Category Archives: Uncategorized

New video

Most of the videos from the Spring semester are now available: most recently from Tiziana Vistarini, Tim Palmer, and Karim Thébault (see here). The remaining ones are coming soon! Enjoy.

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Last Talk of the Year!

Please join us this week for the final talk of the year – in Chicago at 11am in UH1430, on skype in Geneva, or on YouTube.

• Wednesday 31 May 2017 at UIC – Nic Teh (Notre Dame): Newton-Cartan theory and Emergent Newtonian Gravitation

Abstract: In recent work on the philosophy of Newtonian gravitation, there has been much discussion of whether the theory’s “spacetime geometry” is best conceived of as Newton-Cartan geometry, on the one hand, or Maxwellian geometry, on the other hand. Roughly speaking, there have been two approaches to understanding this question: one starts from the idea of “relations between observers”, and the other begins from the standard differential geometric architecture of Newton-Cartan theory and the Trautman Recovery Theorem. In this talk, I will explain how the two approaches can be reconciled, thereby yielding “emergent Newtonian gravitation” as a gauge-fixing of Newton-Cartan theory. In terms of technical difficulty, this talk rates 4/5 4

Talk this week!

• 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 4

See above links for details.

Upcoming Talks: Ruetsche and Miller

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!

2017 Essay Contest

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

Mini-courses

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/.