The Department of Logic & Philosophy of Science Colloquium Series presents
"Relativistic Causality and Local Disentanglement in Quantum Field Theory"
with Giovanni Valente, University of Pittsburgh
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Social Science Tower, Room 777, LPS Department Conference Room
Entanglement between distant quantum systems poses two outstanding problems in philosophy of quantum mechanics. First, the ensuing non-local correlations seem to entail a conflict with relativistic causality, namely the requirement that no causal process can propagate faster than light. That raises a threat of inconsistency with Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity. Second, the presence of entanglement undermines the possibility of achieving a division of the microscopic world into independent subsystems. In this talk, I will discuss these problems within the framework of algebraic relativistic quantum field theory. Valente will begin by distinguishing between two formulations of relativistic causality: that is, no superluminal signaling and no superluminal propagation of matter and energy carried by a field. He will then argue that the condition of Local Primitive Causality guarantees that quantum fields cannot propagate faster than light; furthermore, he will show how one can prove a no-superluminal-signaling theorem in terms of the notion of local operations. Finally, he will address the question whether a quantum field system can be isolated from its entanglement with other spacelike separated systems by acting on it by means of a local operation: in particular, he will demostrate that local disentanglement can be achieved in relativistic quantum field theory, thereby fulfilling a necessary condition for the mutual independence of microscopic subsystems.
For further information, please contact Patty Jones, email@example.com or 949-824-1520.