Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP)

Breadcrumb Navigation


The Second Annual Bristol-MCMP Workshop on Foundations of Physics: Problems in Classical and Quantum Statistical Mechanics (27 January 2018)

Statistical mechanics plays a central in almost every field of physics: solid state, fluid mechanics, cosmology, astrophysics, the study of black holes, every major program of quantum gravity, low temperature physics, the Standard Model, experimental error analysis, and on and on. Its conceptual and foundational problems---among them, the role and interpretation of probabilities, the nature of entropy and the Second Law, the root of irreversibility, its relation to thermodynamics---are as deep and unresolved as those of any other field of physics as well. All of these are active and central areas of research in contemporary work on the foundations of physics. Indeed, in recent decades the scope of statistical mechanics has grown to encompass fundamental work in such diverse fields as economics and formal epistemology as well. This workshop will address problems pertaining to a wide spectrum of such issues with an emphasis on technical work, with the aim both of examining the problems in their own right and of investigating whether approaches and techniques from some areas can be of use in others.


  1. Dr. Karim Thébault (University of Bristol/MCMP)
  2. Dr. Sean Gryb (Bristol)
  3. Patricia Palacios (LMU/MCMP)
  4. Dr. Erik Curiel (LMU/MCMP)
  5. Dr. Neil Dewar (LMU/MCMP)
  6. Prof. Roman Frigg (LSE/MCMP)


09:30 - 10:00 Registration, Coffee & Pastries
10:00 - 10:50 Karim Thébault: Epistemic Humility and Maximum Entropy Reasoning in Quantum and Classical Statistical Physics
10:50 - 11:10 Coffee
11:10 - 12:00 Neil Dewar: Supervenience and Definition
12:00 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 14:20 Patricia Palacios: On the Universality of Hawking Radiation
14:20 - 14:40 Coffee
14:40 - 15:30 Erik Curiel: Irreversibility Associated with the Second Law in Thermodynamics and in Statistical Mechanics
15:30 - 16:20 Sean Gryb: Epistemic Humility in the Context of Quantum Cosmology
16:20 - 16:50 Coffee & Snacks
16:50 - 17:40 Roman Frigg: Can Somebody Please Say What Gibbsian Statistical Mechanics Says?
19:15 Conference Dinner (Osterwaldgarten)



Main University Building
Prof.-Huber-Platz 2
D-80539 München
Room V002

LMU Roomfinder

If you need help finding the venue or a particalur room, you might consider using the LMU's roomfinder, a mobile web app that lets you display all of the 22.000 rooms at the 83 locations of the LMU in Munich.