Things in Berkeley and later here in Jerusalem were very hectic so I did not blog much since mid October. Much have happened so let me give brief and scattered highlights review.

**Two “real analysis” workshops at the Simons Institute** – The first in early October was on Functional Inequalities in Discrete Spaces with Applications and the second in early December was on Neo-classical methods in discrete analysis. Many exciting lectures! The links lead to the videotaped lectures. There were many other activities at the Simons Institute also in the parallel program on “big data” and also many interesting talks at the math department in Berkeley, the CS department and MSRI.

To celebrate the workshop on inequalities, there were special shows in local movie theaters

**My course at Berkeley on analysis of Boolean functions** – The course went very nicely. I stopped blogging about it at weak 7. Just before a lecture on MRRW upper bounds for binary codes, a general introductory lecture on social choice, and then several lectures by Guy Kindler (while I was visiting home) on the invariance principle and majority is stablest theorem. The second half of the course covered sharp threshold theorems, applications for random graphs, noise sensitivity and stability, a little more on percolation and a discussion of some open problems.

**Back to snowy Jerusalem, Midrasha, Natifest, and Archimedes.** I landed in Israel on Friday toward the end of the heaviest snow storm in Jerusalem. So I spent the weekend with my 90-years old father in law before reaching Jerusalem by train. While everything at HU was closed there were still three during-snow mathematics activities at HU. There was a very successful winter school (midrasha) on analytic number theory which took place in the heaviest storm days. Natifest was a very successful conference and I plan to devote to it a special post, but meanwhile, here is a link to the videotaped lectures and a picture of Nati with Michal, Anna and Shafi. We also had a special cozy afternoon event joint between the mathematics department and the department for classic studies where Reviel Nets talked about the **Archimedes Palimpses**.

The story behind Reviel’s name is quite amazing. When he was born, his older sister tried to read what was written in a pack of cigarettes. It should have been “royal” but she read “reviel” and Reviel’s parents adopted it for his name.

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John SidlesHi Gil! In regard to Joe Fitzsimons’

recent critiqueof your quantum postulates over onShtetl Optimized, here is a defense of (what I take to be) those same postulates, that amounts to a preview of the planned mathematical topics for our Seattle-based.Soldier Healing Seminar for 2014Please let me say too, that we in the medical/engineering community increasingly appreciate the

practicalvalue of the quantum/mathematical researches of you and your Jerusalem colleagues. Thank you, Gil Kalai!(also, please let me apologize in advance for any typographic errors in the following post … without a preview, it’s mighty hard to get the LaTex right!)

The exchange between Joe Fitzsimons and Gil Kalai exemplifies (as it seems to me) a cognitive phenomenon that the preface to Joseph Landsberg’s (wonderful!) text

Tensors: Geometry and Applicationsaptly calls the“Clash of Cultures“The following passage attempts a Landsberg-style reconciliation of the Fitzsimons/Kalai “culture clash”

Quantum dynamics on a Hilbert space is characterized by Hamiltonian flows on a state-space manifold that respect four physical principles:

Here (as usual) is the Lie derivative, is the symplectic structure satisfying , and is the metric on the tangent space . The link to Dirac notation is via the bra-ket symbol function associated to the Hamiltonian operator , and similarly is a basis set of bra-ket symbol functions associated to a basis set of conserved operators .

Familiar quantum mechanical relations like commutators are natural under pullback onto :

where is the Poisson bracket, and the symbol functions are given by , and ; thus the discussion of any QM textbook can be pulled-back from Hilbert state-space to varietal state-spaces.

In this coordinate-free idiom — which strictly respects the dictum of Landsberg’s preface: “Don’t use coordinates unless someone holds a pickle to your head” — the familiar of QM is identified with the complex structure satisfying for all tangent vector fields on

Notice that even the (seemingly) innocuous number “” is expunged from this formulation of quantum mechanics (and this is why one so seldom encounters “” in mathematical discussions of complexity geometry and dynamics).

Tensor practitioners (like me) and mathematical postulators (like Gil) now find common ground as follows:

Tensor practitionersgenerically simulate large- quantum dynamics on varietal manifolds, upon which eqs. 1-3 (Hamiltonian flow, conservation laws, and thermodynamics) holdidentically, while eq. 4 (quantum superposition) holds only approximately (that is, superposition holds microscopically, but is invalid in the macroscopic thermodynamic limit).Mathematical postulatorsinquire into generic properties of varietal dynamical systems, in effect by admitting as a starting postulate, from which new mathematical results follow (wonderful mathematical results, we may all reasonably hope).Students especially — and experienced quantum researchers too — may worry that horribly unphysical consequences may result from relaxing the postulate of metric isomorphism (of eq. 4). After all, this implies that the complex structure evolves dynamically, such that (in effect) the number “” is no longer a constant!

