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

Contact Bernadette Lessel or Flavio Del Santo for further information




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.

Invited Tandems

  • David Kaiser (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Christopher Fuchs (University of Massachusetts Boston)
  • Olival Freire Jr. (Federal University of Bahia) and Daniel Greenberger (City College of New York)

Contributed Tandems

  • Irina Dimitru (University of Stockholm) and Gonzalo Gimeno with Mercedes Xipell (Autonomous University of Barcelona)
    • The Weyl-Heisenberg Group
  • Otfried Guehne (University of Siegen) and H. Chau Nguyen (University of Siegen)
    • Quantum Steering

Contributed Single Talks

  • Agne Alijauskaite (Vilnius University)
    • Eddington’s Epistemology—An Underrated Aspect when Looking for Quantum Foundations?
  • Andrés Martinez de Velasco (MPIWG)
    • The Genesis of the CPT Theorem: a Study of the Generalization of Time Reversal from Classical Mechanics to Relativistic Quantum Field Theory
  • Marij van Strien (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)
    • Bohm's Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics and Classicality
  • Ricardo Karam (University of Copenhagen)
    • Schrödinger’s Struggles with a Complex Wave Function
  • Daniela Monaldi (York University, Canada)
    • Searching the Foundations of Quantum Statistics: Uhlenbeck’s on the Statistical Methods in the Theory of Quanta, 1927


  • Tanja Traxler (DER STANDARD) and members of the invited tandems


Please find the book of abstracts to download at the end of this page.

Day 1 Day 2


  • 09:00 Registration
  • 09:30 Welcome by Markus Aspelmeyer
  • 09:45 Why History for Physics?

10:00 Coffee Break

  • 10:30 Christopher Fuchs (Physics)
    • Invited Tandem 1

11:30 Short Break

  • 11:45 David Kaiser (History)
    • Invited Tandem 1
  • 12:45 Discussion

13:15 Lunch

  • 14:30 Agne Alijauskaite
  • 15:00 Andrés Martines de Velasco

15:30 Coffee Break

  • 16:00 Panel

18:00 Refreshment and start of the social evening program





  • 09:15 Recap Day 1
  • 09:30 Daniel Greenberger (Physics)
    • Invited Tandem 2

10:30 Coffee Break

  • 11:00 Olival Freir Jr. (History)
    • Invited Tandem 2
  • 12:00 Discussion

12:30 Lunch

  • 14:00 Irina Dumitru (Physics)
    • Contributed Tandem 1
  • 14:30 Gonzalo Gimeno, Mercedes Xipell (History)
    • Contributed Tandem 1

15:00 Short Break

  • 15:15  Ricardo Karam 
  • 15:45  Daniela Monaldi

16:15 Coffee Break

  • 16:45 H. Chau Nguyen (History)
    • Contributed Tandem 2
  • 17:15 Otfried Guehne (Physics)
    • Contributed Tandem 2

17:45 Short Break

  • 18:00 Marij van Strien



Childcare Provision

We offer a professional childcare service for the children of the participants registered at the conference, from an age of one to 12 years old, with a ratio of a minimum of one babysitter for five children (more in case of small children):

  • Monday September 23, 12:00-21:00
  • Tuesday September 24, 12:00-18:00

Please register before August 23, mentioning the first and last name of the child as well as their date of birth, and if possible the desired timeframe, by emailing