February 10: John Norton "Analogy"
March 2: 19th-century physics (in connection with the "Bruces" HST colloquium). From a message from Bruce Hunt: "As a starting point I'm attaching a very short piece on "The Function of Models" that G. F. FitzGeraldwrote in the 1880s (though it wasn't published until after his death). He draws a distinction between "analogies" and "likenesses" that I've always found useful."
Forbes, J.D. 1858 "Review of the Progress of Mathematical and Physical Sciences in More Recent Times and Particularly between the Years 1775 and 1850; being one of the dissertations prefixed to the Eighth Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica" Chapter 1
Whewell W. 1984 "Selected Writings on the History of Science" Book XI pp 203-217
Maxwell's 1870 address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, here reproduced from v. 2 of his collected Scientific Papers
March 30: Preparation for Seven Pines XVI (analogies and dualities in physics). Readings from Don Howard and Jeremy Butterfield
April 13: Preparation for Seven Pines XVI. Reading from Jeremy Butterfield
September 16: We will use the first meeting to go over projects faculty and more advanced grad students are currently working on.
September 30: Two or (time permitting) three PIG members will present their current work.
1.Rebecca Slayton, visiting professor in the HSTM program, will talk about her book project"Arguments that Count: Physics, Computing, and Missile Defense, 1949-2009."
2.Charles Midwinter, HSTM grad student, will talk about perturbative techniques crossing fields and periods.
3. If there's time,Michel Janssen will talk aboutJordan's probabilistic interpretation of quantum mechanics (joint work with Tony Duncan) and his book project "Arches and Scaffoldings."
The last two meetings this fall and the first two in the spring will focus on a topic that should be of interest to both PIGgies and BIGgies, the use of statistical mechanics in population genetics.
October 21: This is the first of four PIG meetings devoted to statistical mechanics and population genetics. These sessions are in preparation of a colloquium by David Crawford (PhD student at Duke) on February 10 on this topic. David supplied two readings for this week.
Fisher, R.A. (1930 with footnotes added showing 1958 changes)The Genetic Theory of Natural Selection Oxford: Clarendon Press Preface, pp 1–21, appendix 1
Darwin, C. (1998, 2nd edition originally published 1883)The Variation of Animals and Plants under DomesticationVolume 2 Baltimore: John's Hopkins University Press
November 11: This is the second meeting devoted to statistical mechanics and population genetics.
Crawford, David Robert (draft) “Biological Evolution and Thermodynamics: Re-placing Fisher’s Statistics Analogy”Dissertation chapter
Crawford, David Robert (July 29, 2011) “Boltzmann and Fisher: The Role of Statistical Mechanical Theory in the Development of Mathematical Population Genetics” Slides of DC talk
Price, George (1972) “Fisher’s ‘fundamental theorem’ made clear” Ann. Hum. Genet., Lond, 36: 129
Anilla, A. and Salthe, S. (2010) "Physical foundations of evolutionary theory" J. Non-Equilib. Thermodyn. 35: 301–321 DOI 10.1515/JNETDY.2010.19
To get ready for this year's symposium, Seven Pines XV on the origins of life, PIG has been commuted for a semester to a history of science graduate seminar on the topic, co-taught by historian of biology Mark Borrello. We anticipate resuming our regular PIG meetings in Fall 2011.
Please come prepared to tell us what you've been up to in the history and/or philosophy of modern physics. Suggestions as to what we're going to do this fall are also more than welcome.
October 15. Discussion leader: Clayton Gearhart. Foundations of statistical mechanics. Our central text will be Jos Uffink's Stanford Encyclopedia article on Boltzmann: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/statphys-Boltzmann/
October 29. Discussion leader: Clayton Gearhart. For the second session, we will read a draft paper by Massimiliano Badino of the Max Planck Institute for History of Science on Boltzmann's famous H-theorem (which is in part a response to a recent paper on the subject by Harvey Brown, Wayne Myrvold, and, again, Jos Uffink).
Harvey R. Brown, Wayne Myrvold, Jos Uffink "Boltzmann’s H-theorem, its discontents, and the birth of statistical mechanics" Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 40 (2009) 174–191 (PDF)
Massimiliano Badinoa "Mechanistic slumber vs. statistical insomnia: Boltzmann's road to the H-theorem (1866-1877)" preprint 2010. (PDF)
November 12 Discussion leader: Brian Woodcock. Collapse interpretations of
Readings: (1) Giancarlo Ghirardi's introduction to collapse theories from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
(2) The last chapter (Chapter 7) of David Albert's book Time and Chance (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2000), where Albert considers philosophical issues in the foundations of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. In that chapter he first introduces quantum mechanics and the quantum measurement problem (similar to his book Quantum Mechanics and Experience). The second half of the chapter makes an interesting connection between the GRW theory of quantum state collapse and statistical mechanics. This ties our foray into collapse theories nicely together with the theme of statistical mechanics that we've had going so far. If one is already familiar with the quantum measurement problem, I recommend skipping (or skimming) ahead to p. 148 where Albert begins his discussion of the GRW collapse theory and the role it might play in the foundations of statistical mechanics.
