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Nonlocality in space and time

Objective

Quantum mechanics is our most successful theory of nature. Yet more than eight decades after its inception there is a general agreement that a deep and intuitive understanding of it is still missing; we know how to compute quantum effects but we clearly do not have the full story. Even to this day, surprising and even paradoxical quantum effects continue to be frequently discovered. They are paradoxical only because our understanding of quantum behaviour is not yet good enough to have anticipated them.

However, for the first time there are glimmers of hope. It is the main thesis of this project that what makes quantum mechanics so counterintuitive is the fact that it is nonlocal.

One nonlocal phenomenon, namely Bell-type nonlocality, is at present investigated intensively. It is by now universally accepted that it holds at least part of the key to truly understanding quantum behaviour.

However, it is the main point of this project that there exist two other types of nonlocality, namely dynamic nonlocality and nonlocality in time. Dynamic nonlocality is the nonlocality of the quantum equations of motion, discovered in the context of the Aharanov-Bohm effect. Nonlocality in time is the ability to impose independent initial and final boundary conditions on the evolution of a quantum system. In contrast to Bell-type nonlocality, these two other types of nonlocality have received far less attention. Research into temporal-nonlocality (pre- and post-selection) has been evolving slowly over the last twenty years, whilst dynamical nonlocality has been virtually untouched. I believe that only by understanding all three types of nonlocality can the key to quantum behaviour be found.

This project will develop an intensive research program on dynamical and temporal nonlocality whilst pursuing a vigorous investigation into the many fundamental open questions related to Bell-type nonlocality.

Call for proposal

ERC-2011-ADG_20110209
See other projects for this call

Host institution

UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL
Address
Beacon House Queens Road
BS8 1QU Bristol
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 664 126
Principal investigator
Sandu Popescu (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Audrey Michael (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (1)

UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 1 664 126
Address
Beacon House Queens Road
BS8 1QU Bristol
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Sandu Popescu (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Audrey Michael (Ms.)