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Computer Science News Read more from Computer Science News

Grasshopper jumping on a sphere gives new quantum insights

Bloch sphere with grasshopper Dr Dmitry Chistikov and Professor Mike Paterson, together with physicists Olga Goulko (Boise State University) and Adrian Kent (Cambridge), have published an interdisciplinary paper Globe-hopping, solving a probabilistic puzzle on the sphere that has applications to quantum information theory.

Suppose a lawn must cover exactly half the area of a sphere. A grasshopper starts from a random position on the lawn and jumps a fixed distance in a random direction. What shape of lawn maximizes the chance that the grasshopper lands back on the lawn? A natural guess would be that a hemispherical lawn is best. It turns out, however, that this is nearly never the case — there are only a few exceptional jump sizes.

This work involving spherical geometry, probability theory, basic number theory, and theoretical physics appears in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A and shows, apart from concern for the well-being of grasshoppers, that there are previously unknown types of Bell inequalities. The Bell inequality, devised by physicist John Stewart Bell in 1964, demonstrated that no combination of classical theories with Einstein's special relativity is able to explain the predictions (and later actual experimental observations) of quantum theory.

A University press release can be found here.

Tue 11 Aug 2020, 11:51 | Tags: People Research

Statistics News and Events Read more from Statistics News and Events

Physics Department News Read more from Physics Department News

News @ Warwick Chemistry Read more from News @ Warwick Chemistry


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In Memoriam: Lawrence Markus 13 October 1922 - 18 January 2020

The Warwick Mathematics Institute is saddened to hear of the passing of Prof. Lawrence Markus in January 2020.

Tue 30 Jun 2020, 20:49 | Tags: People, Mathematics, Faculty of Science

News from Medical School Read more from Latest News

Psychology Read more from Psychology News