From the Schrödinger cat to quantum computers

Quantum mechanics one of the most successful theories in science. For almost 90 years, experimenters have subjected it to rigorous tests, none of which has called its foundations into question. Quantum mechanics has implications and applications everywhere around us: from the explanation of the atomic structure to the silicon-based technologies. We could be tempted to believe that quantum mechanics has no mysteries, and we know everything.

Nothing could be more wrong! In this discussion, we explore quantum mechanics with Dr Catalina Curceanu from the National Laboratory of Frascati in Italy. Dr Curceanu discusses a  new alternative theory, collapse models, the existence of many worlds and Bohmian mechanics. She also discusses the types of experiments which are done to test quantum mechanics and how peculiar features, such as entanglement, offer fascinating perspectives for future technologies. These are the so-called quantum technologies including quantum computing, cryptography and teleportation. Today’s dreams might become tomorrow’s realities.

Dr Catalina Curceanu

Dr Catalina Curceanu was born in Transylvania (Romania), near Dracula’s Castle. She is Senior Researcher at the National Laboratory of Frascati, Italy where she leads a group of researchers performing experiments in nuclear and quantum physics to answer questions about exotic atoms and impossible phenomena.

Dr Catalina Curceanu obtained her PhD in physics from the Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering of Bucharest, Romania, with a PhD thesis dedicated to the study of exotic mesons within the OBELIX experiment at CERN. Catalina is the spokesperson of the SIDDHARTA-2 (spectroscopy of kaonic atoms) and VIP2 (experimental test on the Pauli Exclusion Principle violation by electrons). She has won important awards and prizes, including awards from the John Templeton Foundation and from the Foundational Question Institute (FQXi) and the 2017 Emmy Noether prize from the European Physical Society. She is also actively engaged in science outreach, and in 2016 was awarded the AIP Women in Physics Lectureship and presented physics lectures in all states of Australia.