Terno group

Terno group


Research Interests

Quantum theory and general relativity are often described as the two pillars of modern physics; this metaphor is apt in more than one way. The two theories are built on different foundations— probabilities that evolve in time cannot be easily reconciled with a deterministic unfolding of events in a dynamical spacetime. Their various aspects are verified with a spectacular precision on scales ranging from cosmic distances to fractions of a millimeter in the case of gravity and from 10^−19 m to 143 km for quantum mechanics, but almost exlusively in separate regimes.

The unification of quantum theory with gravity is perhaps the biggest open problem of theoretical physics. Such a theory is not only needed for logical reasons (part of our research is to understand them better!), but also for the understanding the early Universe, the final fate of black holes, and arguably the very structure of space and time. This is an old problem, almost as old as quantum mechanics itself.

Information theory, and the advances of quantum information in the last thirty or so years form the background of our research. It deals with complexity of physical process, relativistic quantum information, quantum foundations, precision tests of relativity, effects of quantum gravity and black hole physics. The common theme of this research is that information is physical. Its processing is a branch of physics, while study of physics involves the study of information. The technical cohesion follows from a central role of quantum correlations and a variety of entropy-like quantities that are used to characterize them.


Dr. Valentina Baccetti (Postdoc)
Aida Ahmadzadegan (PhD)
Alexander Smith (PhD)


A. Brodutch, A. Gilchrist, T. Guff, A. R. H. Smith, and D. R. Terno Post-Newtonian gravitational effects in optical interferometry (2015) Physical Review D 91, 064041

R. Ionicioiu, R. B. Mann, D. R. Terno Determinism, independence and objectivity are inconsistent (2015) Physical Review Letters 114, 060405

R. Ionicioiu, T. Jennewein, R. B. Mann, D. R. Terno Is wave-particle objectivity compatible with determinism and locality? (2014) Nature Communications 5, 4997

E. R. Livine and D. R. Terno Entropy in the classical and quantum polymer black hole models (2012) Classical and Quantum Gravity 29, 224012

A. Brodutch, T. F. Demarie, D. R. Terno Photon polarization and geometric phase in general relativity (2011) Physical Review D 84, 104043

A. Brodutch and D. R. Terno, Entanglement, discord and the power of quantum computing (2011) Physical Review A 83, 010301(R)

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