Departmental Colloquia Autumn 2019

The colloquia (unless otherwise stated) will take place on Tuesdays at 3.00pm in Main Quad Pop up 101. See the map for further details. There will be a small reception afterwards in Mathematics Room 502 (25 Gordon Street - see the map). If you require any more information on the  Departmental Colloquia please contact Prof Dima Vassiliev e-mail: d.vassiliev AT ucl.ac.uk or tel: 020-7679-2442.

12 November 2019

Speaker: Toby Cubitt (Computer Science Department, UCL)

Title: What can theoretical computer science teach us about quantum physics?


The field of quantum information is best known for developing applications of quantum physics to computing technology, such as quantum computers and quantum cryptography. However, whilst less widely-known, the flow of ideas in the opposite direction has been at least as important. Applying computer science and information theory to quantum physics has brought new, mathematically rigorous insights into quantum many-body systems, in some cases leading to solutions to previously intractable problems.

I will give an overview of these ideas, from early insights by Feynman and Kitaev, through to my recent results building on these insights to prove undecidability of the spectral gap problem.