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SCIAMA LECTURE: Quantum Mechanics and Reality

07 October 2019
The Schism in Modern Physics, from 1927 to the Present Day

Quantum mechanics is singular among physical theories in that it does not make clear statements about what actually exists. Reality seems to 'depend on the observer'. On Wednesday 16 October Antony Valentini, Adjunct Professor of Physics at Clemson University, will discuss how the uncertainty principle and 'quantum superposition' appear to challenge conventional ideas about reality, and how these challenges may be overcome by insisting on a consistent notion of reality even at the atomic scale. He will describe how such a deeper theory - a theory of 'hidden variables' - was in fact already proposed by de Broglie in the 1920s, while most other theorists were abandoning the idea of objective reality. Revived by Bohm in 1952, work in recent decades has shown that de Broglie-Bohm theory contains a wealth of potentially new and radical physics, which has been widely overlooked even by the theory's proponents. To observe this new physics, however, may require to reach back to the early universe.

The Sciama Lecture will take place in the Budinich Lecture Hall at SISSA, starting at 5 pm.


(Image modified from Gondran, Wikimedia)