2016 May Events

Here is the announcement for two final events of this semester, one sponsored by NYU Philosophy Dept, and the other by MAPS. We hope to see you there!


Title: Quantum Field Theory and the Limits of Knowledge

Speaker: Sean Carroll (Caltech)
Time: Tuesday 2pm, May 10th.
Location: NYU Philosophy Department, Auditorium, 5 Washington Place, NYC. 

Abstract: Quantum Field Theory (QFT) is the successful paradigm underlying modern theoretical physics, including the “Core Theory” of the Standard Model of particle physics plus Einstein’s general relativity. I will argue that QFT, and in particular the notion of an “effective field theory,” grants us a unique insight: each QFT model comes with a built-in specification of its domain of applicability. Hence, once a model is tested within some domain (of energies and interaction strengths), we can be confident that it will continue to be accurate within that domain. Currently, the Core Theory has been tested in regimes that include all of the energy scales relevant to the physics of everyday life (biology, chemistry, etc.). Therefore, we have reason to be confident that the laws of physics underlying the phenomena of everyday life are completely known.


MAPS Mini Workshop on the Foundational Issues in GRW Theories (Miller and Hall’s talk was cancelled and may be rescheduled)

Title: Models of spontaneous wave function collapse: current status and future perspectives

Speaker: Angelo Bassi (Trieste). 
Time: Thursday May 12. 4:30-6:30pm (updated!)
Location: NYU Waverly Building, Room 366, 28 Waverly Place, NYC.


To solve the quantum measurement problem, models of spontaneous wave function collapse (collapse models) propose to modify the Schrödinger equation by including nonlinear and stochastic terms, which describe the collapse of the wave function in space. These spontaneous collapses are “rare” for microscopic systems, hence their quantum properties are left almost unaltered. At the same time, their effect adds coherently in composite systems, to the point that macroscopic spatial superpositions of macro-objects are rapidly suppressed. Their dynamics differs from the standard quantum one. I will present an update of the most promising ways of testing collapse models in interferometric and non-interferometric experiments, showing the current lower and upper bounds on their parameters. I will discuss the possible connection between collapse and gravity. I will remark on the role of the wave function, in connection to the existence of an underlying theory, out of which these models emerge as phenomenological models. 

There will be a dinner after the talk. If you are interested, please send an email with “Dinner” in the heading to nyphilsci@gmail.com as soon as possible so that I can make the reservation for the appropriate number of people (please note that all faculty and grad students are welcome, but only the speaker’s dinner will be covered). If you have any other questions, please email eddy.chen@rutgers.edu
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