Rachel Rosen: Consistency Conditions on Fundamental Physics

Rachel Rosen (Columbia University).
2-4pm, Tuesday March 20, Columbia University Knox Hall C01 (606 W 122 St).

Title: Consistency Conditions on Fundamental Physics.

Abstract: as our understanding of the universe and its basic building blocks extends to shorter and shorter distances, experiments capable of probing these scales are becoming increasingly difficult to construct. Fundamental particle physics faces a potential crisis: an absence of data at the shortest possible scales. Yet remarkably, even in the absence of experimental data, the requirement of theoretical consistency puts stringent constraints on viable models of fundamental particles and their interactions. In this talk I’ll present some of these constraints and discuss their applications for cosmology, string theory and more.

There will be dinner after the talk. If you are interested, please send an email with “Dinner” in the heading to nyphilsci@gmail.com (please note that all are welcome, but only the speaker’s dinner will be covered). If you have any other questions, please email isaac.wilhelm@rutgers.edu.

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International Summer School in Philosophy of Physics, Split, Croatia, 16-21 July 2018

The Chimera of Entropy

Location: Split, Croatia (http://mapmf.pmfst.unist.hr/~sokolic/doku.php).

Date: 16-21 July, 2018.

Entropy is among the most important but also most perplexing concepts in physics. It is also a polymorphic concept: introduced in thermodynamics, we now find it in statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, information theory, and black hole physics, to name just the most obvious. In this summer school, we will systematically explore the various concepts of entropy as they are used in state-of-the-art physics and evaluate their philosophical interpretations.

The summer school will consist in lectures and research talks. Participants will have the opportunity to present their work in short talks. We would like to emphasize that we are happy to accept scholars at any stage of their career (from students to senior faculty) as participants.

Scientific committee:

  • Tim Maudlin (Philosophy, New York University)
  • Franjo Sokolić (Physics, University of Split)
  • Christian Wüthrich (Philosophy, University of Geneva)

Invited speakers and panelists:

  • David Z Albert (Philosophy, Columbia University)–subject to confirmation
  • Ivica Aviani (Physics, University of Split)
  • Kevin J Coffey (Philosophy, NYU Abu Dhabi)
  • Detlef Dürr (Mathematics, LMU Munich)
  • Sheldon Goldstein (Mathematics, Rutgers University)
  • Barry Loewer (Philosophy, Rutgers University)
  • Wayne Myrvold (Philosophy, Western University)
  • Aurélien Perera (Laboratory of theoretical condensed matter physics, Paris)
  • Denis Sunko (Physics, Zabgreb)
  • David Wallace (Philosophy, University of Southern California
  • Nino Zanghì (Theoretical Physics, University of Genova)

For more information, visit: https://takingupspacetime.wordpress.com/2018/02/05/international-summer-school-in-philosophy-of-physics-split-16-21-july-2018/#more-2450.

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Jeff Barrett: Typical Quantum Worlds

Jeff Barrett (University of California, Irvine).

4:45 – 6:45pm, Tuesday November 7, Location 194 Mercer, NYC, Room 205.

Title: Typical Quantum Worlds
Abstract: Hugh Everett III’s pure wave mechanics, sometimes known as the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, was proposed as a solution to the quantum measurement problem. Both physicists and philosophers of physics have repeatedly claimed to be able to deduce the standard quantum probabilities from pure wave mechanics alone. We will consider why this is impossible, then consider how Everett himself understood quantum probabilities. This will involve clearly distinguishing between typical and probable quantum worlds.

There will be dinner after the talk. If you are interested, please send an email with “Dinner” in the heading to nyphilsci@gmail.com (please note that all are welcome, but only the speaker’s dinner will be covered). If you have any other questions, please email isaac.wilhelm@rutgers.edu.

