Foundation of Physics Conference 2013

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Keynote Speakers

aspelmeyerMarkus Aspelmeyer (Professor of Physics, University of Vienna, Austria) is at the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology (VCQ), where he is leading a research team working on quantum effects in micro- and nano-mechanical systems. His research interests include quantum entanglement, quantum optics and experiments at the interface between quantum physics and gravity . He studied physics and philosophy at the University of Munich, receiving his BS in philosophy and his Ph.D in physics in 2002. He is a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, a member of the Young Academy of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Among his distinctions are the Fresnel Prize of the European Physical Society and the Ignaz Lieben Prize of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. For more information, visit his webpage.

barbourJulian Barbour (Author and Visiting Professor in Physics, University of Oxford, UK) is an English physicist, historian of science and philosopher. His physics research has focused upon classical and quantum theories of gravity, and over the last forty years he has made particular contributions towards our understanding of the concepts of scale and time, and towards the development of Machian symmetry arguments. He is the author of The Discovery of Dynamics, which investigates the long path of reasoning that lead from the natural philosophy of the ancient greeks to that of Newton, and The End of Time, (winner of the association of American publishers awarded for excellence) which argues that time is ultimately an illusion born of our situation in specially structured "time capsules". He conducted his undergraduate studies at the University of Cambridge, and holds a Phd from the University of Cologne. For more information, visit his webpage.

bricmontJean Bricmont (Professor of Physics, Université catholique de Louvain, Belguim) is a Belgian theoretical physicist and philosopher of science. He is a professor at the Université catholique de Louvain. His physics research has included work on renormalization group flow, the formal structure of lattice systems, and nonlinear differential equations. He is also a noted critic of postmodernism and relativism with regard to scientific practice, and co-authored Fashionable Nonsense (also known as Intellectual Impostures) with Alan Sokal. He is a member of the Division of Sciences of the Royal Academy for Sciences, Letters and Arts of Belgium. For more information, visit his webpage.

dowkerFay Dowker (Professor of Physics, Imperial College London, UK) is an English theoretical physicist based at Imperial College London. She conducts research in a number of areas of theoretical physics including quantum gravity and causal set theory. Having studied at the University of Cambridge, Dowker was awarded the Tyson Medal in 1987 and completed her doctorate under the supervision of Stephen Hawking in 1990.  Dowker was later a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, at the University of California at Santa Barbara and also the California Institute of Technology.  She is currently a member of the Theoretical Physics Group at Imperial College London and an Affiliate of the Institute for Quantum Computing. For more information, visit her webpage.

maudlinTim Maudlin (Professor of Philosophy, New York University, US) is an American philosopher of physics. His interests are primarily focused on the foundations of physics, metaphysics, and logic. He holds a BA degree in physics and philosophy from the university of Yale and a PhD in history and philosophy of science from the University of Pittsburgh. His books include Quantum Non-Locality and Relativity, Truth and Paradox, The Metaphysics Within Physics, and Philosophy of Physics: Space and Time. He is a member of the Academie Internationale de Philosophie des Sciences and the Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi). He has been a Guggenheim Fellow. He taught at Rutgers from 1986 to 2011, and has been a visiting professor at Harvard. For more information, visit his webpage.

nortonJohn D. Norton (Professor in History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, US) is an Australian historian and philosopher of science and the director of the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh  He studied chemical engineering at the University of New South Wales (1971-74), where he also completed his doctorate at in the History and Philosophy of Science (1978-1981). His dissertation focused on the history of general relativity, and he is perhaps best known for his important contributions to the modern debate on Einstein's "hole argument".  His research interests range between topics such as the philosophy and history of general relativity, the the philosophy of quantum theory, the nature of inductive reasoning, and general philosophy of science topics such as causation and thought experiments. For more information, visit his webpage.

spekkensRob Spekkens (Faculty member, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Canada) is a physicist at Perimeter Institute in Canada. His research is focused upon identifying the conceptual innovations that distinguish quantum theories from classical theories and investigating their significance for axiomatization, interpretation, and the implementation of various information-theoretic tasks. He received his B.Sc. in physics and philosophy from McGill University and completed his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Toronto.  He held a postdoctoral fellowship at Perimeter Institute and an International Royal Society Fellowship at the University of Cambridge. For more information, visit his webpage.