CANCELLED | Seminar on History and Philosophy of Science

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
4:15pm to 5:15pm
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Dabney Hall 110 (Treasure Room)
This talk has been cancelled.
Alexander Blum, Research Scholar, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science; Visiting Associate in History of Science, Caltech,

Title: Final Theories in Modern Physics - Heisenberg's World Formula of 1958

Abstract: After briefly introducing the program of his new research group on the Historical Epistemology of the Final Theory Program, Blum will focus on the specific case of Heisenberg's non-linear spinor theory, popularly known as the Weltformel/World Formula. In an attempt to find an analytic framework in which to discuss attempts at a final theory in physics, he will discuss three interrelated questions: What was the "post-empirical" reasoning guiding Heisenberg's theorizing based on? What made Heisenberg confident in the late 1950s that he was on the right track? What were the specific reasons that led to the rejection of Heisenberg's theory in the physics community? In conclusion, he will discuss similarities and differences to the current best candidate for a final theory, string theory.

For more information, please contact Fran Tise by phone at 626-395-3609 or by email at ftise@caltech.edu.