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Heather Demarest: “It matters how you slice it: relativity and causation”

Heather Demarest (University of Colorado, Boulder)
4:15-6:15pm, Tuesday October 3, CUNY room 5307 (365 5th Ave, New York NY).
Title: It matters how you slice it: relativity and causation
Abstract: I argue that if we take the standard formulation of special relativity seriously, causation is frame-dependent. Thus, many ordinary causal claims require a parameter to specify the relevant frame of reference. This is in contrast to the widely-accepted belief that the causal structure of the world is objectively and absolutely determined by the light cone structure. Any event that can affect another (so the thought goes) must do so via light or matter, and the spacetime structure will tell us which of those came first, absolutely. For instance, according to Carl Hoefer (2009, 694, italics in original), if we assume that all signals travel slower than or equal to the speed of light, “we may take the light-cone structure of Minkowski spacetime as equally representing the causal structure of spacetime.” I argue that causation in relativistic spacetime is not so simple. Events can be extended in space and time, and events can be related to one another by distance and duration. Yet, according to special relativity, extension in space and time (i.e., distances and durations) are not invariant—they depend upon relative motion. Therefore, when ordinary events enter into causal relations, they do so relative to frames of reference, which can yield different causes and different effects. If you want to keep your promises, or bring about one outcome rather than another, you should take note of your reference frame.
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Jim Weatherall: (Information) Paradox Regained?

Jim Weatherall (University of California, Irvine)
4:15 – 6:15pm, Wednesday September 27, NYUAD event space, 19 Washington Square North, NYU.

Title: (Information) Paradox Regained?

Abstract: I will discuss some recent work by Tim Maudlin concerning Black Hole Information Loss.  I will argue that there is a paradox, in the straightforward sense that there are propositions that appear true but which are incompatible with one another, and discuss its significance. I will also discuss Maudlin’s response to the paradox.

There will be dinner after the talk. If you are interested, please send an email with “Dinner” in the heading to nyphilsci@gmail.com (please note that all are welcome, but only the speaker’s dinner will be covered). If you have any other questions, please email isaac.wilhelm@rutgers.edu.

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Alyssa Ney, “Wave Function Realism in a Relativistic Setting”

Our final speaker of the semester will be Prof. Alyssa Ney (UC Davis). Please join us on Tuesday at 4:10 – 6:00 pm at Columbia University.
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Place: Hamilton Hall, Room 303, Columbia University.
Updated Time: 4:10 — 6:00 pm, Tuesday, May 2. 

Speaker: Alyssa Ney (UC Davis).

Title: Wave Function Realism in a Relativistic Setting

Abstract: This talk will consider strategies for extending the wave function realist interpretation of quantum mechanics to the case of relativistic quantum theories, responding to the arguments of Wallace and Timpson (2010) and Myrvold (2015) that this cannot be done.

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 (please note that all 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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UPDATED: Jesse Prinz: The Scientific Construction of Kinds

Our next speaker will be Jesse Prinz. The lecture will be held on Tuesday 4:15-6:15pm, April 25th, at CUNY Grad Center (Room 5307). Hope to see you there.

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Place: CUNY Graduate Center, Room 5307. Street address: 365 Fifth Ave, NYC.
Time: 4:15 – 6:15 PM Tuesday April 25.

Speaker: Jesse Prinz (CUNY)

Title: The Scientific Construction of Kinds

Abstract: In philosophy of mind and semantic theory, strong forms of realism continue to be popular.  Our concepts are presumed to pick our kinds whose joints are given by nature.   This picture is said to take science seriously, and philosophers with a naturalist bent have been especially drawn to it.  Within scientific practice, however, taxonomies often reflect a degree of fiat, with pragmatic and aesthetic factors determining the contours of kinds.  This is most obviously true is social sciences, but equally prevalent in natural sciences, such as chemistry and biology.  Those who have reflected on such practices sometimes lobby for sophisticated forms of realism (e.g., promiscuous realism or homeostatic property closers) in place of the sparser and sharper ontologies presupposed in other domains of philosophy.  Here is is argued that commitments to realism about kinds is weaker in scientific practice than we have been led to believe, even on these less stringent accounts.  Naturalists who defer to science on matters of ontology should be open to the possibility that kinds are, in some sense, constructed, rather than discovered.

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 (please note that all 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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Upcoming MAPS Talk: 
Alyssa Ney (UC Davis).
“Wave Function Realism in a Relativistic Setting”
4:30-6:30 PM Tuesday May 2 at Columbia.

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