Bernadette Lessel

Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow (Jul 2018-Jun 2019)

Bernadette defended her PhD thesis entitled “Shape Space in Terms of Wasserstein Geometry and Applications to Quantum Physics” in June 2018 at the Mathematical Institute of the University of Göttingen. In this work she constructed a mathematical framework to model (non-relativistic, one-particle) quantum dynamics without reference to a spatial background structure, but rather by means of the change of the shape of the state.

During her PhD project, Bernadette was also Visiting Graduate Fellow at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada.

In July 2018 Bernadette joined Alexander Blum's MPIWG Research Group on “Historical Epistemology of the Final Theory Program.” There she investigates the question how mathematical reasoning has become a major tool for theory development towards a fundamental equation of physics, pushing aside traditional guiding principles such as induction from data or deduction from physical principles. Besides this, Bernadette is interested to understand the historical and cultural process that led to the final theory program and in the specific motivations for such an endeavor of the main researchers involved.


The Role of Mathematics in the Final Theory Program


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