December 3 Discussion leader and author: Joe Martin. Reductionism and emergence. "Reduction and Its Discontents: Fundamentality Debates and the Role of Philosophy in Solid State Physics, 1939-1993"
January 29 first meeting of the semester
February 19: 2nd half of Chapter 2 (pp. 60-114 but there's a lot in the first half that we didn't get to: in particular sec. 2.4.6 [pp. 44-49] on reduced density matrices).
March 5: Chapter 6 on experiments (after finishing up/reviewing Chapter 2)
March 12: No meeting
April 2: Chapter 6
April 16: The meeting will be held in 216 Lind Hall. Please note the change of location. Chapter 8 on decoherence and interpretation of QM
April 30: Chapter 9 more on interpretation issues and review in preparation of Seven Pines XIV, May 5-9 (the PIGlets will visit Thursday, May 6).
In preparation for this year's Seven Pines meeting we'll be reading Maximilian Schlosshauer's book on decoherence "Decoherence and the Quantum-to-Classical Transition (The Frontiers Collection)". The front matter, chs. 1,2, 8, and 9, and the references are in a folder on NetFiles.
This folder also has a review article by Schlosshauer on decoherence and a famous 1991 Physics Today article by decoherence and einselection pioneer Wojchiek Zurek plus reactions to that piece (from, among others, David Albert).
You can find a number of reviews of the book on Schlosshauer's home page:
You may also want to check out the contribution of another SPXIV participant, Guido Bacciagaluppi, who wrote an article on "The Role of Decoherence in Quantum Mechanics" for the on-line Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
October 9: Physics pedagogy (1). In preparation for an HSS section on quantum textbooks in which Clayton Gearhart and Michel Janssen will give talks. Selections from David Kaiser (ed.), Pedagogy and the Practice of Science. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2005.
October 23: Paul Forman versus Joan Bromberg on the relation between physics research and the military (discussion leader: Maggie Hofius). The readings, Bromberg, Isis 97 (2006) 237-259 and Forman, HSPS 18 (1992) 149-229.
November 13: Physics pedagogy (2). Preview of HSS sessions on quantum textbooks, Phoenix, AR, Nov. 19-22 (discussion leaders: Clayton Gearhart and Michel Janssen)
December 11: Physics pedagogy (3). Post mortem of HSS sessions on quantum textbooks.
Next semester PIG will be devoted to the history and philosophy of decoherence in preparation for Seven Pines XIV, "Decoherence versus Entanglement." The central text we will be reading is:
Maximilian Schlosshauer, Decoherence and the Quantum-to-Classical Transition. The Frontiers Collection, Springer, Heidelberg/Berlin (2007, 4th reprint 2009).
See Schlosshauer's home page, for reviews of his book by Anton Zeilinger, Claus Kiefer (a confirmed speaker at SP XIV), and Klaas Landsman (in Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics).
February 6: We will discuss the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Emergent Properties.
February 13: We will discuss Don Howard's paper "Reduction and Emergence in the Physical Sciences: Some Lessons from the Particle Physics–Condensed Matter Physics Debate".
February 20: We will discuss P. W. Anderson's paper "More Is Different" Science, New Series, Vol. 177, No. 4047. (Aug. 4, 1972), pp. 393-396 and maybe the ten-page article from the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online "Emergence In Physics" written by R. W. Batterman.
February 27: Thomas Nickles, "Two Concepts of Intertheoretic Reduction." If there is interest we will also continue our discussion of Anderson, "More is Different," paying particular attention to the technical side of his example.
March 6: Chapters 1 and 2 of Robert Batterman's book The Devil in the Details.
March 13: The article by Batterman on "Critical phenomena and breaking drops: Infinite idealizations in physics" Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 36 (2005) 225–244.
March 27: Chapters 3 and 4 of The Devil in the Details: Asymptotic Reasoning in Explanation, Reduction and Emergence by Robert W. Batterman, Oxford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0195146476.
April 3: Chapter 5 of The Devil in the Details: Asymptotic Reasoning in Explanation, Reduction and Emergence by Robert W. Batterman, Oxford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0195146476.
April 10: Chapter 6 of The Devil in the Details: Asymptotic Reasoning in Explanation, Reduction and Emergence by Robert W. Batterman, Oxford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0195146476.
April 17: Chapter 8 of The Devil in the Details: Asymptotic Reasoning in Explanation, Reduction and Emergence by Robert W. Batterman, Oxford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0195146476. (Note that we're skipping chapter 7, for the time being at least, in the interest of getting to the end of the book by the end of the semester.)
April 24: Gordon Belot's review of Batterman's The Devil in the Details, and Batterman's reply to the review.The Devil in the Details: Asymptotic Reasoning in Explanation, Reduction and Emergence by Robert W. Batterman, Oxford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0195146476.
May 1: There are three papers for discussion this week. One is a general piece by Jaegwon Kim on emergence, the second is the paper on emergence and quantum entanglement by Hüttemann (cited by Batterman), and the third is by Sklar on the reduction of thermodynamics to statistical mechanics.