Simons Foundation Presidential Lectures

SF Lecture: Complexity, Quantum Mechanics and the Structure of Space-Time

Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium (160 Fifth Av.)

Gerald D. Fischbach Auditorium

160 Fifth Av.


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Quantum mechanics and general relativity are the two pillars of 20th-century physics. However, paradoxes arise when we attempt to combine these theories to arrive at a quantum theory of space and time, often because the appearance of black holes and spacetime singularities seem to destroy quantum information.

In this lecture, Vijay Balasubramanian will discuss how we can resolve these paradoxes by drawing on concepts of complexity and information from theoretical computer science, communications theory and cryptography. He will use techniques from these fields to explain diverse, interlinked aspects of fundamental physics, including: the dynamics of quantum chaos and thermalization; the recovery of information from beyond the horizon of black holes; and, most fundamentally, causality in physical processes.

Speaker Bio:
Balasubramanian is the Cathy and Marc Lasry professor of physics at the University of Pennsylvania. He received B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in physics and computer science from MIT and a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University. He was a junior fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows before joining the faculty at Penn. His research spans diverse fields ranging from string theory to theoretical neuroscience.

Doors Open
: 4:30 PM
Lecture: 5:00 - 6:15 PM

Registration is required for this free, in-person event.

Further instructions will be sent to all registrants upon sign up.