Workshop: Rethinking Foundations of Physics 2016

12 – 19 March 2016

Traditional conferences and subject-specific workshops offer little room for in-depth discussions about the foundations of physics in an open, creative and speculative way. In tradition of the meetings in 2013, 2014 and 2015, this workshop offers a platform to young scientists for engaging in such discussions.

The major part of the workshop consists in discussion sessions in small groups, aiming at new approaches and ways of thinking about fundamental physics. These discussion sessions will be inspired by talks given by the participants. The specific topics of both talks and discussions will be chosen according to the expertise and interests of all participants, revolving around the following questions:

- Which mathematical, conceptual, and experimental paradigms underlie modern formulations of QM, GR, and QFT?
– Can they be relaxed or changed? And if so, how?
– Which new mathematical developments could be relevant for future foundations?
– Are there promising new or non-standard experimental possibilities?

The workshop is addressed to PhD students in physics, mathematics and related fields, as well as young researchers who have completed their PhD in the last few years. It is not required that participants have substantial knowledge in all modern physical theories, but a general interest and openness towards other fields and ideas is expected. Applications are open until January 15, 2016.

Date: Saturday, March 12 – Saturday, March 19, 2016
Place: Mountain Cabin “Amoseralm”, Dorfgastein, Austria
Participants: 18
Workshop fee: 300 Euros (Accommodation and food included. Financial support available.)

Further information:

The workshop will take place in a beautiful, cosy mountain cabin which offers all necessary luxury (bath, toilet, showers) including a sauna. However, we want to point out that a mountain cabin is not a hotel: Accommodation will be in dorms with bunk beds, there are no single rooms and bathrooms have to be shared. Also, internet is not available.

Moreover, there is no catering, i.e., we will do the cooking ourselves. To this end, we form cooking teams of two or three to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Please plan your arrival at Dorfgastein train station for Saturday, March 12. From there, a shuttle is available to the cabin until 4pm local time (not later due to possible frost and icing). Also, we offer to organise a joint travel by train from Munich Central Station to Dorfgastein, departing in Munich approximately at noon. Please be aware of the fact that we cannot provide a shuttle from Dorfgastein train station to the cabin for late arrivals (except for in emergency cases).


Applications will be accepted until January 15, 2016. Please register via email to and include the following information:

– A brief motivation
– Your main and peripheral areas of interest
– Your current occupation and institution
– A proposal for a talk you would like to give (title, short abstract and indication of potential discussions initiated by the talk).
The talk should not exceed 45 minutes, for further information see below.
– Information about dietary requirements, allergies, etc.

Funding is available provided you cannot account for the workshop fee or travelling expenses via your institution. In this case, please indicate so in your application.

Concerning the talks: The particular aim of the talks is to raise interesting questions and initiate discussions. We are therefore looking for talks which are from the very beginning directed towards a particular question, or a particular set of questions, to which the speaker does not yet have a conclusive answer. Of course, the talks should also provide the necessary knowledge and prerequisites to enable solid discussions on the topic (assuming sound background knowledge of all participants), but they should not just serve as introductions into some specific field or as presentations of results.

Albeit not every participant will have the chance to give a talk, we nevertheless ask everybody to propose a title and an abstract in order to have a greater variety of possible topics and also to get an impression of the different interests of all participants. As stated above, please add some lines of explanation about possible directions for discussions subsequent to your talk.

In case of questions, please contact For more information, please visit


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Filed under Conference announcements/CFPs, Graduate student corner, wuthrich

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