8 July, 7:00 pm, Copernicus Conference Centre (central entrance to the building). Entrance is free of charge, but attendees must register. The lecture will be translated.
Registration for this meeting is finished.
“Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it,” said Niels Bohr, one of the pioneers of quantum mechanics – alongside Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Erwin Schrödinger and Werner Heisenberg. Albert Einstein called quantum mechanics “the most successful theory of our time” yet at the same time was among its critics. He did not accept that it did not assume a deterministic causality, but rather offered only probabilistic results. As he used to put it: “God does not play dice!”
Anton Zeilinger (born 20 May 1945) works in quantum mechanics, specializing in interferometry. He is a professor of experimental physics at the University of Vienna, and also heads the Institute of Quantum Physics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Gdańsk and has won many awards, including the Wolf Prize in Physics (2010) and the Isaac Newton Prize (2007).
The Austrian researcher studies fundamental phenomena on the micro-scale. He is one of the best contemporary experimental physicists, successfully combining theoretical and experimental work. He demonstrates experimentally things that quantum theorists have put forward as speculation. The results of Zeilinger’s experiments at the University of Vienna demonstrate that nothing in the micro-world is determined until it has been observed*, that the forces that act on us in the world do not necessarily have to be of a local nature, meaning that they do not have to stem only from our nearby environment. The world may be non-local.
Together with his team in 1997 he carried out the first-ever case of quantum teleportation between two photons. In another well-known experiment in 2012, his team managed to teleport a quantum state between entangled photons at a distance of 150 km from the island La Palma to Tenerife. It is thanks to him that quantum teleportation ceased to be a point of speculation, but has instead become a fact.
Scientists engaged in fundamental research work generally do not concern themselves with what purpose their discoveries might one day be used for. They are absorbed by theory itself to such an extent that they leave developing applications of their findings to others. But Prof. Zeilinger told science journalist Piotr Cieśliński from Gazeta Wyborcza: “When I was starting out 30 years ago, the oddities of quantum mechanics astounded me. So I decided to try to take a closer look at them in the lab, although I was advised not to, encouraged instead to do studies that stood a chance of practical application. But I stuck to my guns, though back then no one knew such knowledge would one day prove useful – in new methods of cryptography, teleportation, and quantum computers.” Quantum mechanics is helping give rise to new technologies. A system of quantum cryptography has already been created, and quantum computers would even more spectacular – although they still remain in the realm of dreams, every successive experiment related to quantum teleportation brings us closer to making them a reality. Such computers would have incredible capacity and would not have to be continually modernized.
Come attend a lecture by Prof. Anton Zeilinger, who will talk about quantum mechanics in an easily-accessible way.
* based on the article “An Experimental Test of Non-local Realism” in the prestigious journal Nature