From Einstein’s Doubts to Quantum Technologies: A New Quantum Revolution

  • Speaker
  • Alain Aspect, Ph.D.Professor , École Polytechnique
    Augustin Fresnel Professor, Institut d'Optique Graduate School
    Distinguished researcher emeritus, CNRS Regional Delegation Languedoc-Roussillon
Date & Time


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Simons Foundation Lectures are free public colloquia related to basic science and mathematics. These high-level talks are intended for professors, students, postdocs and business professionals, but interested people from the metropolitan area are welcome as well.
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The debate between Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr over the interpretation of quantum mechanics was settled by the experimental tests of Bell’s inequalities. Those experiments drew attention to the revolutionary character of quantum entanglement, which is now a key ingredient of quantum computing and quantum information.

In this lecture, Alain Aspect will first explain Einstein’s reasoning about entangled particles. That reasoning led to his conclusion that quantum mechanics is not complete, in contradiction with Bohr’s point of view. Aspect will then show how Bell’s inequalities have allowed experimentalists to settle the debate, emphasizing the most extraordinary features of entanglement and prompting the emergence of basic ideas for quantum information and quantum communication. These ideas are enabling the development of new technologies in many academic and industrial laboratories.

About the Speaker

Aspect is an alumnus of ENS Cachan (now ENS Paris-Saclay) and the Université d’Orsay. His research bore on fundamental quantum phenomena with photons (conducted at the Institut d’Optique from 1974 to 1985), laser cooling of atoms (ENS-Collège de France from 1985 to 1993), and quantum atom optics (the Institut d’Optique from 1993 onward). He has received many awards and is a member of several science academies, including the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society, the French Academy of Sciences and the Accademia dei Lincei. He is author of a textbook and several online courses on quantum optics.

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