IOP Oxford: Quantum Physics in the Macro World

17 Sep 2019 - 7:00pm
Martin Wood Complex, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PU
Martin Wood Lecture Theatre
General public (Age 14+)

Fully booked

The Institute of Physics and Oxford University are pleased to be hosting Vlatko Vedral, Professor of Quantum Information Science at the University of Oxford.

The talk will start at 19:00 with refreshments served shortly beforehand.

Quantum mechanics is commonly said to be a theory of microscopic things: molecules, atoms, subatomic particles. Most physicists, though, think it applies to everything... no matter what the size. Its distinctive features tend to be hidden in macroscopic objects, but this is not a simple matter of scale. Over the past few years experimentalists have seen quantum effects in a growing number of macroscopic systems. Even though molecular jiggling might be expected to disrupt it, the quintessential quantum effect of entanglement can even occur in large, warm systems - including living organisms!

Different methods for quantifying the quantum and classical parts of correlations are amongst the most actively-studied topics of quantum physics over the past decade. Entanglement is the most prominent of these correlations, but in many cases disentangled states exhibit non-classical behavior too. Thus distinguishing quantum correlations other than entanglement provides a better discriminator between the quantum and classical worlds.

Using state of the art experiments to illustrate, Dr Vedral will take us through the concepts of classical and quantum correlations, "quantum macroscopy", and Schrödinger cat states. Finally, he will explain how his group are probing quantumness at the macroscopic level by experimenting with quantum effects in organic molecules.

(Image courtesy of Matthias Weinberger)

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