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October 2013

Oswaldo Zapata (CPNSS): “Is there still any hope for string theory?”

7 October 2013, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

Abstract: In the first part of the talk we will cover how string theory is related to supersymmetry; and what we can learn from the experiments at the LHC. We will also touch upon how supersymmetry extends our notion of the standard relativistic four-dimensional space-time. A short discussion of supergravity; that is; local supersymmetry; follows. We will see that supergravity…

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Joseph Henson (Imperial College London) – “Locality Reinstated?”

21 October 2013, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

Monday 21st October; 17:15pm - 18:45pm SIGMA Speaker: Joseph Henson; Imperial College London Title: Locality Reinstated? Abstract: The assumptions of Bell's theorem were meant by its author to to characterise a lack of any physical superluminal influences. The ``Quantum non-locality'' he discovered does violence not only to our intuitions; but arguably also to any thoroughgoing attempts to apply causal explanation…

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November 2013

Samuel Fletcher (Logic and Philosophy of Science; University of California; Irvine): “On the Reduction of General Relativity to Newton Gravitation”

4 November 2013, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

Monday 4th November; 17:15pm

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January 2014

Richard Pettigrew (Bristol): Accuracy; Risk; and the Principle of Indifference

20 January 2014, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

Richard Pettigrew (Bristol) Accuracy; Risk; and the Principle of Indifference Abstract:

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February 2014

Bryan Roberts (LSE): Three Merry Roads to T-Violation

3 February 2014, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

Title: Three Merry Roads to T-Violation Abstract: This talk aims to give a general perspective on how the fundamental laws of nature can distinguish between the past and the future; or be T-violating. I argue that; in terms of basic analytic arguments; there are really just three approaches currently being explored. I show how each is characterized by a symmetry…

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James Ladyman (Bristol): What are Weak Values?

17 February 2014, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

James Ladyman (Bristol) Title: What are Weak Values Abstract: This paper is about the philosophical interpretation and implications of weak values in quantum mechanics. In particular; we present an argument for a subtle kind of retrocausality (which we define as the causal dependence of earlier events on later events) that is based on the probabilistic structure of experiments to determine…

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March 2014

Hans Halvorson (Princeton): Explanation via surplus structure

17 March 2014, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

Our attempts to model physical systems seem to be cursed by the problem of surplus structure: our mathematical representations of such systems contain structure which apparently has no analogue in the system under study. When interpreting our theories; then; we invoke some notion of "physical equivalence" of models in order to wash out this surplus structure. At least that's how…

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May 2014

J. Brian Pitts (Cambridge): Real Change Happens in Hamiltonian General Relativity

12 May 2014, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

Speaker: J. Brian Pitts (Cambridge) Time: 5:15pm - 6:45pm Title: Real Change Happens in Hamiltonian General Relativity Abstract: In General Relativity in Hamiltonian form; change has seemed to be missing; because the Hamiltonian is a sum of first-class constraints and thus supposedly generates gauge transformations. The gauge generator; a specially _tuned sum_ of first-class constraints; facilitates seeing that a solitary…

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Owen Maroney (Oxford): How epistemic can a quantum state be?

19 May 2014, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

Speaker: Owen Maroney (Oxford) Time: 5:15pm - 6:45pm Title: How epistemic can a quantum state be? Abstract: The "psi-epistemic" view is that the quantum state does not represent a state of the world; but a state of knowledge about the world. It draws its motivation; in part; from the observation of qualitative similarities between characteristic properties of non-orthogonal quantum wave…

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June 2014

Luke Fenton-Glynn (UCL): Unsharp Best System Chances

23 June 2014, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

Luke Fenton-Glynn (UCL) Title: 'Unsharp Best System Chances' Time: 5:15pm - 6:45pm Abstract: Much recent philosophical attention has been devoted to variants on the Best System Analysis of laws and chance. In particular; philosophers have been interested in the prospects of such Best System Analyses (BSAs) for yielding *high-level* laws and chances. Nevertheless; a foundational worry about BSAs lurks: there…

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Katherine Brading (Notre Dame): Absolute; true and mathematical time in Newton’s Principia

26 June 2014, 5:15 pm6:45 pm

Speaker: Katherine Brading (Notre Dame) Time: 5:15pm - 6:45pm Katherine Brading (Notre Dame) Title: Absolute; true and mathematical time in Newton

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