Alexander has a PhD in theoretical particle physics from the University of Heidelberg (research at the MPI for Nuclear Physics, 2009). In 2010 he moved into the History of Science, and to the MPIWG, where he started out as a member of the Quantum History Project (until 2012). Since then he has been a Research Scholar at the MPIWG and coordinated the cooperative project with the Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting Foundation from 2013–2014. He is closely associated with the Research Program on the History of the Max Planck Society (GMPG). Alexander has organized several smaller workshops at the MPIWG (and externally) bringing together physicists, historians, and philosophers to discuss the history and foundations of quantum gravity. He also co-organized the large conference at MPIWG/Harnack-Haus celebrating the centenary of general relativity (2015).
Alexander’s research interests lie in the history (and philosophy) of modern physics, lately with a strong emphasis on the postwar period. His current MPIWG research projects focus on the postwar developments of the two great revolutionary theories of the early twentieth century, general relativity, and quantum mechanics, with a special focus on attempts to combine the two. He is also currently completing (together with Dean Rickles of the University of Sydney) a commented sourcebook on the earliest attempts to bring together quantum theory and general relativity, which will be published in 2017. In 2017, he will begin teaching at the physics department of the FU Berlin, pursuing a novel approach of teaching advanced (Master’s level) physics classes with a strong focus on historical theory development.
Blum, A. S. (2017). The state is not abolished, it withers away: how quantum field theory became a theory of scattering. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.Read more
Blum, A. S., Jähnert, M., Lehner, C., & Renn, J. (2017). Translation as heuristics: Heisenberg’s turn to matrix mechanics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 58. doi:10.1016/j.shpsb.2017.03.005.Read more
Blum, A. S., Renn, J., & Schemmel, M. (2016). Experience and representation in modern physics: the reshaping of space. In M. Schemmel (
Blum, A. S., & Joas, C. (2016). From dressed electrons to quasiparticles: the emergence of emergent entities in quantum field theory. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 53, 1-8.Read more
Blum, A. S. (2016). Review of: Hagar, Amit: Discrete or continuous? The quest for fundamental length in modern physics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2014. Isis, 107(2), 424-425.Read more
Max Planck Institute for the History of Science