30 Apr 2020 - 3:00pm
The Royal Society: 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG
Schools (secondary)

We are pleased to invite BPhO schools to attend our first open lecture at the Royal Society. Schools may bring up to 10 students from Year 10-12.

Book A place for your Students: http://bit.ly/BPhOLecture

Talk details


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. The reason its distinctive features tend to be hidden is not a simple matter of scale. Over the past few years experimentalists have seen quantum effects in a growing number of macroscopic systems.

The quintessential quantum effect, entanglement, can even occur in large systems as well as warm ones - including living organisms - even though molecular jiggling might be expected to disrupt entanglement. 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 behaviour too. Thus, distinguishing quantum correlations other than entanglement provides a better discriminator between the quantum and classical worlds.

Professor Vedral will first review different notions of classical and quantum correlations. Distinguishing classical from quantum behaviour at the macroscopic scale also requires a good measure of `quantum macroscopicity’. In this context he will introduce the Schrödinger cat states and will illustrate the related quantum concepts using a number of state-of-the-art experiments aiming at creating larger and larger quantum superpositions. The talk will close with a discussion about an experiment with organic molecules conducted in Professor Vedral’s group and aimed at probing quantumness at the macroscopic level.

Vlatko Vedral studied undergraduate theoretical physics at Imperial College London, where he also received a PhD for his work on 'Quantum Information Theory of Entanglement'. Since June 2009, Vedral has moved to Oxford as Professor of Quantum Information Science. Throughout his career he has held a number of visiting professorships at different international institutions. He has published more than 130 research papers and has written two textbooks. He has written for popular science journals and major daily newspapers, as well as doing extensive radio programmes and television interviews.

For more details about Professor Vedral’s group research at Oxford University: https://oxfordquantum.web.ox.ac.uk/

For more information contact: 

Please contact schools.liaison@physics.ox.ac.uk if you have any questions about the event.