Perimeter Institute: The riddle of the quantum sphinx

Physicist Robert Spekkens tries to make sense of the colossal brain-twister that is quantum mechanics
By TVO News - Published on February 6, 2018
Man in front of blackboard.
Perimeter Institute's Robert Spekkens researches the foundations of quantum theory. (Perimeter Institute)



Quantum theory is one of the most baffling areas of science, yet it’s crucial to understanding our universe. But, in trying to figure out the quantum puzzle, have scientists made false assumptions along the way that hinder their research?

Physicist Robert Spekkens thinks the answer is yes — and he explained why in a lecture at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo on Wednesday, February 7 at 7:00 p.m. In laying out where he thinks quantum study has sometimes lost its way, he addressed such puzzling questions as: What did Plato (who died more than 2,300 years ago) have to say about Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle (which was formulated in 1927)? And what insights can ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs provide into quantum theory in the 21st century?

Even though the lecture is now over, you can watch a replay of it here:

The Perimeter Institute’s public lectures are usually held once a month. The entire 2017–18 series will be streamed on