Meetings

Philosophy of Physics Research Seminars HT 2015

Convened by Harvey Brown

The following seminars will take place at 4.30 p.m. on Thursdays, weeks 1-8, EXCEPT for week 3, in the Lecture Room of Radcliffe Humanities, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG.

Abstracts are posted weekly.

Thu 22nd Jan (week 1): Jonathan Halliwell (Imperial College London)
Negative Probabilities, Fine’s Theorem and Quantum Histories

Thu 29th Jan (week 2): Raymond Lal (Cambridge/Oxford)
TBA

Thu 5th Feb (week 3): NO SEMINAR

Thu 12th Feb (week 4): Erik Curiel (Munich)
Problems with the interpretation of energy conditions in general relativity

Thu 19th Feb (week 5): Harvey Brown and Christopher Timpson (Oxford)
Bell on Bell’s theorem: the changing face of nonlocality

Thu 26th Feb (week 6): James Ladyman (Bristol)
TBA

Thu 5th Mar (week 7): Nicholas Teh (Cambridge)
TBA

12th Mar (week 8): TBA

Lakatos Award Workshop October 21 2014

The workshop will be held in the Lakatos Building, Portugal Street, London, under the auspices of the LSE Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Sciences (CPNSS)

No registration is necessary: the workshop is open to all-comers

10.00-11.15: Eleanor Knox
How to make peace with holography

11.15-11.35: coffee break

11.35-12.50: Gordon Belot
50,000 Elvis fans can’t be wrong

12.50-14.15: break for lunch

14.15-15.30: Nicholas Teh
Gauge theories and holism

15.30-15.50: coffee break

15.50-17.05: Laura Ruetsche
The unreasonable effectiveness of non-fundamental physics

17.05-18.20: David Wallace
Fields as bodies: a unified treatment of spacetime and gauge symmetries

Workshop website >

Philosophy of Physics Research Seminars Michaelmas Term 2014

Convened by Simon Saunders

The following seminars will take place at 4.30 p.m. on Thursdays, weeks 1-8, EXCEPT for week 5, in the Lecture Room of Radcliffe Humanities, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG.

On Thu of week 5 (13 November), the first of the joint Bristol-London-Oxford-Cambridge (BLOC) seminars will take place at 5.30 p.m., Kings College, London. There will be no Oxford seminar on that date.

Abstracts are posted weekly.

Thu 16 Oct (week 1): Dennis Lehmkuhl (Oxford and Wuppertal):
Einstein, Cartan, Weyl, Jordan: The neighborhood of General Relativity in the space of spacetime theories

Thu 23rd Oct (week 2): Daniel Bedingham (Oxford):
Time reversal symmetry and collapse models

Thu 30th Oct (week 3): David Wallace (Oxford):
How not to do the metaphysics of quantum mechanics

Thu 6th Nov (week 4) : Vlatko Vedral (Oxford):
Macroscopicity

13th Nov (week 5) BLOC seminar: Huw Price (Cambridge):
Two paths to the Paris Intepretation

Thu 20th Nov (week 6): Boris Zilber (Oxford):
On the semantics of the canonical commutation relations

Thu 27th Nov (week 7): Owen Maroney (Oxford):
How epistemic can a quantum state be?

Thu 4th Dec (week 8): Tony Sudbery (York):
The logic of the future in the Everett-Wheeler understanding of quantum theory

Previous seminars >

Philosophy of Cosmology UK/US Conference

12th – 16th September 2014, Tenerife, Spain

Topics

What is Philosophy of Cosmology?
Quantum Foundations & Cosmology
String Theory
Inflation
Emergent Spacetime
Gravity
Initial Conditions
Arrow of time
Laws of Nature
Emergence of Structure
Fine-Tuning
Probabilities

Organisers

UK: Joe Silk, Simon Saunders, Khalil Chamcham (Oxford), John Barrow (Cambridge)
US: Barry Loewer (Rutgers), David Albert (Columbia)

Schedule and Abstracts for Final Conference >

Powerpoint slides of talks >

Philosophy of Physics Research Seminars Trinity Term 2014

Convened by Oliver Pooley

The following seminars will take place at 4.30 p.m. on Thursdays, weeks 1-8, in the Lecture Room of the Philosophy Centre.

Please note the Centre’s NEW ADDRESS: Radcliffe Humanities, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG. (This is the old Radcliffe Infirmary building.) The Lecture Room is on the second floor.

Abstracts are posted weekly.

Thu 1 May (week 1): Oliver Pooley (Oxford):
New work on the problem of time

Thu 8 May (week 2): Simon Saunders (Oxford):
Reference to indistinguishable particles, and other paradoxes

Thu 15 May (week 3): Julian Barbour (Oxford)
A gravitational arrow of time

Thu 22 May (week 4): Elise Crull (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Whence physical significance in bimetric theories?

