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Carlo Maria Scandolo

Personal photo - Carlo Maria Scandolo

Carlo Maria Scandolo

Doctoral Student

Leaving date: 30th October 2018



The recent development of quantum information theory has produced a lot of novel results with the potential for making groundbreaking technological contributions. These results show, for example, a clear advantage of quantum theory over classical theory in many computation and communication tasks. Besides this intriguing aspect, the exciting side of quantum information is the intellectual challenge presented by the possibility of combining and applying methods from different disciplines. This cross-fertilization has brought about new discoveries, and with them new questions and puzzles to solve.

My research interests lie at the intersection between quantum information theory and quantum foundations. I am currently working on the information-theoretic foundations of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, using the framework of general probabilistic theories, which is broad enough to accommodate all physical theories admitting probabilistic processes. This allows one to treat quantum theory, classical theory, and a variety of hypothetical post-quantum theories in a unified way, to discover analogies and differences between them, in the attempt to link thermodynamics with information theory.

Besides my academic interests, I am interested in baroque music and baroque musical philology. I prepared an urtext edition of the "First Book of Ayrs for the Violin" by the Italian baroque composer and violinist Nicola Matteis (fl. 1650 - 1700), published by Edition Walhall in two volumes. Here is a link to the first volume, and to the second volume. An edition of the "Second Book of Ayrs for the Violin" is currently in preparation.


From 2009 to 2012, I read for Bachelor's degree in Physics at the University of Padua, Italy, where I graduated in 2012 with 110/110 summa cum laude (full marks with honours), with a Bachelor's thesis on the foundations of special relativity ("A critical analysis of the postulates of special relativity", supervisor: Prof. Kurt Lechner).

After that, from 2012 to 2014, I read for a Master's degree in Theoretical Physics at the University of Padua, Italy, where I graduated in 2014 with 110/110 summa cum laude (full marks with honours), with a thesis on the foundations of quantum mechanics and general probabilisitc theories ("Entanglement and thermodynamics in general probabilistic theories", supervisor: Prof. Giulio Chiribella, internal supervisor: Prof. Pieralberto Marchetti).

From 2009 to 2014, I was part of an excellence programme at the University of Padua, Italy, the Galilean School of Higher Education. Every year, the Galilean School of Higher Education admits 14 fresher students in the whole area of sciences. Admission is subjected to passing a demanding entrance examination. Students are then required to maintain a high GPA for their entire degree course and to take additional and specially dedicated courses, otherwise they are expelled. Students are granted free meals, free accommodation, plus a yearly book allowance. At the end, a dedicated Master’s degree is awarded upon successful completion of all the Galilean degree course. I graduated in 2015 with 100/100 summa cum laude (full marks with honours), with a thesis on resource theories in general probabilistic theories ("A generalized approach to resource theories", supervisor: Prof. Pieralberto Marchetti).

Before coming to Oxford as a DPhil student, I did one year of doctoral research at IIIS, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, under the supervision of Prof. Giulio Chiribella.

In Michaelmas Term 2016 I was class tutor and teaching assistant of the course "Quantum Computer Science" at the Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford. I received an honourable mention for my teaching for this course as one of the best student tutor at the University of Oxford.

I have co-supervised two theses:

  • R. East, The Thermodynamic Limit in the Resource-Theoretic Framework, University of Oxford, 2017, MSc thesis
  • F. Celadin, An informational approach to quantum mechanics for open systems, University of Padua, 2018, BSc thesis (external supervisor)

Selected Publications

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