This is the first meeting of our Simons Program for this spring, with meetings centered around the scientific interests of Simons Visiting Professor Charles Bennett. April 9-12 we are hosting a workshop on hot topics related to quantum information and cosmology.
The topics of the workshop include:
- Emergence of classical phenomenology from quantum laws via decoherence (the "quantum Darwinism" or "spam" paradigm), which seems to require thermodynamic disequilibrium, but could perhaps occur without it.
- Emergence of complex structures via fault tolerant error-correction and self-organization, again also seemingly requiring thermal disequilibrium, but perhaps possible without it
- How to avoid the Boltzmann brain problem, which seems to plague cosmologies that equilibrate at nonzero temperature, either by finding a way to produce structures sufficiently organized to be anthropic observers even at equilibrium, or by finding plausible cosmologies with a plentiful supply of disequilibrated places.
- How to think about the experiences of an observer (Wigner's friend) within an unobserved superposition, which has become more than a philosophical conundrum because of its bearing on the Boltzmann brain problem.
- How these problems might be complicated or mitigated by a mechanism for quantum emergence of spacetime.
The workshop is open, but participation is subject to invitation from the organizers. If you wish to participate, please send a mail to Anette Studsgaard (firstname.lastname@example.org).