Talk: Louis Vervoort

The Geneva Symmetry Group is happy to present an online talk by Louis Vervoort:

Thursday, 8 October 2020, at 16:15 over ZOOM:

Louis Vervoort (University of Tyumen): The hypothesis of “hidden variables” as a unifying principle in physics

Please find the abstract below.

The meeting is open to all and will be held over ZOOM (https://unige.zoom.us/), with the meeting ID 926 2949 4706.

Anyone is welcome to participate!

Best regards,
Christian Wüthrich

***

Louis Vervoort (University of Tyumen): The hypothesis of “hidden variables” as a unifying principle in physics

Abstract: In the debate whether ‘hidden variables’ could exist underneath quantum probabilities, the ‘no hidden-variables’ position is at present favored. In this article I attempt to provide a more equilibrated verdict, by pointing towards the heuristic and explanatory power of the hidden-variables hypothesis, in particular in its deterministic form. I argue that this hypothesis can answer three foundational questions, whereas the opposing thesis (‘no hidden variables’) remains entirely silent for them. These questions are: 1) How to interpret probabilistic correlation ? (a question considered by Kolmogorov “one of the most important problems in the philosophy of the natural sciences”, and first analysed by Reichenbach); 2) How to interpret the Central Limit Theorem ?; and 3) Are there degrees of freedom that could unify quantum field theories and general relativity, and if so, can we (at least qualitatively) specify them ? It appears that only the hidden-variables hypothesis can provide coherent answers to these problems; answers which can be mathematically justified in the deterministic case. This suggests that the hidden-variables hypothesis should be considered a legitimate candidate as a guiding, unifying principle in the foundations of physics.

Please read the paper available at http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/18223/ ahead of t

About wuthrich

I am a philosopher of physics at the University of Geneva.
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