In 1916, Albert Einstein suggested for the first time that it would be necessary to merge his newly constructed general theory of relativity and the emerging quantum theory. One hundred years later, this challenge remains unanswered, and the problem of constructing a theory of “quantum gravity” (as such a hypothetical merging came to be known) has become synonymous with physicists’ search for a final, fundamental theory. The Max Planck Research Group “Historical Epistemology of the Final Theory Program” will reflect on and evaluate this century-long search using the methods of historical epistemology. It is the explicit aim of the group to conduct historical research that connects directly to contemporary physical research, providing a novel, historico-critical view of its status and prospects. To this end the group will be working in collaboration with Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam-Golm.
Non-Empirical Physics from a Historical Perspective
Time Reversal and the Origins of the CPT Theorem
Karl Popper’s Contribution to the Foundation of Quantum Mechanics