Category Archives: Upcoming talks

Upcoming talk: “When the actual world is not even possible”

I will be giving a talk at the GAP8 next week in Konstanz, Germany, entitled “When the actual world is not even possible”.

Here is an abstract:
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Upcoming talk: “The measurement problem in non-relativistic and relativistic quantum theories”

I will give a talk entitled “The measurement problem in non-relativistic and relativistic quantum theories” at the University of Bern’s Institute for Theoretical Physics on Friday, 14 September 2012.

Abstract:
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Upcoming talk: “A prolegomenon to a quantum-information-theoretic complement to a general-relativistic implementation of a beyond-Turing computer”

I will give this talk on 10 September at the “First International Conference on Logic and Relativity: honoring István Németi’s 70th birthday” at the Alfréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics in Budapest.

Here is an abstract:
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Upcoming talk: “Putnam looks at quantum mechanics (again and again)”

Next week, on Friday, 22 June 2012, I will give a talk on Putnam’s work on the interpretation of quantum mechanics at the 5th Lauener Symposium on Analytical Philosophy honouring Putnam’s work. The program can be found here. For some reason, I can’t get a direct URL, so you will have to click “Awards/Symposium 2012”, and then “5th Lauener Symposium”.

Here is an abstract of the talk:
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Upcoming Talk: “On the Relationship between Spacetime Singularities, Holes, and Extensions”

I will be presenting some recent work at the next Southern California Philosophy of Physics Group meeting (Jan 14, 3:00pm, UC Irvine, SST 777).

Abstract: The Hawking-Penrose-Geroch singularity theorems tell us that (almost) all physically reasonable cosmological models are geodesically incomplete (i.e. they have “singularities”). On the other hand, a number of geodesically incomplete models seem to be artificial in various senses (e.g. they contain “holes” or have “extensions”). Two independent conditions — hole-freeness and inextendibility — serve to rule out some (but by no means all) of these seemingly artificial models. Here, I examine the relationship between these two conditions and the existence of singularities. First, I review what is known: geodesic completeness implies inextendibility. Next, I show that geodesic completeness also implies hole-freeness. (This answers a question posed by Geroch.) In addition, I introduce a simple intermediate condition — effective completeness — which is entailed by geodesic completeness and also entails both hole-freeness and inextendibility. Why might such a condition be of interest? It seems to be strong enough to rule out, in one fell swoop, both types of seemingly artificial models at issue here (and possibly other types as well) but weak enough to allow the more physically reasonable, geodesically incomplete models guaranteed by the singularity theorems. Finally, I show that under certain causality assumptions, there is a useful hierarchy of singularity types: geodesic completeness entails effective completeness which entails inextendibility which entails hole-freeness. 

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Upcoming talk: “No categorical support for radical ontic structural realism” (with Vincent Lam)

This Saturday, 8 October 2011, I will give a contributed-paper talk at the EPSA in Athens entitled “No categorical support for radical ontic structural realism”. This is joint work with Vincent Lam; unfortunately, Vincent won’t come to Athens, so I will have to hold the water against the radical ontic structural realist all by myself… Hopefully, there will be some in the audience!

Here is the abstract:
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Sigma Club at LSE this term: Harper, Price, Bouatta

Sigma Club at LSE – Michaelmas Term Meetings

Oct 10 William Harper (University of Western Ontario): Isaac Newton’s Scientific Method

Oct 31 Huw Price (University of Cambridge): Retrocausality – what would it take?

Nov 21 Nazim Buatta (University of Cambridge): TBA

Further information can be found at http://www2.lse.ac.uk/CPNSS/events/SigmaClub/Home.aspx
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Upcoming talk: “Time Machines: Some Recent Work”

I will be giving the following talk in Turku, Finland on June 9 at the 10th International Conference on Unconventional Computation:

“Time Machines: Some Recent Work”

Abstract: I will consider some recent work on time machines within a particular research program (Krasnikov 2002, 2009; Earman, Smeenk, Wüthrich 2009; Manchak 2009, 2011). The background theory is classical general relativity and the upshot is that there are “time machines” if we assume spacetime is free of “holes”. The talk will make precise what is meant by these words.

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Workshop: Decoherence and No-Signalling, Bern

Decoherence and No-Signalling:
Current Interpretational Problems of Quantum Theory

University of Bern (Switzerland), 23-24 June 2011.

For the program and further information, see

http://www.philoscience.unibe.ch/quantum-symposium-2011

or contact

Adrian Wüthrich (awuethr@philo.unibe.ch, +41 31 631 8505)

Sincerely,
the organizers
(Michael Esfeld, Tilman Sauer, Adrian Wüthrich)

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Upcoming talk: “To the Planck scale and back: On the emergence of spacetime in quantum theories of gravity”

On my upcoming European lecture tour (on which I will soon post more), I will be giving the following talk on 7 March at LSE’s Sigma Club and on 9 March in the physics and philosophy colloquium at the University of Bristol:

“To the Planck scale and back: On the emergence of spacetime in quantum theories of gravity”

Abstract: Among the most striking features of most approaches to quantum gravity is their claim that spacetime as we know and love it disappears in one form or another from the fundamental furniture of the world. I shall explicate this disappearance, using the examples of loop quantum gravity and causal set theory. For any quantum theory of gravity to succeed, it must offer an explanation of how the smooth, classical spacetimes of general relativity re-emerge in the appropriate low-energy limit of the fundamental theory. I will show how similar philosophical and technical problems arise in the case of spacetime as they do for the emergence of classicality from ordinary quantum mechanics. The case at hand, however, poses the additional threat of empirical incoherence, as the absence of space and time deprives us of apparent prerequisites for the empirical testing of physical theories.

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