John Baez

CQT Annual Symposium 2011, December 7, 2011 and Mathematical Trends in Reaction Theory, July 1, 2015

Probabilities Versus Amplitudes

Some ideas from quantum theory are just beginning to percolate back to classical probability theory. For example, there is a widely used and successful theory of "chemical reaction networks", which describes the interactions of molecules in a stochastic rather than quantum way. If we look at it from the perspective of quantum theory, this turns out to involve creation and annihilation operators, coherent states and other well-known ideas — but with a few big differences. The stochastic analogue of quantum field theory is also used in population biology, and here the connection is well-known. But what does it mean to treat wolves as identical bosons?

To see the slides of this talk, click here.

For a more advanced version that assumes you know about chemical reaction networks, click here.

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© 2011 John Baez