Fig. 1: Werner Heisenberg presenting his "Weltformel" at the 1958 Planck Centenary in West Berlin. Source: DPA.


History for Physics

"Quantum Foundations" September 23–24, 2019


Bernadette Lessel or Flavio Del Santo



September 23–24, 2019


Lise Meitner HS, Faculty of Physics of the University of Vienna (Strudlhofgasse 4, 1090, Vienna, Austria)


Despite its tremendous success in terms of predictive power, quantum physics still faces fundamental problems that range from the interpretations of the conceptual tools (the epistemic or ontic value attributed to the wave function) to the counterintuitive features of irreducible randomness and non-locality. Due to the intertwining of peculiar historical events, foundations of quantum mechanics garnered renewed interest only relatively recently, starting from the 1980s, with the advent of quantum information theory. In this meeting, physicists Daniel Greenberger and Christopher Fuchs will retrace some of the momentous results of the early days of modern quantum foundations and the rise of quantum information theory. At the same time, historians of physics Olival Freire Jr. and David Kaiser will reconstruct the historical context in which this “second quantum revolution” took place, providing insights on the main open questions and discoveries of that time, as well as on the difficulties that the protagonists of the period had to face to be recognized with a new independent field of research.

Please find the book of abstracts of the talks as a download at the end of this page.


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History for Physics: Quantum Foundations

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