DE / EN
2023/2024
History and Philosophy of Physics Research Seminar (Summer)
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Time & Place:

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Tuesdays from 14:15 to 15:45 CEST.
Almost all sessions can be attended via Zoom; the sessions that are indicated as 'hybrid' below may also be attended in person, in the main building (Am Hof 1, 53113 Bonn) in seminar room 1.070. Zoomlinks and weekly reminders are announced via hpp@listen.unibonn.de. Subscribing to this list is possible a) here, b) by sending an empty email to hppsubscribe@listen.unibonn.de, or c) by contacting jdobosze@unibonn.de 
Conveners:

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9 April 2024
hybrid (in person speaker) 
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Karim Thébault (University of Bristol)
Decoherence and Probability Abstract
TBA 
23 April 2024

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Tba

30 April 2024
hybrid (in person speaker) 
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Jürgen Renn (Max Planck Institute of Geoanthropology)
David Bohm‘s lectures on quantum theory and dialectical materialism Abstract
TBA 
7 May 2024

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Tba

14 May 2024
hybrid (in person speaker), all day long 
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Workshop Foundational Challenges in Cosmological Studies of Black Holes 
28 May 2024
hybrid (in person speaker) 
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Robert Rynasiewicz (John Hopkins University
Seven Myths about the Hole Argument Abstract
Tba 
4 June 2024
hybrid (in person speaker) 
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Jan Michel (University of Düsseldorf)
Can machines make scientific discoveries? Abstract
Tba 
11 June 2024
hybrid (in person speaker) 
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Tushar Menon (Australian Catholic University)
The inferentialist guide to quantum mechanics Abstract
Tba 
18 June 2024
hybrid (in person speaker) 
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Alexander Reutlinger (Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, LMU Munich)
Articulating Invariantism. Revisiting the Counterfactual Independence Account of Scientific Objectivity Abstract
Invariantism defines scientific objectivity via the notion of invariance. I will present a version of invariantism, according to which the key notion of invariance is spelled out more precisely as a specific sort of counterfactual independence. This invariantist view – the counterfactual independence account of objectivity – needs to be articulated in a more nuanced manner. To do so, I will first explore under which conditions this version of invariantism is applicable to two different concepts of objectivity: epistemic and structural objectivity. In a second step, I will analyze what the epistemic import of (different concepts of) objectivity is, what objectivity contributes to generating scientific knowledge, if one adopts the sort of invariantism I propose.

25 June 2024
hybrid (in person speaker) 
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Jonathan Fay (Hertz fellow; University of Bristol)
On the ReissnerSciama hypothesis: Relative motion and the necessary existence of gravitation Abstract
Tba 
2 July 2024
online 
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Alex Mathie (Hertz fellow; MCMP LMU Munich)
Against ‘Interactionalism’ about Black Hole Thermodynamics Abstract
Tba 
9 July 2024
hybrid (in person speaker) 
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Abhay Ashtekar (Physics Department, Penn State, US and Perimeter Institute, Canada)
Einstein’s Universe and the Quantum Abstract
Our notions of space and time underwent a radical change just over a 100 years ago. Through general relativity, gravity ceased to be a force and became a manifestation of spacetime geometry. This paradigm shift opened unforeseen perspectives in our understanding of the physical universe: possibility of ripples in spacetime geometries that manifest themselves as gravitational waves; of black holes, representing geometries that trap not only matter but also light; and of the Big Bang, the primordial explosion marking the birth of the spacetime continuum itself. However, through black holes and the big bang we also learnt that Einstein’s equations predict the presence of spacetime singularities: rugged edges where the spacetime continuum tears and all of classical physics comes to an abrupt halt. These singularities are the gates to physics beyond Einstein –i.e., to unification of general relativity with quantum physics. Construction of this desired theory of quantum gravity is a truly challenging task because it requires an entirely new syntax to formulate concepts that are sufficiently adequate to describe the extreme universe. We now need the quantum analog of Riemannian geometry that serves as the syntax for general relativity. After a brief discussion of why several distinct approaches are being pursued, I will focus on loop quantum gravity, based on a specific theory of Riemannian quantum geometry. I will explain how it leads to quantum spacetimes that extend Einstein’s classical continuum beyond its singularities. While this conceptual framework is rather abstract and involves novel mathematics, it also leads to predictions that can be tested observationally. 
History and Philosophy of Physics Research Seminar (Winter)
Time & Place:

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Tuesdays from 14:15 to 15:45 CEST.
Almost all sessions can be attended via Zoom; the sessions that are indicated as 'hybrid' below may also be attended in person, in the main building (Am Hof 1, 53113 Bonn) in seminar room 1.070. Zoomlinks and weekly reminders are announced via hpp@listen.unibonn.de. Subscribing to this list is possible a) here, b) by sending an empty email to hppsubscribe@listen.unibonn.de, or c) by contacting jdobosze@unibonn.de 
Conveners:

17 Oct 2023
hybrid (in person speaker) 
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Michel Janssen (University of Minnesota)
Drawing the line between kinematics and dynamics in special relativity and quantum mechanics Abstract
The mathematical equivalence of matrix and wave mechanics papers over an important difference in what Heisenberg and Schrödinger took to be their key insights. For Schrödinger it was that atomic physics calls for an underlying wave theory just as geometric optics had in the 19th century. For Heisenberg it was that atomic physics calls for a new general framework for doing physics just as electrodynamics had in the early20th century. Following Heisenberg rather than Schrödinger, I present a few case studies in special relativity and quantum mechanics in which problems that seem to call for dynamical solutions were solved instead by an appeal to the new kinematical frameworks introduced by these new theories. I use these case studies to bring out some parallels between the standard take on special relativity and a more controversial informationtheoretic take on quantum mechanics and use the former to argue for the latter. Based on joint work with Michael Janas and Mike Cuffaro. 
24 Oct 2023

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Cancelled

31 Oct 2023
hybrid (in person speaker) 
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