Anton Zeilinger, before giving today’s plenary lecture
By James Dacey in Torino
It’s the end of my third and final day here at the Euroscience Open Forum in Torino and I’m reaching that point of exhaustion you get to after dashing around a huge conference centre for several days straight. These things would be so much easier if you could somehow turn up at several sessions simultaneously. But that’s just the tiredness making me silly, right?
Well one man who would never say the word impossible is Anton Zeilinger, the quantum information luminary from the University of Vienna.
Zeilinger was giving the evening’s plenary lecture and he used the platform to wax lyrical about the beauty of quantum mechanics, but also to remind everyone that no theory is ever perfect and that we always need to think outside the bounds of accepted logic.
Zeilinger of course has been a pioneering figure in many areas of quantum information science including quantum cryptography, teleportation and quantum computing.
Before his lecture the free-thinking Austrian was generous enough to give me an hour of his time for an interview, and it proved most enlightening. He is one of those academics who will happily let his ideas run away with him as he always seems to be looking beyond your question to the bigger implications.
In the hour we discussed many things including Zeilinger’s admiration for Einstein’s stubbornness (even when he was wrong), and his desire for children to be exposed to quantum mechanics from a young age, perhaps through incorporating the concepts into computer games.
The full interview will appear on physicsworld.com in the near future. For now though, from me in Torino, it’s arrivederci.