University of Minnesota
Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science
mcps@umn.edu
612-625-6635
myU OneStop


Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science home page.

Physics Interest Group

Image of pig.

 

Meeting time: Fridays 10:30 am–12:00 pm
Meeting place: 127 Shepherd

The physics interest group (PIG) reads and discusses works of mutual interest in the history and philosophy of physics. We select readings for a variety of reasons: to keep up on the most exciting developments in the field, to help participants scrutinize literature relevant to their research projects (faculty or graduate student research), to provide feedback on works in progress being written by participants (graduate students, faculty, and Center visitors), to revisit classic articles in the literature, and sometimes just to have fun discussing a topic related to physics. For more information please contact Jos Uffink, Michel Janssen or Sam Fletcher. If you wold like to be added to the PIG email list please send a request to mcps@umn.edu.

Fall 2016

September 16:
"Welcome to Bananaworld." Michel Janssen will introduce Jeffrey Bub's, Bananaworld. Quantum Mechanics for Primates (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016). The presentation will be accessible to a broad audience. Yet, although this will not be necessary to follow the presentation, participants may want to start reading the book ahead of time, as several PIG meetings this semester will be devoted to it. A good way to get started in Bananaworld is to read the following passages:

Front matter (foreword by Popescu, preface, TOC)
Ch. 1, secs. 1.1–1.3, pp. 1–14 (SKIP the rest of Ch. 1, which is about special relativity)
SKIP Ch. 2 (the presentation in the PIG session will cover the key notion of an entangled two-particle state)
Ch. 3, secs. 3.1–3.3, pp. 43–71 (not exactly easy going) & sec. 3.5.3 (pp. 78–83) on Boolean algebras (which is something we'll get back to later)
Ch. 4, sec. 4.1, pp. 87–91 (the presentation in the PIG session will cover the key notion of a correlation array).
Combined readings in one pdf.

Updated Slides from Michel's presentation.

September 30:
Jeffrey Bub, Bananaworld. Quantum Mechanics for Primates (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), sections 4.2-4.3, 5, and 6.1-6.3.
Background reading:
N. David Mermin, "From Cbits to Qbits: Teaching computer scientists quantum mechanics." American Journal of Physics 71 (2003): 23–30 (Mermin 2003c.pdf)
N. David Mermin, "Copenhagen computation." Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 34 (2003): 511–522 (Mermin 2003b.pdf)
Christopher A. Fuchs, N. David Mermin, and Rüdiger Schack, "An introduction to QBism with an application to the locality of quantum mechanics." American Journal of Physics 82 (2014): 749–754 (Mermin et al 2014.pdf)

October 14: Jeffrey Bub, Bananaworld. Quantum Mechanics for Primates (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), sections 7.1–7.3, 8.1–8.3.

Excerpts about measurement from email exchange of Michel Janssen with Jeffrey Bub about Bananaworlds

On October 19, in the big hall of the McNamara Alumni Center, John Preskill (Caltech) will be giving the 11th annual Misel Family Lecture on "Quantum Computing & the Entanglement Frontier"
http://www.ftpi.umn.edu/misel/index.html

October 28: Uffink, J. and Lehner, C. (draft paper) "The Prehistory of Entanglement" (pdf)
Background reading for those of you who read German and want to see Schrödinger's own words. (pdf)

November 18: Jeffrey Bub, Bananaworld. Quantum Mechanics for Primates (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), Ch. 9, intro, secs. 9.1–9.2, pp. 181–193; Ch. 10 (in its entirety); Ch. 3, sec. 5.3, pp. 78–83 (Boolean algebras, revisit from September 16). Updated version of Michel Janssen's correspondence with Jeffrey Bub. The new bit is pp. 14–23. (pdf)
Jeffrey Bub, Bananaworld. Quantum Mechanics for Primates (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016) is now available as an ebook via the University of Minnesota Libraries (Login required).

December 9: Ryan Samaroo "There is No Conspiracy of Inertia", forthcoming in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.

Previous PIG discussion topics

find us on Facebook