Contextuality: At the Borders of Paradox

2 August 2018

Venue: Lorentz Center@Oort

Language:           This lecture will be held in English

Venue:                 Gratama room, Lorentz Center@Oort, Niels  Bohrweg 2, Leiden

Schedule:           17.30-18.30

Entrance:            free entrance

Registration:     not required        

The Lorentz Center organizes the public lecture ‘Contextuality: At the Borders of Paradox’ by Professor Samson Abramsky

Contextuality: At the Borders of Paradox

Quantum mechanics famously contains many troubling and highly counterintuitive features, which may even seem to be paradoxical. At the same time, these features lie at the heart of the promise of quantum technologies to revolutionize our world by performing information processing tasks better than any classical computer can - the *quantum advantage*.

We shall argue that quantum mechanics, and in particular the key feature of quantum contextuality, lives at the borders of paradox — and that this is an exciting place to be! The talk will be illustrated by examples of visual paradoxes due to Maurits Escher and Roger Penrose; and by examples drawn from elementary logic and the information world around us.

Our world *is* contextual; and we are beginning to learn how to work with contextuality, and to exploit its quasi-paradoxical features.


Samson Abramsky is a computer scientist who holds the Christopher Strachey Professorship at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford. He has played a leading role in the development of game semantics, and its applications to the semantics of programming languages. Other notable contributions include his work on domain theory in logical form, the lazy lambda calculus, strictness analysis, concurrency theory, interaction categories, and geometry of interaction. More recently, he has been working on high-level methods for quantum computation and information.

Workshop The public lecture by Samson Abramsky is part of the Lorentz Center workshop ‘Logical Aspects of Quantum Information’, which will take place in Leiden from 30 July to 3 August 2018. The topic of this workshop is the emerging interaction between quantum information and logic in computer science. The aim is to bring together researchers, both junior and senior, from different communities in an effort to communicate state-of-the-art advances, strengthen the existing interaction and create new bridges between the different areas.

The Lorentz Center

The Lorentz Center is a Dutch workshop center, located at Leiden University. It organizes international scientific workshops in all disciplines, to promote innovative research at the scientific frontiers as well as on complex societal challenges.


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