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Spiros Michalakis is a quantum physicist at the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter at Caltech. Drop the mic… I mean…really…Spiros is a quantum physicist at the number 1 program for quantum physics in the US…and probably the world. But Spiros is not your typical quantum physicist. He’s the most approachable, down-to-earth and fundamentally accessible quantum physicist you are ever likely to hear speak.
The axioms we ultimately choose must satisfy the following conditions simultaneously: 1. the implications stemming from these assumptions are not contradicted by observations, 2. replacing any one of these assumptions by its negation would lead to observable contradictions, and 3. the assumptions contain enough power to specify non-trivial structures in our theory. In short, as Immanuel Kant put it in his accessible bedtime story The critique of Pure Reason, we are looking for synthetic a priori knowledge that can explain space and time, which ironically were Kant’s answer to that same question.
In physics, the Heisenberg picture (also called the Heisenberg representation) is a formulation
(largely due to Werner Heisenberg in 1925) of quantum mechanics in which the operators (observables and others) incorporate a dependency on time, but the state vectors are time-independent, an arbitrary fixed basis rigidly underlying the theory.