Will Kirby, Tufts

Abstract: Quantum mechanics is famously ‘weird,’ which was noted by both Einstein and Feynman, and which can cause both dread and delight in aspiring physicists. But what exactly is the source of the weirdness? In this talk, I will give an overview of contextuality, which is an obstacle to classical, ‘non-weird’ descriptions of reality. We will cover a bit of the history of contextuality, then describe how it works by way of a key example, the ‘magic square,’ and finally discuss its applications in quantum computing and limitations as an explanation of quantum weirdness.