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 2018. 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., & Rickles, D. (2018). Quantum gravity in the first half of the twentieth century: a sourcebook. Berlin: Edition Open Access.Read More
Blum, A. S., & Salisbury, D. C. (2018). The genesis of canonical quantum gravity. In A. S. Blum, & D. Rickles (Eds.), Quantum gravity in the first half of the twentieth century: a sourcebook (pp. 455-464). Berlin: Edition Open Access.Read More
Digital Media & Feature Stories
Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities
HQ-4. Fourth Conference on the History of Quantum Physics at the Donostia International Physics Center, San Sebastián/Donostia
HQ-4. Fourth Conference on the History of Quantum Physics at the Donostia International Physics Center, San Sebastián/Donostia (with Martin Jähnert, Christoph Lehner, and Jürgen Renn)
"Space-Time Theories: Historical and Philosophical Contexts" at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
"Argumente und Rhetorik in der Physik" hosted by the Erlanger Zentrum für Literatur und Naturwissenschaft
"Foundations of Physics Conference" at LMU Munich
"Quantum Gravity in Perspective" at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy
General Relativity and Gravitation – 50 years after Jabłonna, Warsaw
New Directions in the Foundations of Physics, Washington, DC (with Christoph Lehner)
Universities in Central Europe, Prague (with Dieter Hoffmann and Jürgen Renn)
American Institute of Physics, College Park, MD