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Friday, 7 December 2012, from 4.30pm. Join us to celebrate CQT's fifth birthday with talks by two distinguished visitors.

NUS Kent Ridge, University Hall Auditorium, Level 2, Lee Kong Chian Wing
Location of the Auditorium can be found at:


Avi Wigderson
Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA

Randomness "Randomness"
Abstract: Is the universe inherently deterministic or probabilistic? Perhaps more importantly - can we tell the difference between the two?
Humanity has pondered the meaning and utility of randomness for millennia.

There is a remarkable variety of ways in which we utilize perfect coin tosses to our advantage: in statistics, cryptography, game theory, algorithms, gambling… Indeed, randomness seems indispensable! Which of these applications survive if the universe had no randomness in it at all? Which of them survive if only poor quality randomness is available, e.g. that arises from "unpredictable" phenomena like the weather or the stock market?

A computational theory of randomness, developed in the past three decades, reveals (perhaps counter-intuitively) that very little is lost in such deterministic or weakly random worlds. In the talk I'll explain the main ideas and results of this theory.

5.45pm: Coffee break


Peter Knight
Imperial College, UK

Quantum Technology for a Networked World "Quantum Technology for a Networked World"
Abstract: The 21st Century has seen the emergence of a networked world, connected by global fibre-optic communications and mobile phones, with geo-location provided through GPS, and all this has changed our lives more dramatically than at any time since the industrial revolution. Quantum-enabled technology is at the heart of this change. I will describe how communications depend on lasers that are shot noise limited, geo-located and synchronized by atomic clocks that depend on atomic coherence. New developments in quantum technology, and in particular miniature atomic clocks that utilize concepts such as coherent population trapping have the potential for even more dramatic applications. Some of these include comms systems immune to GPS jamming (of real importance for global security), as well as quantum sensors for medical applications (including cardiography, neurophysiology, etc), sensitive magnetometry, gyros, and geophysical surveying. I will describe the basic quantum phenomena being exploited as well as prospects for exploitation.