a poster) to the March meeting (at worst you’re going to learn about the very exciting superconducting qubit experiments occurring at places like UCSB, Yale, and IBM) but I would particularly encourage you to submit a talk or a post if you are from the quantum foundations community.

My personal view is that foundations work lies very deep in the heart of quantum information science.  Not necessarily for the grand old debate about the interpretation of quantum theory, but because foundations seeks to bring conceptual clarity to a subject whose mystery is what we are trying to exploit.  So foundations people come out of yer closet and help shed some crazy light on quantum information science!


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