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I am a Reader in Mathematical Physics at the University of York since 2005. Read on if you would like to know how I got here.
In the early 1980's I studied physics at the RWTH Aachen in Germany. A wonderful series of lectures given by Nico van Kampen, visiting from the Universiteit Utrecht in the Netherlands, impressed me so much that I decided to write my final-year (diploma) thesis under his supervision. After an enjoyable and formative year in Utrecht I moved to Switzerland in 1986, to study for a PhD with Harry Thomas at the Universität Basel.
I stayed a few more years in Basel as a post-doc, followed by a year with Robert Littlejohn at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in California, only to complete my Habilitation and become Privatdozent in 1996. Then, as a fellow of the Schweizer Nationalfonds, I worked in Hans Beck's group at the Université de Neuchâtel (Switzerland), where I closely collaborated with Anatole Amiet. In 2001 I took up my first permanent position at the Department of Mathematics in Hull.
Ever since my days as an undergraduate, I have been fascinated by quantum theory. And most of my research is, indeed, in areas of (non-relativistic) quantum mechanics such as quantum information and the foundations of quantum theory. In recent years, I have worked on Gleason's theorem, uncertainty relations, mutually unbiased bases, PT-symmetry and quantum state reconstruction.
Current and Past PhD students
Currently, Alistair Mansfield studies hidden variables for general probabilistic theories and Vincenzo Fiorentino looks at a version of quantum theory in which the effect of performing measurements on quantum states has been modified.
Vicky Wright and I investigated Gleason-type theorems as well as Hilbert-space formulations of models which exhibit post-quantum correlations. Spiros Kechrimparis and I developed a method to derive preparational uncertainty relations for quantum systems with one or more continuous variables. Steve Brierley, Dan McNulty and I have been able to shed some light on the existence problem for complete sets of mutually unbiased bases, mostly in dimension six.
I am also interested in the history of science and in epistemological questions, especially in the rhetoric strategies which authors use in scientific texts. In some papers, I have studied specific aspects of grammar and style which feature prominently in the writings of Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, a German 18th-century physicist well-known for his witty aphorisms.
If you wish to write a PhD thesis dealing with fundamental questions in quantum theory are welcome to get in touch. Project areas include uncertainty relations, mutually unbiased bases and generalized probabilistic theories exhibiting post-quantum correlations. I am open to discuss the supervision of other topics in quantum information and the foundation of quantum theory.
Vincenzo Fiorentino - firstname.lastname@example.org
Alistair Mansfield - email@example.com