Could Einstein have been right after all?

Staff - Faculty of Informatics

Date: 28 May 2019 / 15:30 - 16:30

USI Lugano Campus, room A-14, Red building (Via G. Buffi 13)

Gilles Brassard, University of Montreal, Canada

One of the most surprising aspects of quantum theory is that it tells us that we live in a nonlocal universe. This idea was completely abhorrent to Einstein, who dismissed it as "spooky action at a distance". Recent so-called loophole-free experiments have confirmed nonlocality beyond any reasonable doubt. But have they really? In this talk, I shall argue that no experiment whose purpose is to confirm the predictions of quantum theory can possibly be used as an argument in favour of nonlocality because any theory of physics that does not allow instantaneous signalling to occur and has reversible dynamics (such as unitary quantum theory) can be explained in a purely local and realistic universe. And if Einstein was right after all... once again?

This is joint work with Paul Raymond-Robichaud based on arXiv:1710.01380 and

Professor of computer science since 1979 and Canada Research Chair at the Université de Montréal, Gilles Brassard FRS, O.C., O.Q., laid the foundations of quantum cryptography at a time when only a handful of people worldwide were interested in quantum information science. He is also among the inventors of quantum teleportation, a universally recognized pillar of the entire discipline for which Thomson Reuters has predicted that he will one day receive the Nobel Prize in Physics. Editor-in-Chief for Journal of Cryptology from 1991 until 1997, he is the author of three books that have been translated into eight languages. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and the International Association for Cryptologic Research. Among his many awards, we note the NSERC Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering and the Killam Prize for natural sciences, which are the two most prestigious science recognitions in Canada. He was awarded honorary doctorates by the ETH in Zürich, the University of Ottawa and the Università della Svizzera italiana in Lugano, and made an Officer of the Order of Canada and of the Ordre national du Québec. In 2018, he became the first Canadian to receive the Wolf Prize for Physics.

Host: Prof. Stefan Wolf