Jos Uffink (Minnesota) will be visiting the Geneva Symmetry Group (GSG) this week. The GSG is happy to present two talks by him, a more formal talk today (sorry for the late notice), and an informal seminar tomorrow (abstracts below):
Wednesday, 27 February 2019, at 18:15 in Room L208 (Landolt):
Jos Uffink (Minnesota): Schrödinger and the prehistory of the EPR argument
Thursday, 28 February 2019, at 16:15 in room B002 (Bastions):
Jos Uffink (Minnesota): Tatiana Ehrenfest-Afanassjewa and the foundations of thermodynamics
Anyone who wishes to attend is welcome.
Wednesday 27 February 2019 in Room L208 (Landolt) – Jos Uffink (Minnesota): Schrödinger and the prehistory of the EPR argument
Abstract: Although Schrödinger only coined the term “entanglement” (Verschränkung) in 1935, he had been worrying about the phenomenon of (what we now call) entanglement for composite systems since 1927. Indeed, he gave up on his original interpretation of the wave function precisely for this reason. At that time, he thought that Born’s statistical interpretation of the wave function did not suffer from the same problem. In November 1931, his unpublished notebooks show that, in response to a lecture in Berlin by Einstein on the photon box experiment, he already developed all essentials of what we now know as the EPR argument, (Einstein, Podolski and Rosen, 1935). I will argue that Schrödinger’s role in the development of this argument have not yet been sufficiently appreciated by historians of physics. Also, I will comment on the differences between Schrödinger’s and Einstein’s views on the conclusions to be drawn from this argument.
In terms of technical difficulty, this talk rates 4/5.
Thursday 28 February 2019 in Room B002 (Bastions) – Jos Uffink (Minnesota): Tatiana Ehrenfest-Afanassjewa and the foundations of thermodynamics
Abstract: Afanassjewa published two major works on the foundations of thermodynamics. In 1926 she wrote a critical response to Carathédory’s (1909) axiomatization of thermodynamics, and in 1956 a book Grundlagen der Thermodynamik. Both works are little-known gems filled with original insights. From the 1926 paper I will discuss Afanassjewa’s notable discussion between heat and work, and her discussion of negative absolute temperatures, 30 years before Ramsey made this notion respectable in concrete models of statistical mechanics. If time permits, I will also discuss Afanassjewa’s (1956) concept of “quasi-processes” and how this discussion alleviates and pre-empts much of the problems that recently surfaced in the philosophy of physics literature after John Norton’s recent claim that the thermodynamic notion of “reversible processes” is self-contradictary.
If you want a paper to go along with this second talk, I would propose John Norton’s https://www.pitt.edu/~jdnorton/papers/Reversible_final.pdf