What is quantum field theory? A quantum information theorist’s perspective

October 19, 2015

Daniel Burgarth and Matt Leifer have really been an inspiration for me as they have successfully embraced and exploited new technologies to improve scientific communication and discourse. One of their innovations, with the help of Ravi Kunjwal, has been the Q+ hangouts talk series. This excellent series of talks is delivered online via google hangouts, and has now attracted a wonderful line up of topics and speakers. It has also inspired the TCS+ hangouts series.

Last week I had the honour and pleasure to participate in the Q+ hangout series. I spoke about a topic very close to my heart, namely, quantum field theory, and would like to share the video with you here today

In this talk I described a way to formalise Wilson’s approach to quantum field theory as an effective theory in quantum information theorist friendly terms. If you are interested in seeing the details behind what I discussed in the talk then please do check out the (as yet still incomplete) paper draft of the content at my github repository. This paper contains very many definitions and worked out examples. The purpose of my talk and the paper is to provide a definition for what a quantum field state is in such a way that it: (a) matches the modern Wilsonian definition used by physicists; (b) allows us to answer quantum information theory style questions about QFT; and (c) is mathematically rigourous (or, at least, rigourisable…)

If you feel like contributing to this project then please don’t hesitate to fork the github repository!