Physics Interest Group

Meeting time: Friday afternoons (about every other week—see calendar below), 1:30–3:00 p.m.
Meeting place: History of Science and Technology Seminar Room, 592 Shepherd Labs

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 or Samuel Fletcher.

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Spring 2019

January 25: Watson, D. & Floridi, L. 2018. Crowdsourced science: sociotechnical epistemology in the e-research paradigm. Synthese 195:741–764.

February 1: Frauchiger, D. and Renner, R. 2018. Quantum theory cannot consistently describe the use of itself. Nature Communications 9(1):3711. Pusey, M.F. 2018. An inconsistent friend. Nature Physics 14(10):977--978.

February 22: Gordin, M. 2018. Paper Tools and Periodic Tables: Newlands and Mendeleev Draw Grids, Ambix 65(1):30–51. (pdfMichael Gordin (Princeton University) will be visiting

March 8: Healey, R. 2018. Quantum Theory and the Limits of Objectivity. Foundations of Physics 48: 1568–1589. Bub, J. 2018. In defense of a “single-world” interpretation of quantum mechanics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics in press. (pdf)

March 29

April 12

May 3

Fall 2018

September 14: September 14: Fröwis, F. et al. (2018). Macroscopic quantum states: Measures, fragility, and implementations. Reviews of Modern Physics 90(2):025004. 

Read only sections I - II.D, taking into account the "reading guide" suggested in section I.E.

September 28: Leyla Joaquim, Olival Freire Jr., Charbel N. El-Hani. (2015). Quantum Explorers: Bohr, Jordan, and Delbrück Venturing into Biology. Physics in Perspective 17(3): 236–250.

October 19: Brookes, Jennifer C. (2017). Quantum effects in biology: golden rule in enzymes, olfaction, photosynthesis and magnetodetection. Proc. R. Soc. A 473:20160822. 

Background reading: Ball, P . (2018). Is photosynthesis quantum-ish? Physics World April 2018

October 26:  Ruetsche, Laura. (2015). The Shaky Game +25, or: On Locavoracity. Synthese 192(11): 3425–3442.

November 16: Schrödinger, Erwin. (1944). What Is Life? Cambridge University Press. Read Preface through Ch. 3.

December 7: Schrödinger, Erwin. (1944). What Is Life? Cambridge University Press. Read Ch. 4 through Epilogue.

The text of the Schrödinger book is available online in two formats: Single-columnDouble-column

Previous PIG topics