Foundations of Physics working group

Currently, we meet every
         Wednesday at 4:00 pm, in room MC 108 (Middlesex College).

The goal of these meetings is to have philosophers, physicists, and mathematicians at Western talk about the Foundations of Physics. We would like to get an idea what each one of us is doing, have discussions in a relaxed and informal atmosphere, and explore possible common interests that might lead to interdisciplinary collaboration.

Contact: Markus Müller,
Mailing list:


Schedule, past and present:

  • October 26, 2016: Wayne Myrvold (Philosophy, Western): Measure zero in thermodynamics
  • November 2, 2016: no meeting because of PSA
  • November 9, 2016: no meeting due to illness
  • November 16, 2016: Michael Cuffaro (Philosophy, Western): LOCC operations in quantum information theory
  • November 23, 2016: Chris Smeenk (Philosophy, Western): GR, Effective at Cosmological Scales?

Earlier presentations:

  • Mai 16, 2016: Masoud Khalkhali (Mathematics, Western): the Holographic Principle and the AdS/CFT correspondence
  • May 9, 2016: Adam Koberinski (Philosophy, Western) discussed the formal analogies between classical statistical mechanics and quantum field theory, focusing on the role that information-theoretic constraints play in the construction of both theories.
  • April 25, 2016Tobias Fritz (MPI Leipzig) on this.
  • April 11, 2016Alex Buchel (Applied Math, Western): Crash course on string theory
  • March 28, 2016: Continuation of last time.
  • March 14, 2016: Markus Müller (Applied Math, Western): Thermodynamics and the structure of quantum theory.

Please send me your ideas, or let me know if you would like to contribute a presentation, or initiate a discussion. In general, presentations should be brief, comprehensible for everyone regardless of background, and have an emphasis on conceptual aspects instead of technical details (i.e. why the specific approach? What is the main goal? What is its context in the specific research field more generally?)
It is perfectly fine to talk about half-baked ideas. These are meant to be informal and friendly meetings!


Possible topics for upcoming meetings:

Homotopy type theory as new foundations of mathematics; non-equilibrium thermodynamics and cosmology; evidence in cosmology; time and quantum mechanics; …


Announcements: conferences etc.