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4th International Summer School in Philosophy of Physics, 18-23 juillet 2016, Lausanne, Suisse

Call for applications

4th International Summer School in Philosophy of Physics

Understanding quantum physics: the meaning of the wave function

Saig (Black Forest), Germany, 18-23 July 2016

Organized and funded by

the Department of Mathematics of Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich

the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP)

the Departments of Philosophy of the Universities of Lausanne and Bern

the Center for Philosophy of Science and Department of Philosophy, University of Geneva

The wave function is arguably the main innovation of quantum theory. Nonetheless, its status is far from being understood. For almost a century by now, the wave function has mostly been seen as an operational tool for computing quantum probabilities by physicists and philosophers alike. Exceptions, which were long marginalized, are the Many Worlds Interpretation, Bohmian Mechanics and Collapse Theories of the GRW type. However, John S. Bell’s work related to quantum entanglement and quantum nonlocality, as well as recent research concerning the epistemic versus real character of the wave function, have brought the issue of the nature of the wave function to the frontier of physics research. In philosophy of physics, the status of the wave function also is hotly disputed: Is it a physical object like a field? Or is it a nomological parameter, which can be integrated into the traditional philosophical views of laws of nature (Humeanism, dispositionalism, primitivism)? This summer school combines philosophy of physics, mathematical and theoretical physics, and state of the art experiments to answer fundamental questions about the nature of the wave function in order to enhance our understanding of quantum physics.

Scientific committee:

Claus Beisbart (Philosophy, Bern)

Dirk-André Deckert (Mathematics, Munich)

Detlef Dürr (Mathematics, Munich)

Michael Esfeld (Philosophy, Lausanne)

Stephan Hartmann (Philosophy, Munich)

Christian Wüthrich (Philosophy, Geneva)

Invited speakers:

Julian Barbour (Theoretical Physics, Banbury / Oxfordshire)

Catalina Curceanu (Experimental Physics, Rome)

Sheldon Goldstein (Mathematics, Rutgers)

Barry Loewer (Philosophy, Rutgers)

Alyssa Ney (Philosophy, UC Davis)

Nino Zanghì (Theoretical Physics, Genova)

There will be lectures in the morning and the evening. In the afternoon, several small working groups led by postdocs or advanced PhD students offer in depth discussions of topics related to the lectures. Participants will have the opportunity to present their work in short talks.

Audience: PhD students and early postdocs in physics or philosophy as well as master students who envisage doing a PhD in physics or the philosophy of physics.

Venue: Saig / Titisee, Black Forest, Germany, Hotel Sonnhalde

Nearest airports: Zurich, Basel, Frankfurt. Train station: Titisee

Fee: EUR 500, includes accommodation in a single room with private bathroom, full board and tuition (in case we get external funding, the fee will be reduced for graduate students without the possibility of financial support from their institutions).

For further information, see, follow, or contact

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