Sponsored by the Rutgers University Department of Mathematics and the
Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS)

Andrew Baxter, Rutgers University, baxter{at} math [dot] rutgers [dot] edu
Doron Zeilberger, Rutgers University, zeilberg {at} math [dot] rutgers [dot] edu

Title: The Shape of an Experiment

Speaker: Noson S. Yanofsky, CUNY graduate center and Brooklyn College

Date: Thursday, March 10, 2011 5:00pm

Location: Hill Center, Room 705, Rutgers University, Busch Campus, Piscataway, NJ


Two of the most important ideas in quantum mechanics are compatibility of measurements and entanglement of outcomes. We look at a combinatorial description (simplicial sets) of the space of measurements and the space of possible outcomes of those experiments. An experiment is then a map from the space of outcomes to the space of measurements that assigns to each outcome the measurement that corresponds to it. The result of an experiment is simply a map from measurements to outcomes that is inverse to the experiment map. Different no-go theorems and properties of quantum systems are then simple statements about experiment maps. From this point of view, the notion of compatibility (which restricts the space of measurements) and entanglement (which restricts the space of outcomes) are seen as intimately related phenomena.