Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences

Quantum Gravity and Quantum Information

Information Loss, Determinism and Quantum Mechanics

Author: G. 't Hooft (Universiteit Utrecht)

Abstract

Since the probabilistic interpretation of Quantum Mechanics requires unitarity, conventional Quantum Mechanics does not allow for a notion such as information loss. However, it is possible to interpret Quantum Mechanics in terms of an underlying deterministic theory, and it is here, in the classical sense, that information loss can be introduced. We argue that information loss then indeed may be an essential ingredient of the theory, helping us to understand how the notion of holography can be reconciled with locality. Thus, determinism and information loss may become crucial ingredients of Planck Scale Physics, and we explain why exactly this should lead to the unitary quantum mechanical framework of the Standard Model of the subatomic world.