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Quantum Engineering Grenoble Online Reading Group || Quantum Foundations - Jenann Ismael

on the May 7, 2021

at 5-7pm
The Physics-Philosophy Interface and the Chair of Excellence in Philosophy of Quantum Physics at the QuEnG are pleased to announce the first meeting of the 2021 cycle of seminars in 'Foundations of Quantum Mechanics'---see below for further information about these seminars.
This Friday, May 7th, exceptionally at 5-7pm (CET), Jenann Ismael (Columbia University) will be giving a talk entitled 'Totality, Self-reference and Time'. Here's the abstract:
 

Here’s a simple example of self-reference: you ask a computer that is programmed to truthfully answer any question about the room in which it is contained, whether the answer about to appear on its screen is ‘no’. Self-reference isn’t something that is often discussed in physics. Strictly speaking, however, any attempt to describe or represent the universe as a totality for an embedded creature inevitably involves self-reference. I’m going to argue that self-reference, against the background of a thermodynamic gradient, creates an instability in an embedded agent’s ability to know the future (more strongly, to stabilize the future as a possible object of knowledge). That instability captures the sense in which such an agent can’t think of the future as fixed. I’ll suggest that this gives us a deeper and more satisfying understanding of our experience of temporal progression. It also has implications for the phenomena associated with agency and what it means to fully absorb ourselves (including our own knowledge gathering activity) into the causal fabric of the world.

 
If you are not already in the mailing list for these seminars, and you wish to join, please contact me (Cristian Mariani; cristian.mariani@neel.cnrs.fr) for further information. The meeting will be held online on the platform Zoom.
 
This reading group is a new QuEnG initiative that starts in February 2020, from an idea of the PhDs and Postdocs interested in quantum foundations. Its aim is to bring together philosophers of science and physicists to discuss topics in the foundations of quantum mechanics. For the year 2021, the selected topic is Philosophical Issues in Quantum Mechanics. Due to the Covid-19 health crisis, the reading group will be held online, on a weekly basis. A list of our past guests includes: Valia Allori, Alexia Auffeves, Angelo Bassi, Jean Bricmont, Craig Callender, Mauro D’Ariano, Aurelien Drezet, Nicolas Gisin, Philippe Grangier, Peter Lewis, Vera Matarese, Tim Maudlin, Carlo Rovelli, Paul Tappenden, Giuliano Torrengo, and Lev Vaidman. Here you can find some of the recorded meetings.
Published on May 3, 2021

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