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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 general probabilistic theories with space-time symmetries. Vincenzo Fiorentino looks at a version of quantum theory in which the effect of performing measurements on quantum states has been modified, and Adam Beales looks into the properties of mutually unbiased bases for continuous variables.
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
Adam Beales - firstname.lastname@example.org
Quantum Mechanics I - Autumn 2021/22