Philosophy of Physics Seminar (Thursday - Week 3, MT20)
Thursday 29th October 2020, 16:30
Porter Williams (Southern California): Identifying Causal Directions in Quantum Theories via Entanglement
In 1913, Russell claimed that causality was a relic of a bygone age. He based this, in part, on the time-symmetric nature of the laws describing microscopic physical systems. Though Russell’s argument was made in an age now-bygone itself, it continues to pass muster among philosophers. I will argue that it shouldn’t. I will employ techniques recently developed by Schölkopf, Janzing, and collaborators that use solely observational data (i.e. no interventions) to identify the causal direction of processes described by deterministic, invertible, noiseless maps to argue that in quantum theories, the generic development of entanglement between interacting quantum systems enables one to identify a causally relevant asymmetry between quantum states related by unitary evolution. This involves exploiting a connection between measures of entanglement and measures of classical and quantum algorithmic complexity.
The Seminar will take place via Microsoft Teams. Please email James Read if you would like to attend.
Philosophy of Physics Seminar Convenors for MT20: James Reid