Mi, 17.04.2019 11:00

Talk by Michael Cuffaro, Wed. April 17, 11 am at the IQOQI seminar room

Information Causality, the Tsirelson Bound,

and the “Being-Thus” of Things

The principle of `information causality' can be used to derive an upper bound---known as the `Tsirelson bound'---on the strength of quantum mechanical correlations, and has been conjectured to be a foundational principle of nature. To date, however, it has not been sufficiently motivated to play such a foundational role. The motivations that have so far been given are, as I argue, either unsatisfactorily vague or appeal to little if anything more than intuition. Thus in this paper I consider whether some way might be found to successfully motivate the principle. And I propose that a compelling way of so doing is to understand it as a methodological generalisation of Einstein's principle of the mutually independent existence—the `being-thus'—of spatially distant things. In particular I first describe an argument, due to Demopoulos, to the effect that the so-called `no-signalling' condition can be viewed as a generalisation of Einstein's principle that is appropriate for an irreducibly statistical theory such as quantum mechanics. I then argue that a compelling way to motivate information causality is to in turn consider it as a further generalisation of the Einsteinian principle that is appropriate for a theory of communication. I describe, however, some important conceptual obstacles that must yet be overcome if the project of establishing information causality as a foundational principle of nature is to succeed.

Links to paper: https://arxiv.org/abs/1708.08630