It is reasonable to worry that in consequence (per #72) “Energy levels may broaden linearly, which is basically impossible on physical grounds.” Relief from these worries may be found by reflecting upon the paradigmatic example of a varietal state-space, namely Segre varieties of Veronese varieties, which are known to physicists as coherent states evolving on Bloch-sphere product spaces. Here , and yet no untoward dynamical and/or thermodynamical consequences result.

In particular, varietal line-widths in Bloch-sphere dynamics can be narrowed to any desired width, in complete accord with (for example) analyses like Steven Weinberg’s “Precision tests of quantum mechanics” (1989); as reference that is oftimes cited — mistakenly as it seems to me — as evidence that relaxing the metric isomorphism postulate (of eq. 4) is inconsistent with spectroscopic tests of the superposition principle. Here the abstraction concretely augments both our physical insight and our capacity to critically assess the literature, and even more importantly (as it seems to me) it excites our mathematical imagination.

The Analysis in a NutshellThe existing evidence for the superposition principle (as ensured by eq. 4) is considerably weaker — both experimentally and mathematically — than evidence for the thermodynamical Four Laws (as ensured by eqs. 1-3).Aram Harrow asked me: “Where are these ideas written up?” The answer is: “Everywhere, and nowhere.”

“Everywhere” in the sense that no single one of these ideas is new (indeed each of the above ideas appears in hundreds of references under dozens of guises). “Nowhere” in the sense that — regrettably for students especially — no single reference summarizes and unifies these ideas (or even establishes notational conventions for them).

ConclusionsRelaxing the metric isomorphism postulate (of eq. 4) yields dynamical flows that concretely model Gil Kalai’s postulates, that moreover are exceedingly useful (in Landsberg’s phrase) to “tensor practitioners who want to push a button and right after get a result.” Students (especially) can enjoyably benefit from these ideas by reading the scientific literature of the 20th century with the fresh vision that 21st century mathematical naturality provides.John SidlesWell that worked pretty well! The only “glitched” equation concerns the complex structure … hopefully this will parse OK:

Thank you (again) Gil, for conceiving quantum postulates that (as it seems to me and many) unite mathematical beauty, with fresh physical insights, with engineering elegance … postulates that help so greatly to accelerate the 21st century’s great enterprises of healing.

Gil KalaiPost authorDear John, just a short response for now. Many thanks for defending my postulates! Of course, I also thank Joe for criticizing my postulate! best Gil

John SidlesDear Gil, you’re welcome!

To say a little more about how-and-why your quantum postulates are of great interest to “tensor practitioners” in general, (and we medical researchers in particular), your quantum postulates, as practically modeled by broad classes of varietal quantum simulations, turn two fundamental

identitiesof Hilbert-space dynamics (as mentioned above), namelyinto mere(?)

approximations.That is to say, for purely practical reasons we “tensor practioners” choose our state-space varieties and our operators-of-interest , such that the set of flowsare(projective) -isomorphisms of (per Eq.4), andareDirac-natural under pullback (per Eq.5), and moreover, the (inevitable?) algebraic singularities of are occult to Lindblad/Carmichael trajectory-unravellings that are observed by .Of course, for purely aesthetic reasons the community of “quantum postulators” is interested in precisely the same goals.

Then a marvelously harmonizing aspect of the Kalai/Harrow debate — an aspect that is still-mysterious and even near-miraculous (as it seems to me) — is that the set of operators that Nature provides, and varietal manifolds that Platonic Heaven provides, are so sufficiently well-suited to realize (Eqs. 4-5) as identities, that we engineers can hope to sustain transformatively rapid progress regarding (for example) medical capabilities that are of the greatest humanitarian, economic, and political consequence.

Our

2013 seminar notesgive additional details (the PDF download is fully hyperlinked, we hope), and needless to say, here is much that we understand incompletely (if at all) regarding the interplay of geometry, dynamics, infomration, and combinatorics upon these varietal state-spaces, that (seeming) realize your postulates so marvelously. Hopefully by the end of 2014 we will all understand much more than we do at present, regarding these open questions.Meanwhile, thank you again Gil, for your sustained commitment to enriching the width, depth, and context of quantum discourse.