29 May(week 5): Adrian Kent (Cambridge)
A solution to the Lorentzian quantum reality problem

Thu 5 June (week 6): Mike Cuffaro (LMU, Munich)
Reconsidering quantum no-go theorems from a computational perspective

Thu 12 June (week 7): Antony Valentini (Clemson)
Hidden variables in the early universe: quantum nonequilibrium and the cosmic microwave background

Thu 19 June (week 8): Antony Valentini (Clemson)
Hidden variables in the early universe: towards an explanation for large-scale cosmic anomalies

Previous seminars >

Cosmology and the Constants of Nature: Cambridge 17-19 March 2014

The Constants of Nature are quantities, whose numerical values we know with the greatest experimental accuracy – but about the rationale for those values, we have the greatest ignorance. We might also ask if they are indeed constant in space and time, and investigate whether their values arise at random or are uniquely determined by some deep theory.

The talks are aimed at philosophers of physics but should also be of interest to a wide range of cosmologists.  Speakers will introduce the physical constants that define the standard model of particle physics and cosmology together with the data that determine them, describe observational programmes that  test the constancy of traditional ‘constants’, including the cosmological constant, and discuss how self-consistent theories of varying constants can be formulated.

Speakers:
John Barrow, University of Cambridge
John Ellis, King’s College London
Pedro Ferreira, University of Oxford
Joao Magueijo, Imperial College, London
Thanu Padmanabhan, IUCAA, Pune
Martin Rees, University of Cambridge
John Webb, University of New South Wales, Sydney

Registration is free and includes morning coffee and lunch.
Participants are requested to register at the conference website where the full programme of talks can also be found.

 

Philosophy of Physics Research Seminars Hilary Term 2014

Convened by Dennis Lehmkuhl

The following seminars will take place at 4.30 p.m. on Thursdays, weeks 1-8, in the Lecture Room of the Philosophy Centre. 

Please note the Centre’s NEW ADDRESS: Radcliffe Humanities, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG. (This is the old Radcliffe Infirmary building.) The Lecture Room is on the second floor.

Abstracts are posted weekly.

Thu 23 January (week 1): Peter Vickers (Durham):

          Divide et impera realism and single slit diffraction: a reply to Brooker, Saatsi, and Vickers

Thu 30 January (week 2): David Wallace  (Oxford):

          Deflating the Aharonov-Bohm Effect

Thu 6 February (week 3): No seminar

Thu 13 February (week 4): Joerg Schmiedmayer :

           How does the classical world emerge from microscopic quantum evolution?

Thu 20 February (Week 5): Domenico Giullini (Hannover and Bremen):

           Gravitation and Quantum Mechanics

Thu 27 February (Week 6): Tessa Baker (Oxford):

           Cosmological Tests of Gravity

Thu 6 March (Week 7): Sean Gryb  (Perimeter Institute):

            Symmetry and Evolution in Quantum Gravity

Thu 13 March (Week 8): Philip Goyal (SUNY):

             An Informational Approach to Identical Particles in Quantum Theory

Previous seminars >

Fourth Oxford Mini-course: Anthropics, Selection Effects and Fine-Tuning in Cosmology

St Anne’s College, Oxford, 2-4 December, 2013

Lectures by Nima Arkani-Hamed (institute for Advanced Study, Princeton), Nick Bostrom (James Martin School, Oxford), Christopher Smeenk (University of Western Ontario), and Jean-Philippe Uzan (CNRS, Paris).

 

This mini-course will be about fine-tuning and anthropic reasoning in cosmology: about the variability of physical constants, the consequences of such variations, and how to compensate — and recalibrate probabilities accordingly — for the fact that the observations that we make are necessarily of a region in the universe in which their values make our existence possible.

Schedule of lectures

The lectures on Tuesday 3rd December will be followed by a conference dinner at St. Anne’s at 7.00 p.m., with a talk by Nima Arkani-Hamed.

The mini-course is followed by a one-day workshop on the same topic on Thursday 5th December, also at St Anne’s, with talks by Bernard Carr (Queen Mary, London), Fay Dowker (Imperial, London), George Ellis (Cape Town), Andrew Liddle (Edinburgh), Jesus Mosterin (Barcelona), John Peacock (Edinburgh), and David Sloane (Cambridge).

Workshop schedule

 

Attendance of the lectures and workshop is free, but registration is required, as space is limited.

Register now for the mini-course

Register now for the workshop

Purchase (£25) a place at the conference dinner

 

You can find accommodation at Oxford Rooms.