About Me

My day job is to grapple with the behaviour of energy and matter at subatomic scales and to try and answer some big questions: Why are we here and what does it all mean?

VVguitar

Who Am I

I completed my undergraduate and graduate studies at Imperial College, London, and since June 2009 I have been in an entangled state of professorship at the University of Oxford.

What I Do

I made my name developing a novel way of quantifying entanglement and applying it to macroscopic physical systems.  Besides physics, I enjoy drawing, wakeboarding, and playing my electric guitar with the Marshall amp turned all the way up to 11.

Get in Touch

If you'd like to ask me a question or discuss my research then please get in touch.

Vector image of a textured wavy pattern

How Newton invented Hidden Variables and Fresnel discovered Decoherence

I’d like to tell you something you might find surprising (I did) and it’s all about things in classical physics that happen to be analogous to some of the concepts frequently thought to be strictly quantum mechanical. In order to fully appreciate the title, I’d like to claim, more specifically, that Newton was the originator of the first hidden variable theory in physics and that the concept of decoherence was discovered by the French physicist Fresnel.

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Photo by Tomaz Barcellos: https://www.pexels.com/photo/billiard-balls-2017868/

Weak Measurements and Consciousness

I’ve been writing a great deal about quantum measurements and the fact that, in quantum physics, they are basically entangling operations. No need for collapse postulates or any non-linear modifications to the unitary dynamics. No quantum jumps or any other discontinuities.

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Photo by RDNE Stock project: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-view-of-a-tennis-ball-on-a-wire-fence-8224406/

Occasionalism and Quantum Entanglement

Quantum physics is frequently viewed as violating the law of causality, namely that the same causes ought to produce the same effects. If I drop a ball from rest from a certain height, it will always reach the ground in the same amount of time, and with the same terminal speed. No matter how many times we repeat this experiment (and Galileo had done it till he was blue in the face) we will never obtain – to within an experimental error – a different result. The same initial conditions always produce the same final outcomes in classical physics.

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