Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Does the Everyday World REALLY Obey Quantum Mechanics?

Anthony J. Leggett
MacArthur Professor of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Friday, March 22, 2002
8:00 PM @ Stirling D

Abstract:

Quantum mechanics has been enormously successful in describing nature at the atomic level, and most physicists believe that it is in principle the "whole truth" about the world we live in. However, one common interpretation of the theory leads to the uncomfortable proposition that no definite outcome of an experiment occurs until the act of "observation". Given recent experimental advances, this problem can no longer be regarded as "merely philosophical". I will discuss the problem, some popular "resolutions" of it, the current experimental situation and prospects for the future. Professor Tony Leggett is a leading theorist who has contributed significantly to various areas of condensed matter physics, as well as to the foundations of quantum mechanics. Born in London, England, he obtained two undergraduate degrees (Literae Humaniores, Physics) at Oxford and a D. Phil. in theoretical physics with D. ter Haar. Following his appointment at the University of Sussex, he moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he holds the position of MacArthur Professor. He is recipient of several major awards, including the Fritz London Memorial Award (1981), the Paul Dirac Medal and Prize (1992), the John Bardeen Prize (1994) and the Eugene Feenberg Memorial Medal (1999).

Refreshments will follow in the foyer.