Research

10922265_871387390620_4231225696042050617_o

My doctoral dissertation committee (L to R): Allen Stairs, James Mattingly, Mathias Frisch, me, Jeff Bub (my supervisor), and Eric Pacuit

My research has been primarily focused in the foundations of of quantum theory, with a particular interest in whether Quantum Information Theory offers the interpretational resources to effectively deal with the important questions—the measurement problem in particular—raised by the proponents of the psi-ontic interpretations of quantum theory. Much of the focus of this analysis to date has been on Bub and Pitowsky’s Information-Theoretic Interpretation of quantum mechanics, most completely detailed in their 2010 paper “Two Dogmas About Quantum Mechanics” I argue that although the Information-Theoretic Interpretation shares certain features with a class of ontic approaches to the interpretation of quantum theory—those characterized by the Primitive Ontology framework—it does not share the latter’s resources to address foundational issues. Current work involves generalizing this argument to other psi-epistemic interpretations of quantum theory.

Other work has focused on the metaphysical presuppositions underlying David Deutsch’s model for the behavior of quantum systems in the presence of closed timelike curves. I argue that Deutsch’s solutions to the paradoxes of time travel cannot be embedded in the standard Everett Interpretation on which he seems to rely. Rather, they require the existence of a more general notion of the multiverse in which there are timelessly existent parallel identical worlds, which become connected up in the presence of a CTC. The existence of these worlds—which cannot result from the standard branching Everett story—play an ineliminable causal role in generating the results of the D-CTC model, even in simple cases. Because of this metaphysical commitment implicit in the model, its wide adoption in the quantum information literature should be reexamined.

Publications:

“The Metaphysics of D-CTCs: On the Underlying Assumptions of Deutsch’s Quantum Solution to the Paradoxes of Time Travel”. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, Volume 56. (Nov. 2016)

“On the Common Structure of the Primitive Ontology Approach and Information-Theoretic Interpretation of Quantum Theory”. Topoi vol. 34, issue 2. (Oct. 2015)

Works in Progress:

“Would the Existence of a CTC Allow for Nonlocal Signaling?” Preprint.

“Shakespeare’s Free Lunch: A Critique of the D-CTC Solution to the Knowledge Paradox” Preprint.

Talks:

Here is version of the talk “The Metaphysics of D-CTCs: On the Underlying Assumptions of Deutsch’s Quantum Solution to the Paradoxes of Time Travel”