Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP)

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Quantum Gravity in Perspective (31 May - 1 June, 2013)


Idea and Motivation

The search for a theory which would unite the insights of general relativity with those of quantum theory, a theory of quantum gravity, has now lasted the better part of a century. Although a number of promising candidate theories have emerged (string theory and loop quantum gravity being the most prominent), a large array of conceptual, formal and methodological issues are still unresolved. The increasingly fractured nature of the field – with long standing and well publicised disagreements over the premisses, goals and criteria for evaluation relevant to a 'theory of quantum gravity' –  might be seen as one significant factor impeding progress. With this in mind, the aim of this workshop is to bring together physicists, philosophers and historians with interests in various approaches to quantum gravity towards a mutually beneficial cross-pollination of ideas. By looking at the problem of quantum gravity from a variety of different perspectives, it is hoped, we will all be able to see a little further.


Friday, 31 May (Room M210, 2nd floor, LMU main building, Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1)
09:00 Claus Kiefer (Cologne): Quantum Geometrodynamics - Whence, Whither
09:50 Johanna Erdmenge (Heisenberg Institute): New Dualities Between Gauge Theories and Gravity
10:40 Coffee Break
11:00 Sabine Hossenfelder (NORDITA): Experimental Searche for Quantum Gravity
12:00 Robert Helling (LMU Munich): The "Shut up and Calculate" Approach to Quantum Gravity
12:50 Lunch Break
14:00 Igor Khavkine (Utrecht): Gravity, An Exercise in Quantisation
14:50 Coffee Break
15:10 Dennis Lehmkuhl (Wuppertal): Einstein's Approach to Quantum Gravity
16:00 Alexander Blum (MPIWG): The Moving Frontier, How Quantum Gravity Became The Great Unsolved Problem of Modern Physics
19:00 Workshop Dinner at Kaisergarten
Saturday, 1 June (Room M210, 2nd floor, LMU main building, Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1)
09:00 Chris Wuthrich (UCSD): Time and Space in Causal Set Theory
09:50 J. Brian Pitts (Cambridge): Real Change Happens in Hamiltonian Relativity, Just Ask the Lagrangian (about Time-like Killing Vectors, First-Class Constraints and Observables)
10:40 Coffe Break
11:00 Karim Thebault (LMU Munich): Time Remains
11:50 Daniele Oriti (Einstein Institute): Dissappearance and Emergence of Space and Time in Quantum Gravity
12:50 Lunch Break
14:00 Nazim Bouatta (Cambridge): On Emergence and Reduction in String Theory
14:50 Lunch Break
15:10 Richard Dawid (Vienna): String Theory, Final Theory Claim and Scientific Realism
16:10 Dean Rickles (Sydney): Dualities and the Physical Content of Theories


The conference is supported by the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP) and made possible through the generous support by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation through a Humboldt Professorship.