Chiara Marletto, the scientist who revolutionized quantum physics

Chiara Marletto is one of the promises of world quantum physics. The young Turin-born, transplanted to Oxford, promises to revolutionize Einstein’s quantum law and relativity. He does so in his first non-academic book, in which he argues that a radically different approach to physics is needed, which is called “the science of can and cannot”.

The theory of builders

“It’s a new way of explaining. Since Newton, traditional physics has used laws of motion, describing how objects move in space and time – what happens to an apple if you set it to move this way or that way. With one exception: thermodynamics. The laws of thermodynamics prescribe the impossibility of perpetual motion; by doing so, they could place strong constraints on all the laws of motion, those known and those yet to be known. The constructors’ theory follows the same logic, but it extends to a much broader context. We express all fundamental laws as constraints on which transformations are possible and impossible. This seemingly simple concept is very powerful. For example, it can capture entities that traditional laws of motion cannot exactly handle: information, the physics of life and even the mind “.

How to reconcile quantum theory and general relativity

As David Deutsch, the pioneer of quantum computing, did, we must propose deeper physical principles – guidelines for constantly putting together different laws of motion, such as quantum theory and general relativity, while preserving their respective main characteristics. We need to provide new key tools to help reconcile these aspects. A bit like what was done for the covid: we try all possible ways to solve the problem.

The “counterfactual”

“The way I think of the ‘counterfactual’ is specific to physics. Counterfactuals refer to what is possible or impossible, as opposed to what happens. Let’s take Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle: it is impossible to construct a perfect meter of both position and velocity for an electron. Heisenberg says it can’t happen at all, regardless of the initial condition. Instead the success it could depend on the initial conditions. This is a much stronger requirement.

The practical applications of the science of “you can not”

“The most spectacular application is the universal builder, a machine that can be programmed to perform not only all possible calculations, but all the physical transformations allowed by the laws of physics. It’s an all-powerful 3D printer. There could be an era, a lot. future, where the universal builder is part of our life as computers are now.This could revolutionize our civilization.

The power of artificial intelligence

“As a scientist there are concerns. But I have great faith in the knowledge that humanity can create, and what I hope is that as we progress in science, our society can make progress to predict potential problems that could come from new applications. scientific, and solve them “.

Women can do whatever they want

“When I chose physics I didn’t feel there was a problem, because my parents have always treated me as an individual, regardless of gender. So how I interact with the world is not primarily through the fact that I happen to being a woman. I’m a scientist and I’m interested in physics, that’s all. Sometimes I’ve encountered disbelief that there are women in physics. But if we persist, a cultural shift will occur. Girls will then realize they can do it all. what they want (provided it is allowed by the laws of physics) “. And we will talk about physics and women in the second episode of NERD Non è stuff for women, with Italian physics Gabriella Greison.