Quantum Games

The Society of Undergraduate Math Students here at Rochester asked me to give an elementary talk on quantum game theory last week. I’m posting video of the first (non-technical) half of that talk. I’ll post the second (more technical) half after I get around to editing out the embarrassing mistake I made near the very end.

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8 Responses to “Quantum Games”


  1. 1 1 Jonathan Campbell

    10:15: “the probability of heads heads could be anywhere between 0 and 1 even if the coins are fair”

    that dooesn’t seem true…

  2. 2 2 Steve Landsburg

    Jonathan Campbell: What if both coins are rigged to automatically mimic the behavior of a third, fair, coin? Then each coin is individually fair, in the sense that it always has exactly a 50% chance of landing heads. But the probability of heads/heads is —- oh! It’s 1/2, not 1. You’re right that I misstated this. Should have been “anywhere between 0 and 1/2″. Thanks.

  3. 3 3 neil

    ooops. Another mistake. Pass the editing scissors.

  4. 4 4 Jonathan Campbell

    i think you said something like “nobody knows of a classical machine that can do this” — can’t it be proved that a classical machine could never do it?

    enjoyed the talk very much

  5. 5 5 Steve Landsburg

    Jonathan Campbell: Yes, the reason nobody knows (or ever will know) of such a classical machine is that they provably can’t exist. I hope I wasn’t unclear on this point, but I haven’t checked the tape, and it’s perfectly possible I worded this poorly.

  6. 6 6 Xan

    Have you ever thought to have your videos not be flash player content? iOS devices don’t do flash, but I’d like to be able to watch these videos on my iPhone. Perhaps you could have a link to a YouTube copy?

  7. 7 7 Steve Landsburg

    Xan: Thanks for this. I will look into the options.

  8. 8 8 Marcelo

    I greatly enjoyed this talk as well, keep ‘em coming please

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