The question of how to make sense of quantum mechanics continues to
intrigue me. Roughly speaking, we can understand classical mechanics as an
observer-independent description of a universe of objects with various properties
that change according to certain dynamical rules. The orthodox view is that
we cannot understand quantum mechanics in this way: if we attempt to do so,
we generate conceptual puzzles and paradoxes. By and large, philosophers of physics
have tended to side with Einstein against Bohr in rejecting the orthodox view,
opting instead to investigate various proposals - hidden variable theories, many worlds - designed to resolve the conceptual problems and restore an
observer-independent or realist interpretation of the theory.
I have become rather disillusioned with this approach. It seems to me that
the current locus of interesting foundational work in quantum mechanics is in the
rapidly developing new fields of quantum information, quantum computation,
and quantum cryptography. Essentially, the focus here is on understanding and
exploiting quantum entanglement - the 'spooky action at a distance' that
Einstein emphasized in his debates with Bohr - as a new resource.
I have published three books and more than 100 papers in this area and continue to work on these issues. I am interested in understanding the nature of quantum information, how this information is stored, how it can be moved around, what you can do with it, and what this tells us about the quantum world.
My research is supported by the University of Maryland Institute for Physical Science and Technology, and the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science.
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