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WG1: Quantum theory without observers.

The motivation for this research was clearly described by J.S. Bell: “The formulations of quantum mechanics that you find in the books involve dividing the world into an observer and an observed, and you are not told where that division comes – on which side of spectacles it comes, for example, or at which end of my optic nerve [...] So you have a theory which is fundamentally ambiguous [...]” (Bell, 1986). The aim of research in this area is to resolve the ambiguity by giving a consistent, observer-free formulation of quantum mechanics.

WG2: Effective descriptions of complex systems.

The efficient way of describing complex systems is to focus on a few relevant degrees of freedom. The problem is to understand phenomenological laws like the transport of charges, from the underlying microscopic dynamics, which are quantum mechanical. Major advances in quantum chemistry, biology and nanotechnology are based on this analysis.

WG3: Quantum theory meets relativity.

After Einstein, our worldview is that of a four-dimensional universe in which the laws of physics obey the principle of relativity. The marriage of relativity and quantum mechanics turns out to be problematic and the existing descriptions of Nature are plagued by infinities. Moreover, Bell ́s inequalities proved the nonlocality of Nature, which deepens the tension with relativity. To release this tension is a major open problem in the foundations of quantum mechanics.

WG4: From theory to experiments.

“I ́m inclined to put my money on the idea that if you push quantum mechanics hard enough it will break down and something else will take over – something we can ́t envisage at the moment” (Nobel laureate A.J. Leggett, 2010). Bell ́s theoretical analysis on quantum nonlocality opened the way to a whole new class of experiments and new quantum technologies like quantum cryptography. In a similar way, the open problems in the foundations of quantum theory are already leading to new cutting- edge experiments testing the validity of the theory, and will give rise to new technological developments.

 

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Members of ISSA join the KiDS Consortium
Members of ISSA, in collaboration with the Department of Physics, has recently joined the KiDS Consortium
University of Malta Awarded Title: 'CUDA Research Center'
The Institute of Space Science and Astronomy (ISSA), in collaboration with the University of Malta’s Department of Physics and the Faculty of Information and Communications Technology, announces that the University of Malta has been awarded the title of 'CUDA Research Center' by NVIDIA.
 
 
Last Updated: 6 April 2012

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