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
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
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.
Vlatko Vedral's Group
Frontiers of Quantum Physics
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
Artur Ekert's Group:
Quantum Computation and Cryptography
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)
David Deutsch's Group
Towards Constructor Theory
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
The Faculty of Philosophy
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.
Prof. Harvey Brown
Prof. Simon Saunders
Dr Oliver Pooley
Dr David Wallace
Dr Chris Timpson
Dr Owen Maroney