Several Oxford theory groups are interested in the limits of quantum theory. Their work ranges from examining the foundational principles of quantum physics and information, through topics like the significance of 'free will' in quantum tests, to finding a quantum perspective in new areas like thermodynamics and biology.

Samson Abramsky and
Bob Coecke's Quantum Group
in Computer Science Department

 

 Image: Diagrammatic analysis of quantum information flow.

Image: Diagrammatic analysis of quantum information flow.

The Department of Computer Science has a 40 member, jointly led team looking the structural connections between physics and computer science. The applications are quantum information and computation, and also in the foundations of physics. The group relies in particular on category theory and logic.  Spin-offs of the quantum research include mathematical models of meaning in natural language and automated reasoning for diagrammatic languages.

Leaders: Samson Abramsky, Bob Coecke, 
Faculty member: Jonathan Barrett

Nine Postdocs: 
Edward Grefenstette, Chris Heunen, Clare Horsman, Kohei Kishida, Aleks Kissinger, Raymond Lal, Shane Mansfield, Ondrej Rypacek, Jamie Vicary

Three long term visitors:
Selma Dundar, Quanlong Wang, Quan Zhang

Twenty five Students: 
John-Mark Allen, Miriam Backens, Krzystof Bar, Carmen Constantin, Abhishek Dasgupta, Nadish de Silva, Brendan Fong, Stefano Gogioso, Amar Hadzihasanovic, Nal Kalchbrenner, Alex Kavvos, Dimitri Kartsaklis, Ciaran Lee, Dan Marsden, Yoshihiro Maruyama, Alex Merry, Hugo Nava Kopp, Karl Paulsson, David Quick, Andre Ranchin, Rui Soares Barbosa, Matthijs Vakar, Norihiro Yamada, Vladimir Zamdzhiev and William Zeng.

Link to group's website

 

Vlatko Vedral's Group
Frontiers of Quantum Physics
(Physics Department)

 

 Image: Artists impression of entangled between pairs of particles.

Image: Artists impression of entangled between pairs of particles.

In our theory group in the Physics Department we investigate quantum information from a variety of angles that range from the very abstract (mathematical physics) to the more applied (quantum biology).
An area of particular current interest is the interface between thermodynamics and quantum physics, especially for non-equilibrium cases. There are possible applications to finding the limits of energy efficiency in future technologies.

 Leader: Vlatko Vedral

Students: 
Felix Binder
Benjamin Brown
Ross Dorner
Andrew Garner
Tomi Johnson
Felix Pollock
Giovanni Vacanti. 

Link to group's website

Artur Ekert's Group:
Quantum Computation and Cryptography 
(Mathematical Institute)

 

 Probability in a quantum world, image (c) Carl Rosendahl at flickr.com

Probability in a quantum world, image (c) Carl Rosendahl at flickr.com

A sub-group of the mathematical physics group in the Mathematical Institute, studying a range of topics in Quantum Information, particularly Quantum Computation and Quantum Cryptography. A recent focus has been on the significance of the role of 'free will' of the experimentalist in non-locality tests. 

Leader: Artur Ekert

Affiliate: Alastair Kay (at Royal Holloway)

Link to group's own page

David Deutsch's Group
Towards Constructor Theory
(Materials Department)

 

 The universal constructor: huge, tiny, or impossible? Left image by Daniel Dociu (tinfoilgames.com), Right image by Mondolithic.com.

The universal constructor: huge, tiny, or impossible? Left image by Daniel Dociu (tinfoilgames.com), Right image by Mondolithic.com.

Developing a new fundamental theory, constructor theory, that aims to express all scientific theories  in terms of a dichotomy between possible and impossible physical transformations. Questions that are difficult to frame in conventional theories may have concise concise expression here. For example: Does the universe permit a machine that can create any and all other structures, given suitable resources (a 'universal constructor').

Leader: David Deutsch

Group coordinator: Simon Benjamin

Postdoc: Chiara Marletto

Link to group's own page

The Faculty of Philosophy 

philosophy_800_320.jpg

Oxford's Faculty of Philosophy includes a number of researchers with an interest in the nature and implications of quantum science. Topics include: Philosophy and foundations of quantum theory; interpretations of quantum mechanics and the measurement problem; ontology of the wavefunction; quantum probability; nonlocality and separability; particle exchange symmetry and the concept of objecthood; foundational issues in quantum field theory; foundational issues in quantum information theory; quantum gravity.

Leading Researchers:
Prof. Harvey Brown
Prof. Simon Saunders
Dr Oliver Pooley
Dr David Wallace
Dr Chris Timpson
Dr Owen Maroney