Bookmark and Share

Philosophy of Physical Science

Edited by Hans Halvorson (Princeton University)
Assistant editor: Joshua Luczak (University of Western Ontario)
Most recently added entries found
Search inside:
(import / add options)   Sort by:
  1. added 2015-01-22
    Vladimir Garcia-Morales (forthcoming). Quantum Mechanics and the Principle of Least Radix Economy. Foundations of Physics:1-38.
    A new variational method, the principle of least radix economy, is formulated. The mathematical and physical relevance of the radix economy, also called digit capacity, is established, showing how physical laws can be derived from this concept in a unified way. The principle reinterprets and generalizes the principle of least action yielding two classes of physical solutions: least action paths and quantum wavefunctions. A new physical foundation of the Hilbert space of quantum mechanics is then accomplished and it is used (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  2. added 2015-01-22
    Bert Schroer (forthcoming). A Hilbert Space Setting for Interacting Higher Spin Fields and the Higgs Issue. Foundations of Physics:1-34.
    Wigner’s famous 1939 classification of positive energy representations, combined with the more recent modular localization principle, has led to a significant conceptual and computational extension of renormalized perturbation theory to interactions involving fields of higher spin. Traditionally the clash between pointlike localization and the the Hilbert space was resolved by passing to a Krein space setting which resulted in the well-known BRST gauge formulation. Recently it turned out that maintaining a Hilbert space formulation for interacting higher spin fields requires a (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  3. added 2015-01-22
    Wayne Cheng-Wei Huang & Herman Batelaan (forthcoming). Discrete Excitation Spectrum of a Classical Harmonic Oscillator in Zero-Point Radiation. Foundations of Physics:1-21.
    We report that upon excitation by a single pulse, a classical harmonic oscillator immersed in the classical electromagnetic zero-point radiation exhibits a discrete harmonic spectrum in agreement with that of its quantum counterpart. This result is interesting in view of the fact that the vacuum field is needed in the classical calculation to obtain the agreement.
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  4. added 2015-01-19
    Kelvin J. McQueen (2015). Four Tails Problems for Dynamical Collapse Theories. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 49:10-18.
    The primary quantum mechanical equation of motion entails that measurements typically do not have determinate outcomes, but result in superpositions of all possible outcomes. Dynamical collapse theories (e.g. GRW) supplement this equation with a stochastic Gaussian collapse function, intended to collapse the superposition of outcomes into one outcome. But the Gaussian collapses are imperfect in a way that leaves the superpositions intact. This is the tails problem. There are several ways of making this problem more precise. But many authors dismiss (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (5 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  5. added 2015-01-15
    Molly Kao (forthcoming). Unificatory Power in the Old Quantum Theory: Informational Relevance of the Quantum Hypothesis. Philosophy of Science.
    Remove from this list |
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  6. added 2015-01-09
    Marian Kupczynski (forthcoming). Bell Inequalities, Experimental Protocols and Contextuality. Foundations of Physics:1-19.
    In this paper we give additional arguments in favor of the point of view that the violation of Bell, CHSH and CH inequalities is not due to a mysterious non locality of nature. We concentrate on an intimate relation between a protocol of a random experiment and a probabilistic model which is used to describe it. We discuss in a simple way differences between attributive joint probability distributions and generalized joint probability distributions of outcomes from distant experiments which depend on (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  7. added 2015-01-09
    Gil Jannes (forthcoming). Condensed Matter Lessons About the Origin of Time. Foundations of Physics:1-16.
    It is widely hoped that quantum gravity will shed light on the question of the origin of time in physics. The currently dominant approaches to a candidate quantum theory of gravity have naturally evolved from general relativity, on the one hand, and from particle physics, on the other hand. A third important branch of twentieth century ‘fundamental’ physics, condensed-matter physics, also offers an interesting perspective on quantum gravity, and thereby on the problem of time. The bottomline might sound disappointing: to (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  8. added 2015-01-08
    Marina Paola Banchetti-Robino (2014). From Corpuscles to Elements: Chemical Ontologies From Van Helmon to Lavoisier. In Lee McIntyre & Eric Scerri (eds.), Philosophy of Chemistry: Growth of a New Discipline. Springer. 141-154.
  9. added 2014-12-26
    Joffrey K. Peters, Jingyun Fan, Alan L. Migdall & Sergey V. Polyakov (forthcoming). Experimental Bounds on Classical Random Field Theories. Foundations of Physics:1-9.
    Alternative theories to quantum mechanics motivate important fundamental tests of our understanding and descriptions of the smallest physical systems. Here, using spontaneous parametric downconversion as a heralded single-photon source, we place experimental limits on a class of alternative theories, consisting of classical field theories which result in power-dependent normalized correlation functions. In addition, we compare our results with standard quantum mechanical interpretations of our spontaneous parametric downconversion source over an order of magnitude in intensity. Our data match the quantum mechanical (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  10. added 2014-12-24
    Eolo Di Casola, Stefano Liberati & Sebastiano Sonego (2015). Between Quantum and Classical Gravity: Is There a Mesoscopic Spacetime? Foundations of Physics 45 (2):171-176.
    Between the microscopic domain ruled by quantum gravity, and the macroscopic scales described by general relativity, there might be an intermediate, “mesoscopic” regime, where spacetime can still be approximately treated as a differentiable pseudo-Riemannian manifold, with small corrections of quantum gravitational origin. We argue that, unless one accepts to give up the relativity principle, either such a regime does not exist at all—hence, the quantum-to-classical transition is sharp—, or the only mesoscopic, tiny corrections conceivable are on the behaviour of physical (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  11. added 2014-12-24
    Haichao Li, Guoqin Ge, Lingmin Liao & Shunbin Feng (2015). Electromagnetically Induced Transparency and Autler–Townes Splitting in a Superconducting Quantum Circuit with a Four-Level V-Type Energy Spectrum. Foundations of Physics 45 (2):198-210.
    We investigate electromagnetically induced transparency and Autler–Townes splitting in a superconducting quantum circuit with a four-level V-type energy spectrum constructed by two coupled superconducting charge qubits. We show that it is possible for this four-level superconducting system to exhibit multiple dips in the absorption spectrum of a probe field, with at most three dips resulting from a combination of two ATS subsystems, which indicates the breakdown of the traditional correspondence between a \\) -level system and \ dips. It is also (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  12. added 2014-12-24
    Lee Smolin (2015). Unification of the State with the Dynamical Law. Foundations of Physics 45 (1):1-10.
    We address the question of why particular laws were selected for the universe, by proposing a mechanism for laws to evolve. Normally in physical theories, timeless laws act on time-evolving states. We propose that this is an approximation, good on time scales shorter than cosmological scales, beyond which laws and states are merged into a single entity that evolves in time. Furthermore the approximate distinction between laws and states, when it does emerge, is dependent on the initial conditions. These ideas (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  13. added 2014-12-24
    M. Gadella (2015). A Discussion on the Properties of Gamow States. Foundations of Physics 45 (2):177-197.
    Gamow states are vector states for the pure decaying part of a quantum resonance. We review and analyze the properties of Gamow vectors in different representations. In particular, we discuss the controversial problem of assigning a mean value of the energy for a Gamow state from several points of view. The question on whether a Gamow state is a pure state or not is also analyzed here, as has relevance on the assignation of a non-zero value for the entropy for (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  14. added 2014-12-24
    Ramandeep S. Johal, Renuka Rai & Günter Mahler (2015). Reversible Heat Engines: Bounds on Estimated Efficiency From Inference. Foundations of Physics 45 (2):158-170.
    We consider work extraction from two finite reservoirs with constant heat capacity, when the thermodynamic coordinates of the process are not fully specified, i.e., are described by probabilities only. Incomplete information refers to both the specific value of the temperature as well as the label of the reservoir to which it is assigned. Based on the concept of inference, we characterize the reduced performance resulting from this lack of control. Indeed, the estimates for the average efficiency reveal that uncertainty regarding (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  15. added 2014-12-24
    S. R. Vatsya (2015). Formulation of Spinors in Terms of Gauge Fields. Foundations of Physics 45 (2):142-157.
    It is shown in the present paper that the transformation relating a parallel transported vector in a Weyl space to the original one is the product of a multiplicative gauge transformation and a proper orthochronous Lorentz transformation. Such a Lorentz transformation admits a spinor representation, which is obtained and used to deduce the transportation properties of a Weyl spinor, which are then expressed in terms of a composite gauge group defined as the product of a multiplicative gauge group and the (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  16. added 2014-12-24
    Adrian Kent (2015). Does It Make Sense to Speak of Self-Locating Uncertainty in the Universal Wave Function? Remarks on Sebens and Carroll. Foundations of Physics 45 (2):211-217.
    Following a proposal of Vaidman The Stanford encyclopaedia of philosophy, 2014) The probable and the improbable: understanding probability in physics, essays in memory of Itamar Pitowsky, 2011), Sebens and Carroll , have argued that in Everettian quantum theory, observers are uncertain, before they complete their observation, about which Everettian branch they are on. They argue further that this solves the problem of making sense of probabilities within Everettian quantum theory, even though the theory itself is deterministic. We note some problems (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  17. added 2014-12-22
    Andreas Dorschel (2011). Ort und Raum. Saeculum. Jahrbuch Für Universalgeschichte 61 (1):1-15.
    Remove from this list |
    Translate to English
    |
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  18. added 2014-12-20
    Gabriel Vacariu (forthcoming). (2015) The Unbelievable Similarities Between My Ideas (2002-2008) and the Ideas of Other People (2011-2014). Bucharest University Press.
    I posted on the Internet (on various webpages) all my first five published books (2008-2014) immediately after being published and the majority of my articles published at various journals. So, everybody had immediate access to my works, and therefore could have been possible for someone to write a book/paper with very similar ideas to mine’s in no more than 2 years! Amazingly, the people that are referred to in this book had not published any ideas in the past that were (...)
    Remove from this list |
    Translate to English
    | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  19. added 2014-12-15
    Louis Vervoort & Yves Gingras, Macroscopic Oil Droplets Mimicking Quantum Behavior: How Far Can We Push an Analogy?
    We describe here a series of experimental analogies between fluid mechanics and quantum mechanics recently discovered by a team of physicists. We argue that these experimental facts put ancient theoretical work by Madelung on the analogy between fluid and quantum mechanics into new light. We place these analogies in their historic and philosophical context, relating them to the de Broglie-Bohm interpretation of quantum mechanics. Finally we point out several advantages of the ‘fluid-mechanical’ interpretation of quantum mechanics over the Bohm interpretation.
    Remove from this list | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  20. added 2014-12-12
    Nicholas Maxwell (forthcoming). Can Scientific Method Help Us Create a Wiser World? In N. Dalal, A. Intezari & M. Heitz (eds.), Practical Wisdom in the Age of Technology: Insights, Issues and Questions for a New Millennium. Ashgate.
    Two great problems of learning confront humanity: (1) learning about the universe, and about ourselves as a part of the universe, and (2) learning how to make progress towards as good a world as possible. We solved the first problem when we created modern science in the 17th century, but we have not yet solved the second problem. This puts us in a situation of unprecedented danger. Modern science and technology enormously increase our power to act, but not our power (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  21. added 2014-12-10
    Helge Kragh (2014). The Science of the Universe: Cosmology and Science Education. In Michael R. Matthews (ed.), International Handbook of Research in History, Philosophy and Science Teaching. Springer. 643-665.
    Cosmology differs in some respects significantly from other sciences, primarily because of its intimate association with issues of a conceptual and philosophical nature. Because cosmology in the broader sense relates to the students’ world views, it provides a means for bridging the gap between the teaching of science and the teaching of humanistic subjects. Students should of course learn to distinguish between what is right and wrong about the science of the universe. No less importantly, they should learn to recognize (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  22. added 2014-12-02
    Peter Garik, Luciana Garbayo, Yann Benétreau-Dupin, Charles Winrich, Andrew Duffy, Nicholas Gross & Manher Jariwala (forthcoming). Teaching the Conceptual History of Physics to Physics Teachers. Science and Education.
    For nearly a decade we have taught the history and philosophy of science as part of courses aimed at the professional development of physics teachers. The focus of the history of science instruction is on the stages in the development of the concepts and theories of physics. For this instruction, we designed activities to help the teachers organize their understanding of this historical development. The activities include scientific modeling using archaic theories. We conducted surveys to gauge the impact on the (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  23. added 2014-11-19
    G. F. Dell’Antonio (2015). On Tracks in a Cloud Chamber. Foundations of Physics 45 (1):11-21.
    It is an experimental fact that \ -decays produce in a cloud chamber at most one track and that this track points in a random direction. This seems to contradict the description of decay in Quantum Mechanics: according to Gamow a spherical wave is produced and moves radially according to Schrödinger’s equation. It is as if the interaction with the supersaturated vapor turned the wave into a particle. The aim of this note is to place this effect in the context (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  24. added 2014-11-19
    Peter Holland (2015). Quantum Potential Energy as Concealed Motion. Foundations of Physics 45 (2):134-141.
    It is known that the Schrödinger equation may be derived from a hydrodynamic model in which the Lagrangian position coordinates of a continuum of particles represent the quantum state. Using Routh’s method of ignorable coordinates it is shown that the quantum potential energy of particle interaction that represents quantum effects in this model may be regarded as the kinetic energy of additional ‘concealed’ freedoms. The method brings an alternative perspective to Planck’s constant, which plays the role of a hidden variable, (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  25. added 2014-11-18
    Elise M. Crull (forthcoming). Less Interpretation and More Decoherence in Quantum Gravity and Inflationary Cosmology. Foundations of Physics:1-27.
    I argue that quantum decoherence—understood as a dynamical process entailed by the standard formalism alone—carries us beyond conceptual aspects of non-relativistic quantum mechanics deemed insurmountable by many contributors to the recent quantum gravity and cosmology literature. These aspects include various incarnations of the measurement problem and of the quantum-to-classical puzzle. Not only can such problems be largely bypassed or dissolved without default to a particular interpretation, but theoretical work in relativistic arenas stands to gain substantial physical and philosophical insight by (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  26. added 2014-11-18
    Carsten Held (forthcoming). Einstein’s Boxes: Incompleteness of Quantum Mechanics Without a Separation Principle. Foundations of Physics:1-17.
    Einstein made several attempts to argue for the incompleteness of quantum mechanics , not all of them using a separation principle. One unpublished example, the box parable, has received increased attention in the recent literature. Though the example is tailor-made for applying a separation principle and Einstein indeed applies one, he begins his discussion without it. An analysis of this first part of the parable naturally leads to an argument for incompleteness not involving a separation principle. I discuss the argument (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  27. added 2014-11-18
    Andrei Khrennikov (forthcoming). CHSH Inequality: Quantum Probabilities as Classical Conditional Probabilities. Foundations of Physics:1-15.
    In this note we demonstrate that the results of observations in the EPR–Bohm–Bell experiment can be described within the classical probabilistic framework. However, the “quantum probabilities” have to be interpreted as conditional probabilities, where conditioning is with respect to fixed experimental settings. Our approach is based on the complete account of randomness involved in the experiment. The crucial point is that randomness of selections of experimental settings has to be taken into account within one consistent framework covering all events related (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  28. added 2014-11-18
    Mark Zelcer (2014). Review of E. Brian Davies, Why Beliefs Matter: Reflections on the Nature of Science. [REVIEW] Science, Religion and Culture 1 (3):141-143.
  29. added 2014-11-18
    Dennis Dieks, Décio Krause & Christian de Ronde (2014). Preface Special Issue Foundations of Physics. Foundations of Physics 44 (12):1245-1245.
    The foundations of quantum mechanics are attracting new and significant interest in the scientific community due to the recent striking experimental and technical progress in the fields of quantum computation, quantum teleportation and quantum information processing. However, at a more fundamental level the understanding and manipulation of these novel phenomena require not only new laboratory techniques but also new understanding, development and interpretation of the formalism of quantum mechanics itself, a mathematical structure whose connection to what happens in physical reality (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  30. added 2014-11-18
    J. Mei-Hia (2011). La Religion Cosmique: La Voie de l'Harmonie Universelle: Tomes I, Ii Et Iii. L'Arbre Fleuri.
    Remove from this list |
    Translate to English
    |
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  31. added 2014-11-18
    Geert Keil (2011). Quine. Reclam.
    Den Spuren des amerikanischen Philosophen Willard Van Orman Quine (1908-2000) begegnet man in der theoretischen Philosophie der Gegenwart auf Schritt und Tritt. Dies zeigt schon die lange Liste der Thesen und Stichworte, die mit seinem Namen verbunden sind: Kritik der Analytisch-synthetisch-Unterscheidung, Duhem-Quine-These des wissenschaftstheoretischen Holismus, die Dogmen des Empirismus, radikale Übersetzung, Unbestimmtheit der Übersetzung, ontologische Relativität, Flucht vor den Intensionen, Naturalisierung der Erkenntnistheorie. -/- Quine verstand die Philosophie als ein wissenschaftliches oder wissenschaftsbegleitendes Unternehmen. Sein Werk lässt sich den Disziplinen Erkenntnistheorie, (...)
    Remove from this list |
    Translate to English
    | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  32. added 2014-11-15
    Anna Marmodoro & David Yates (eds.) (forthcoming). The Metaphysics of Relations. OUP.
    A collection of papers on ancient and contemporary approaches to the nature and ontological status of relations. Forthcoming in 2015. -/- Contributors: Theodore Scaltsas, Jeffrey Brower, Sydney Penner, Maureen Donnelly, Jonathan Lowe, Peter Simons, John Heil, David Yates, Nora Berenstain, James Ladyman, Sebastian Briceno, Stephen Mumford, Michael Esfeld, Mauro Dorato.
    Remove from this list |
    Translate to English
    |
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  33. added 2014-11-13
    William C. Lane (2006). The Best of Possible Worlds: A Testable Claim of Choice. Theology and Science 4 (3):261-278.
    Leibniz said that the universe, if God-created, would exist at a unique, conjoint, physical maximum: Of all possible worlds, it would be richest in phenomena, but its richness would arise from the simplest physical laws and initial conditions. Using concepts of ‘‘variety’’ and algorithmic informational complexity, Leibniz’ claim can be reframed as a testable theory. This theory predicts that the laws and conditions of the actual universe should be simpler, and the universe richer in phenomena, than the presence of observers (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  34. added 2014-11-05
    Giuliano Torrengo (2014). Il caso Tridim. In Elena Casetta & Valeria Giardino (eds.), Mettere a fuoco il mondo. © ISONOMIA – Epistemologica, University of Urbino. 86-94.
    Remove from this list |
    Translate to English
    | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  35. added 2014-11-04
    Vladislav Terekhovich, The Metaphysics of the Principle of Least Action.
    This paper investigates a metaphysical content of the principle of least action (PLA) of analytic mechanics. The PLA says that an actual path of a physical system differs from all other possible paths that its action is minimal. The main issue is how a system can “know”, in advance, which path will minimize the action. In addition to the old teleological question, I continue the recent discussion regarding the modal involvement of the PLA and its relations with the Humean view (...)
    Remove from this list | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  36. added 2014-11-04
    Vladislav Terekhovich (2013). Philosophical and Methodological Problems of the Principle of Least Action. Dissertation, St. Petersburg State University, Russia
    Twenty extremal principles of the natural sciences are reformulated to the general ontological scheme. The hypothesis is substantiated that the unique role of the principle of least action is based on its probabilistic interpretation. It is shown how most of the variational principles can be reduced to the principle of maximal probability, which is based on a realistic interpretation of Feynman’s path integral method.
    Remove from this list |
    Translate to English
    | Direct download  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation