School of Mathematical Sciences

School Academic Receives Substantial Research Grant


Dr Gerardo Adesso

Dr Gerardo Adesso, a member of staff within the School of Mathematical Sciences has been successful in being awarded a research grant  from the Foundational Questions Institute. This independent philanthropic non-profit organisation which is run by scientists for scientists provides grants to encourage new ideas on cosmology that are unconventional.

Funding is offered every two years and is open to applicants worldwide, which makes this award even more special.

He will use the money to research Quantum Informational Framework for Cybernetics, which is explained in more detail below.

Project Summary 

The British weather is very variable. You need a wardrobe with a comparable variety of clothing not to get wet, hot or cold. Countless phenomena in social, biological, physical, economical sciences face analogous dilemmas to reach their expected outcomes under adverse conditions; e.g. our immune system must develop specific antibodies to contrast each toxin. Cybernetics studies these phenomena resting on general principles like the law of requisite variety: a regulator (clothing) needs enough variety to restrain the variety induced by a disturbance (weather), so the process fulfils its goal (stay well-dressed) with high chance. Variety is a concept with deep informational roots, as it can be measured by entropy. Imagine now you have a quantum dress in a superposition of T-shirt, sweater, and burberry: clever! It turns out living organisms exploit these tricks. Sea bacteria use quantum coherence to optimize their energy transport for photosynthesis, and birds improve their navigational skills with quantum entanglement. Here, working across discipline boundaries, I will develop a universal framework to quantify variety and its balance in natural and abstract models based on quantum laws of information, showcasing how quantum strategies can, and typically should, be developed by regulatory processes to reach a better fitness.

Posted on Monday 23rd September 2013

School of Mathematical Sciences

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