Forschungskolloquium zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte

Inconsistency in Fundamental Physics

16:00 - 18:00
TU Hauptgebäude, Straße des 17. Juni 135, Raum H3013 oder über Zoom
Prof. Dr. Friedrich Steinle (TU Berlin)
Lecturing Person
Alexander Blum (Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte Berlin)

Theoretical Physics is generally considered the most mathematically sophisticated of all the sciences. Yet, in the decades after World War II a debate arose among a group of scientists whether the most fundamental and empirically successful theories of physics might not actually be mathematically inconsistent. In this talk, I will analyze how this came to be, what was really at stake, and we can learn from this story about humankind's ability to provide mathematical models of nature. (No specialized knowledge of physics beyond the high-school level will be required to follow.)

About Alexander Blum:

Alexander Blum received a PhD in theoretical physics at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics. He then joined the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, where he now leads (since 2018) a research group on the history of the search for a final theory of physics (jointly hosted by the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam).


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