Physicists Present Public Lecture on Quantum Theories

Posted: January 30, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

Is teleportation possible? Ever wanted to learn about what quantum physics means to you at an everyday level? In February, Mason’s Aharonov Distinguished Lecture Series will hold two public lectures at the Fairfax Campus by world-renowned scientists who will help to answer these questions and more.

“Does the Everyday World Really Obey Quantum Mechanics?” will be presented by Sir Anthony Leggett, a 2003 Nobel Laureate, on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 3 p.m. in Harris Theater.

Five days later, the talk “What Is Quantum Non-Locality?” will be given by Sandu Popescu, professor of physics at the University of Bristol, England, on Monday, Feb. 12, at 3 p.m. in the Johnson Center Cinema.

These lectures are part of the Aharonov Distinguished Lecture Series, a program coordinated by Mason’s Center for Quantum Studies and quantum physicist Yakir Aharonov.

The lecture series was initiated to communicate the relevance and importance of quantum studies to the broader public. All lectures are for a general audience interested in finding out more information about this fascinating and complex science.

Leggett is the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Chair, and Center for Advanced Study professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2003, his pioneering work on superfluidity was recognized by the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physics. He is widely recognized as a world leader in the theory of low-temperature physics.

In his talk Leggett will discuss if and why the theory of quantum mechanics can be applied to the world at an everyday level, and how theories about quantum mechanics applications have changed dramatically in the last 12 years.

Popescu, who was the recipient of the 2004 Royal Society’s Clifford-Patterson Prize, is recognized for his work on quantum non-locality, which led to demonstrations of quantum teleportation.

Popescu will explain – for the layperson – one of the most exotic aspects of the behavior of microscopic particles. He will also present some of the uses of non-locality, including strange effects such as teleportation, and will discuss its implications for understanding the very foundations of quantum mechanics.

Future lectures in the series include popular science writer Paul Davies on Wednesday, April 18, at 3 p.m. at the Center for the Arts, and writer Roger Penrose at a date to be determined.

Write to at