Kavli Institute For Theoretical Physics
The KITP Public Lecture Series

Quantum Theory of the Classical

sponsored by Friends of KITP

We live in a Universe that is fundamentally quantum. Yet, our everyday world appears to be resolutely classical. The underlying quantumness of our Universe has been by now convincingly established by careful laboratory experiments. They attest to the quantum nature of systems of various size and, above all, of the “stuff” (e.g. atoms) everything is made of. The evidence for the absence of quantumness in our world comes from ongoing everyday “experiments” – our perceptions – that are poorly controlled, but, because of their immediate, personal nature, are immensely persuasive.

Why does quantum theory result in a familiar “classical reality” in quantum systems? How and why does quantum theory result in our classical perceptions? 

About the Speaker

Wojciech Hubert Zurek is a Laboratory Fellow at Los Alamos. He is a leading authority on quantum theory, especially decoherence and the physics of information. His work on decoherence established a major bridge between the quantum and the classical, and the no- cloning theorem is the cornerstone of quantum information theory. Zurek is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, served as the Einstein Professor at the Ulm University, and received the Los Alamos Medal in 2014, the highest honor bestowed by the Los Alamos National Laboratory.