LSE hosts the largest permanent group of philosophers of physics in Europe outside of Oxford, as part of a historic research group founded in 1946.
The exploration of physics and its philosophical foundations is an essential part of understanding the deep structure of the world. It also plays a crucial role in understanding the nature of probability, complex systems and causal structure. As a result, the philosophy of physics has always been a central concern of the Department of Philosophy, Logic & Scientific Method, with past faculty such as Karl Popper, Imre Lakatos, Nancy Cartwright and Michael Redhead. The philosophy of physics group remains one of LSE’s most active and diverse research groups and a central part of the unique research environment at the School.
LSE philosophers of physics meet on Monday evenings during term for the Sigma Club lecture series, a London hub for philosophers, physicists and mathematicians interested in discussing philosophical foundations, with past lecturers including Stephen Hawking and Karl Popper. The group also hosts a wide variety of international conferences, including Foundations 2016, as well as PhD/MSc courses such as Ph451/Ph551 Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Physics.
The permanent philosophy of physics faculty include Roman Frigg, Miklós Rédei, Bryan W. Roberts and John Worrall. The group is regularly joined by philosophers of physics from around the world through the Visiting Scholars and Research Associates programmes at the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Sciences (CPNSS), as well as by members of the Sigma Club.
Selected Research Read more
- Systematic inference of the long-range dependence and heavy-tail distribution parameters of ARFIMA models
Graves, Timothy, Franzke, Christian L.E., Watkins, Nicholas W., Gramacy, Robert B. and Tindale, Elizabeth (2017) Systematic inference of the long-range dependence and heavy-tail distribution parameters of ARFIMA models. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and Its Applications, 473 . pp. 60-71. ISSN 0378-4371
- The global build-up to intrinsic ELM bursts and comparison with pellet triggered ELMs seen in JET
Chapman, S. C., Dendy, R. O., Lang, P. T., Watkins, N. W., Calderon, F. A., Romanelli, M. and Todd, T. N. (2017) The global build-up to intrinsic ELM bursts and comparison with pellet triggered ELMs seen in JET. Nuclear Fusion, 57 (2). 022017. ISSN 0029-5515
Manchak, John and Roberts, Bryan W. (2016) Supertasks. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy .
- Curie’s hazard: from electromagnetism to symmetry violation
Roberts, Bryan W. (2016) Curie’s hazard: from electromagnetism to symmetry violation. Erkenntnis, 81 (5). pp. 1011-1029. ISSN 0165-0106
- Quadratic reformulations of nonlinear binary optimization problems
Anthony, Martin, Boros, Endre, Crama, Yves and Gruber, Aritanan (2016) Quadratic reformulations of nonlinear binary optimization problems. Mathematical Programming . ISSN 0025-5610
- Causal Markov, robustness and quantum correlations
Suárez, Mauricio (2011) Causal Markov, robustness and quantum correlations. In: Suárez, Mauricio, (ed.) Probabilities, Causes and Propensities in Physics. Synthese Library,347. Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands, pp. 173-193. ISBN 9781402099045
In this talk from ETH Zurich’s Workshop on Time in Physics, Bryan Roberts introduces weak interactions and argues that the laws of nature are directed in time.
In the latest issue of Scientific American, Professor Christian List discusses the philosophical foundations of Einstein’s view of quantum mechanics.
It’s often been thought that Curie’s principle says something that’s just obviously true about the world. However, Bryan Roberts has discovered a simple way in which Curie’s principle fails.