Revealing quantumness without looking: the quest for quantum gravity

Martedì 14 gennaio 2020, ore 18.00
Aula Minutoli, Scuola Superiore di Catania
Villa San Saverio, Via Valdisavoia, 9


Mauro Paternostro
Docente di Ottica quantistica e Teoria dell’informazione quantistica
Queen’s University Belfast, UK

Introduce e modera:
Giuseppe Falci
Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia “Ettore Majorana”
Università degli Studi di Catania


ABSTRACT: Your prankster friend gave you a box into which, she says, there is a quantum system. She asks you to  hold the box for her, and not to ruin the fragile quantum system that is inside. But you do not trust her and want to find out if she is telling the truth or not. How would you ascertain that the system within your friend’s box is indeed genuinely quantum? 

As preposterous as this situation might sound, it is not far from conditions routinely found in quantum labs: the direct revelation of the non-classical properties of a system is often either too disruptive for the system itself (if you measure it, your ruin it!), or simply technically difficult to realise (the system might be difficult to access, just like the one in your friend’s box). 

In this talk I will illustrate a scheme based on quantum communication and the theory of quantum correlations, that allows you to "certify" the quantum nature of an inaccessible system. I will show how, besides its fundamental interest, the scheme is prone to verification in a number of experimental settings, including quantum optomechanics. Finally, I will conjecture that it can be used as a trojan horse to investigate the possible quantum nature of gravity and describe a recent proposal for an experiment based on matter-wave interferometry. 

The work presented in this talk is based on the following papers 
T. Krisnanda, M. Zuppardo, M. Paternostro, and T. Paterek, Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 120402 (2017) 
S. Bose et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 240401 (2017) [see also Synopsis inPhysics: 2]
T. Krisnanda, G. Y. Tham, M. Paternostro, and T. Paterek, Nature Quantum Information (to appear, 2019)

SMALL CV: Mauro Paternostro is Professor of Quantum optics and Quantum Information Science at Queen’s University Belfast, where he received his Ph.D. in 2005. His research focuses on mesoscopic quantumness, quantum optomechanics, the foundations of quantum theory, quantum state engineering, and the thermodynamics of quantum processes. He was awarded several individual fellowships, including the EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship, the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, and the Royal Society Wolfson Research Fellowship. He is an active advocate for the development of a framework for quantum experiments and technologies in space.


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