• Wednesday 24 May 2017 at Geneva – Samuel Fletcher (Minnesota): Reduction, emergence, and direct limits
Abstract: Most discussions of spacetime emergence and the “physical salience” of the structures employed in theories of quantum gravity have understood these terms informally. Applying some new formal definitions based on “similarity structure” on models of theories, I show how to make more precise the sense in which a physical continuum of events could be emergent, and to connect the discussion of physical salience with a precise definition of intertheoretic reduction. As a test example, I consider claims about the emergence of the continuum of relativistic spacetime from direct limits of causal set histories, showing how their justification, though presently incomplete, could be completed. Time permitting, I will comment on the relation between this approach and causal set theory’s hauptvermutung. In terms of technical difficulty, this talk rates 4/5
See above links for details.
We’re very happy to announce our two prize winners of the 2016-17 essay prize – we make the papers available on the philsci archive when they are ready.
• Suddhasattwa Brahma (Fudan): Emergence of time in Loop Quantum Gravity
• Sebastian De Haro (Amsterdam/Cambridge): Spacetime and Physical Equivalence
We have two talks at UIC next week:
Wednesday 3 May 2017 11am – Laura Ruetsche (Michigan): Renormalization Group Realism: An Unduly Skeptical Review
Thursday 4 May 2017 at UIC 9am – Michael Miller (Pittsburgh): Three obstacles to the interpretation of quantum field theory
Abstracts are available above – as are details of the locations. We will livestream to Geneva, and hopefully to YouTube. Please join us!
We are pleased to announce our third essay contest, for papers from philosophers or physicists that address issues in the philosophical foundations of quantum gravity. Full details here: https://beyondspacetime.net/2017-essay-prize-contest/ (and above). The winners will receive $1000, a visit to UIC or Geneva, and publication in the anthology that we are editing. Women and minorities are encouraged to submit – and we emphasize that the scope of the contest includes metaphysical investigations of the subject. Deadline: September 15th, 2017
We are pleased to announce that the first of our planned mini-courses is now available. BST 101: Introduction to Space and Time in Quantum Gravity. In this two lecture course a short non-technical introduction to research in quantum gravity is presented by Keizo Matsubara. It will be followed by more mini-courses at different levels, intended for students, and researchers with and without more technical backgrounds, wishing to learn more about the philosophy of quantum gravity, and its implications for metaphysics, epistemology, and foundations. More information about this element of our project can be found above, or at https://beyondspacetime.net/mini-courses/.
Wednesday, 5 April 2017, 18:00-19:30, Room L107 at 2, Rue De-Candolle:
Tim Palmer (University of Oxford): What physics needs is not a quantum theory of gravity – but rather a gravitational theory of the quantum.
Please join us at Geneva, or live at UIC – see details in links above.
Please join us for a talk by Tiziana Vistarini on The Metaphysics Within String Physics, at UIC on Wednesday March 29th – please join us at UIC, or live at Geneva, or (technology-willing) on our YouTube channel. (See above links for more information on joining us.)
Our first two talks of the year are coming up! Please join us.
• Wednesday 1 March 2017 at Geneva – Philipp Berghofer (Graz): Ontic structural realism and quantum field theory: are there intrinsic properties at the most fundamental level of Reality?
• Wednesday 8 March 2017 at Geneva – Fay Dowker (Imperial College London): Being and Becoming in Quantum Gravity (or The Birth of a Baby is not a Baby)
Details above or at: https://beyondspacetime.net/space-and-time-after-quantum-gravity/speakers/
Don’t for get to submit abstracts for our summer conference near Geneva – June 27-30, 2017. The call is at https://beyondspacetime.net/2017conference/.
Happy new year! A couple of items of news:
First, we are very happy to welcome John Dougherty (UCSD) to UIC as a Predoctoral Research Fellow for the semester.
Second, talks will start in a few weeks – we have 11 lined up so far: Philipp Berghofer, Fay Dowker, Tiziana Vistarini, Tim Palmer, Laurent Freidel, Laura Ruetsche, Michael Miller, Karim Thébault, Samuel Fletcher, Alexei Grinbaum, and Nic Teh. Please join us (details above).