Monday, 2 March 2020

Probability & Quantum (2018)

The image above is a handwritten poster by John Skilling. The content is profound, and I would recognise John Skilling's handwriting anywhere - I still have some of his handwritten notes from a course on Maximum Entropy that I went to in St Johns College Cambridge in 1991.

In just 9 panels, Skilling and Knuth lay out the bare bones version of a seminal, and as yet under cited, paper on The symmetrical foundation of Measure, Probability and Quantum theories.  

Skilling & Knuth conclude in their 9th panel.

General theory should be simple. 

This simplicity could have been been found decades ago. Statisticians could have solved this long-standing central problem of physics - why is quantum theory complex? - as an easy corollary of a proper foundation of probability, if they had sought simplicity. 

Image by Richard McElreath from Here.