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Quantum Computers, Predictability & Free Will

May 12 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Professor Gil Kalai will discuss the connection between the possibility of quantum computers, the predictability of complex quantum systems in nature, and the issue of free will.

The argument regarding the impossibility of quantum computers implies that the future of complex quantum systems in nature cannot be predicted. A more involved argument shows that the impossibility of quantum computation supports the view whereby the laws of nature do not in fact contradict free will. For this philosophical journey, we discuss in parallel the Google “Sycamore” quantum computer of 12 computational units (qubits), and the human-being Alice, whose free will we attempt to analyze.

At the center of the argument is the ambiguity inherent in the way the future is determined by the past; ambiguity that is not expressed in terms of the mathematical laws of physics
(which are fully deterministic) but rather in terms of the physical description of the objects we refer to.

The Hilldale lecture will be self-contained and we will not assume prior background regarding quantum computers or philosophy. (It will also not rely on the first lecture.)

Details

Date:
May 12
Time:
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Category:
https://go.wisc.edu/d456cn

Venue

virtual

Organizer

Office of the Secretary of the Faculty
Email:
admin@secfac.wisc.edu