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Title: Aspects of M-theory and quantum information
Author: Borsten, Leron
ISNI:       0000 0001 1398 4270
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2010
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As the frontiers of physics steadily progress into the 21st century we should bear in mind that the conceptual edifice of 20th-century physics has at its foundations two mutually incompatible theories; quantum mechanics and Einstein’s general theory of relativity. While general relativity refuses to succumb to quantum rule, black holes are raising quandaries that strike at the very heart of quantum theory. M-theory is a compelling candidate theory of quantum gravity. Living in eleven dimensions it encompasses and connects the five possible 10-dimensional superstring theories. However, Mtheory is fundamentally non-perturbative and consequently remains largely mysterious, offering up only disparate corners of its full structure. The physics of black holes has occupied centre stage in uncovering its non-perturbative structure. The dawn of the 21st-century has also played witness to the birth of the information age and with it the world of quantum information science. At its heart lies the phenomenon of quantum entanglement. Entanglement has applications in the emerging technologies of quantum computing and quantum cryptography, and has been used to realize quantum teleportation experimentally. The longest standing open problem in quantum information is the proper characterisation of multipartite entanglement. It is of utmost importance from both a foundational and a technological perspective. In 2006 the entropy formula for a particular 8-charge black hole appearing in M-theory was found to be given by the ’hyperdeterminant’, a quantity introduced by the mathematician Cayley in 1845. Remarkably, the hyperdeterminant also measures the degree of tripartite entanglement shared by three qubits, the basic units of quantum information. It turned out that the different possible types of three-qubit entanglement corresponded directly to the different possible subclasses of this particular black hole. This initial observation provided a link relating various black holes and quantum information systems. Since then, we have been examining this two-way dictionary between black holes and qubits and have used our knowledge of M-theory to discover new things about multipartite entanglement and quantum information theory and, vice-versa, to garner new insights into black holes and M-theory. There is now a growing dictionary, which translates a variety of phenomena in one language to those in the other. Developing these fascinating relationships, exploiting them to better understand both M-theory and quantum entanglement is the goal of this thesis. In particular, we adopt the elegant mathematics of octonions, Jordan algebras and the Freudenthal triple system as our guiding framework. In the course of this investigation we will see how these fascinating algebraic structures can be used to quantify entanglement and define new black hole dualities.
Supervisor: Duff, Michael Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral