Christine Aidala and Gabriele Carcassi - Seven Misconceptions in the Foundations of Physics

 Christine Aidala and Gabriele Carcassi

Talk details

Talk abstract

From the speakers:

“The foundations of physics are typically associated with interpretations of quantum mechanics and the search for a theory of everything. Working on our project Assumptions of Physics, which aims to find a minimal set of physical starting points from which the laws of physics can be rederived, gave us a different perspective. In this talk we will discuss seven ideas that most physicists take for granted without realizing and which, as it turns out, steer us in the wrong direction. Surpassing these misconceptions leads us to a new understanding of what the laws of physics are, the relationship between physics and mathematics, and what the ultimate goal of the foundations of physics should be.”


Christine Aidala

Christine Aidala received her bachelor's degree in physics and music from Yale University in 1999 and her PhD in physics from Columbia University in 2005. After a postdoctoral position with the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she was a Frederick Reines Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow and then staff scientist with Los Alamos National Laboratory until joining the faculty at the University of Michigan in 2012. In addition to her theoretical work on the foundations of physics, she performs experimental research in high-energy nuclear physics, studying the internal structure of the proton.

Gabriele Carcassi

Gabriele Carcassi received his degree in informatics engineering in 2000 from the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. He worked for twenty years in software and computing in support of large-scale accelerator facilities and experiments, from control systems and databases, to wide area network data management and security. For the past decade he has had an increasing focus on foundational issues in physics, which he now pursues full time. He has been a researcher in the Physics Department at the University of Michigan since 2012. He is particularly interested in the boundaries between foundations of physics, foundations of mathematics and philosophy of science.