Metaphysics, Time Travel, Quantum Information Science

    6th open faculty research seminar

     

    February 16, 19.00—21.00

    Address: ul. 8 Marta, 2/1

    Free admission, no registration needed, working language is English

     

    Seminar program

    • Giacomo Andreoletti

      (PhD in Philosophy and Human Sciences, State University of Milan, Italy)

      “The Metaphysics of Time Travel”

      In this talk I will provide a general survey of the main themes that are present in the recent history of the philosophical debate on time travel. We are familiar with time travel because of science fiction stories. But, what exactly is time travel? Simply put, time travel involves the relocation of a time traveler to a past or future time. Tim presses the button of his time machine in the year 2018 and later on appears out of thin air in the year 1920. Is such a thing possible? Even tough time travel involves several paradoxical oddities (objects appearing out of nothing, causal loops, backward causation and others), I will show how there can be accounts that coherently explain those oddities, thereby making time travel metaphysically possible. As we shall see, while thinking about time travel, we will end up dealing with other philosophical issues such as: identity over time, free will, causation, the nature of past and future, and many more.

       

    • Fabio Grazioso

      (PhD in Solid-State Physics and Quantum Optics, Oxford University, UK)

      “My research experience on theoretical and experimental Quantum Information Science, and a general introduction on the subject for non-experts”

      Quantum Mechanics (QM) has been one of the most important achievements of modern science, that has changed the Physics of 20th century. This new and powerful tool has shown practical results in chemistry, solid state physics and electronics, only to name some of the fields with the most relevant impact on everyday life, and has lead to a deep rethinking of our scientific and philosophical conceptions of Nature. The physical systems described by QM have some unique behaviors, not observed in most of everyday phenomena, such as the superposition principle and quantum entanglement. 

      Other very important fields of research developed in the last century have been Information Technology and Computer Science. Those two fields focus on the definition and measure of the amount of information carried by physical systems, and on the concept of computational complexity, i.e. the ability to compute (solve) different classes of mathematical problems.

      Quantum Information Science (QIS) is an interdisciplinary field based on the idea that if the physical systems used to encode information (such the components in a computer) are non-classical systems described by QM, then it is possible to exploit the peculiar quantum phenomena of superposition and entanglement to perform computational and informational tasks impossible for their classical counterparts.

      In my presentation I will briefly describe the projects in which I have worked so far, all related to QIS, and then I will give an introduction to QM and QIS for non experts.