Charles "Chip" T. Sebens
Professor of Philosophy
Charles "Chip" T. Sebens studies the philosophy of physics, focusing on the foundations of quantum mechanics, classical field theory, and quantum field theory. He uses tools from metaphysics and epistemology to assess competing proposals about what physical laws govern the quantum realm (such as Bohmian mechanics, the many-worlds interpretation, and GRW theory). He also works toward improving our understanding of classical field theories, including the theories of the electromagnetic, Dirac, and gravitational fields. At the intersection of these two topics, Sebens is interested in the way that classical field theories are quantized to arrive at quantum field theories.
Sebens started out in physics as an undergraduate at MIT, but ended up double majoring in both physics and philosophy, earning dual bachelor's degrees in 2009. He went on to earn a master's degree in philosophy of physics from the University of Oxford (2010), a master's degree in physics from the University of Michigan (2013), and a PhD in philosophy, also from the University of Michigan (2015). Sebens served as an Ahmanson Postdoctoral Instructor in the History and Philosophy of Physics in HSS from 2015 to 2016. He then served as an assistant professor of philosophy at UC San Diego from 2016 to 2018 before returning to Caltech as a faculty member.
- 2016 - Philosopher's Annual Selection, "Quantum Mechanics as Classical Physics" selected as one of the top ten philosophy papers of 2015