CFA: Workshop ‘Rethinking Foundations of Physics’ 2018

Saturday March 17 – Saturday March 24

Traditional conferences and subject-specific workshops offer little room for having in-depth discussions about the foundations of physics in an open, creative and speculative way. Since the first meeting in 2013, this workshop has offered a platform for engaging in such discussions.

The workshop centers on discussions in small groups. The aim of these is to reveal implicit assumptions in physics, to clarify the conceptual core of its guiding ideas and to explore new ways of thinking about problems in basic research. Ideally, the workshop thus bridges the gap between deep critical thinking and creative brainstorming. To lay the ground for these sessions, there will be talks given by the participants.

The following general questions convey the spirit of the workshop and may serve as guidelines for more specific subjects of the discussion sessions:


- Which mathematical, conceptual, and experimental paradigms underlie modern formulations of QM, GR, and QFT?
– Can they be relaxed or changed? 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 aimed at PhD students and Postdocs in physics, mathematics and philosophy. Participants are not required to have substantial knowledge in all modern physical theories, nor do they have to be currently working on basic research questions. We look forward to applications from people who are passionate about conceptual questions, open to other fields and, most importantly, eager to engage in deep discussions.

The deadline for applications is January 14, 2018. In light of the focus on discussions, instead of applying with an abstract for a talk centered around achieved results, applicants have to apply with a foundational question and argue why one should care about this question. You may find all the details on how to apply on the website of the workshop: https://rethinking-workshop.org/

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