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Humanities Brown Bag Seminar

Wednesday, December 6, 2023
12:00pm to 1:00pm
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Dabney Hall 110 (Treasure Room)
Putting pressure under pressure
Eugene Y. S. Chua, Ahmanson Postdoctoral Instructor in Philosophy of Science, Caltech,
  • Internal Event

Abstract: Much of the century-old debate surrounding the status of thermodynamics in relativity has centered on the search for a suitably relativistic temperature; recent work by Chua (2023) has suggested that ‘the' classical temperature concept – coherent as it is in classical settings – ‘falls apart' in relativity. However, these discussions have tended to assume an unproblematic Lorentz transformation for – specifically, the Lorentz invariance of – ‘the' pressure concept. Here I argue that, just like ‘the' classical temperature, ‘the' classical concept of pressure breaks down in relativistic settings. I reflect on how this situation both clarifies the non-fundamental status of thermodynamics, and provides a simple case study for recent discussions about effective realism.

Speaker Bio: Eugene specializes in philosophy of physics, currently focusing on the foundations of thermodynamics, the problem of time in quantum gravity, and the foundations of quantum mechanics. He also works on general philosophy of science, especially on idealizations/approximations, modelling, and scientific methodology. He is also interested in the various epistemological and ethical issues surrounding AI/ML. He recently graduated from UC San Diego, and will be Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore starting 2024/2025.

For more information, please contact Joanna Poon by phone at 626-395-1724 or by email at [email protected].