Philosophy of Physics, UMD

New Directions in the Foundations of Physics
Mathematical Association of America Carriage House
1781 Church Street NW, Washington, DC
May 11 - 13, 2012

Sponsored by the University of Maryland, College Park (College of Arts and Humanities, Logic and Philosophy of Science Research Group of the Philosophy Department, Institute for Physical Science and Technology), Georgetown University (Graduate School, Georgetown College, Philosophy Department), and Johns Hopkins University Philosophy Department, with the support of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, and coordinated through the Foundations of Physics Group (University of Maryland at College Park, Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University).

Friday, May 11

Session 1 (Morning):
Can the Quantum State be Interpreted Epistemically: I?

Chair :
Physics, Imperial College

9:30 - 10:50 "On the reality of the quantum state" MATTHEW PUSEY
Imperial College
10:50 - 11:10 Coffee Break
11:10 - 12:30 "Is a system's wave function in one-to-one correspondence with its elements of reality?" ROGER COLBECK
Institute for Theoretical Physics
ETH, Zurich
12:30 - 2:30 Lunch

Session 2 (Afternoon):
Can the Quantum State be Interpreted Epistemically: II?

Chair :
Mathematics, Royal Holloway
2:30 - 3:50 "Poking and prodding the PBR result" ALLEN STAIRS
U Maryland
3:50 - 4:10 Coffee Break
4:10 - 5:30 "Why I am not a psi-ontologist" ROB SPEKKENS
Perimeter Institute
Waterloo, Canada
7:00 - midnight Buffet Party

Saturday, May 12

Session 3 (Morning):
Space and Time

Chair :
Philosophy, University of Western Ontario
9:30 - 10:50 "Rethinking Principia" SIMON SAUNDERS
Philosophy of Physics
10:50 - 11:10 Coffee Break
11:10 - 12:30 "‘Explaining’ inertial motion and the foundations of classical space-time theories" JAMES WEATHERALL
Logic and Philosophy of Science, UC-Irvine
12:30 - 2:30 Lunch

Session 4 (Afternoon):
Time and Quantum Mechanics: I

Chair :
Philosophy of Physics, Oxford
2:30 - 3:50 "The limits of correspondence: How the methods of quantum mechanics proved insufficient in electrodynamics (1925-1932)" CRISTOPH LEHNER,

Max Planck Institute
for the History of Science, Berlin
3:50 - 4:10 Coffee Break
4:10 - 5:30 "Proper time before relativity – from Fermat's Principle to the Pauli phase" JÜRGEN RENN,

Max Planck Institute
for the History of Science, Berlin

Sunday, May 13

Session 5 (Morning):
Time and Quantum Mechanics: II

Chair :
Philosophy, University of Maryland
9:30 - 10:50 "The past of a quantum particle" LEV VAIDMAN
Tel Aviv University
10:50 - 11:10 Coffee Break
11:10 - 12:30 "Quantum theory without beables: a desert pragmatist view" RICHARD HEALEY
University of Arizona

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Confirmed discussants include: Newshaw Bahreini (Physics, U Albany), Howard Barnum (Physics and Astronomy, University of New Mexico), Jonathan Barrett (Mathematics, Royal Holloway), Katherine Boyce-Jacino (Humanities Center, JHU), Howard Brandt (US Army Lab), Dieter Brill (Physics, UMD), Harvey Brown (Philosophy of Physics, Oxford), Jeffrey Bub (Philosophy and IPST, UMD), Eric Cavalcanti (School of Physics, University of Sydney), William Demopoulos (Philosophy, U Western Ontario), Rob DiSalle (Philosophy, U Western Ontario), Lucas Dunlap (Philosophy, UMD), Michael Fisher (Physics and IPST, UMD), Mathias Frisch (Philosophy, UMD), Shelley Goldstein (Mathematics, Rutgers), Philip Goyal (Physics, SUNY-Albany), Alexei Grinbaum (CEA-Saclay, SPEC/LARSIM), Genco Guralp (Philosophy, JHU), Melissa Jacquart (Philosophy, U Western Ontario), Michel Janssen (Hist of Science, U Minnesota), Michael Jarrett (Physics, UMD), Ruth Kastner, Adrian Kent (DAMTP, Cambridge), Michael Kiessling (Mathematics, Rutgers), Fred Kronz (NSF), Paul Lopata (LPS, UMD), Tracy Lupher (Philosophy, James Madison), James Mattingly (Philosophy, Georgetown U), Tim Maudlin (Philosophy, NYU), Vishnya Maudlin (Philosophy, Rutgers), Charles Misner (Physics, UMD), Florin Moldoveanu (LPS Research Group, UMD), Alberto Montina (Perimeter Institute), Wayne Myrvold (Philosophy, U Western Ontario), Tom Pashby (HPS, U Pittsburgh), Terry Rudolph (Physics, Imperial College), Rob Rynasiewicz (Philosophy, JHU), Steve Savitt (Philosophy, UBC), Michiel Seevinck (Quantum Probability Research Group, Radboud U, Nijmegen), Noel Swanson (Philosophy, Princeton), Morgan Tait (Philosophy, U Western Ontario), Jos Uffink (Philosophy, U Minnesota), David Wallace (Philosophy of Physics, Oxford), Ken Wharton (Physics and Astronomy, San Jose State), Adrian Wüthrich (HPS, U Pittsburgh).

The conference will take place at the Mathematical Association of America Carriage House Conference Center at 1781 Church Street NW in Washington, DC, a block from Dupont Circle. For general information about Washington, DC, see WashingtonInfo.

The number of participants is limited by available seating, so we regret that participation is by invitation only.

For further information, contact James Mattingly at

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