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Quantum Theory and Realism - 'Esquisse d'un Programme'

Professor Jürg Fröhlich, ETH ITP, Zurich, Switzerland

Date:  May 18, 2011   16:15 

Place: Seminarraum A348/349, Fakultät für Physik der LMU München, Theresienstr. 37, 80333 München

In this lecture I propose to discuss some issues concerning the foundations of quantum mechanics and its interplay with space-time physics. I start by clarifying the distinction between 'realistic theories' and 'probabilistic theories' of Nature and sketch how the latter can often be viewed as 'deformations' of the former. I then briefly recall some of the intriguing features of atomistic Quantum Mechanics, which belongs to the second class of theories. I attempt to describe, in conceptual terms, what it is that Quantum Mechanics predicts about Nature when appropriate experiments are done. I try to sketch some implications of this discussion for our views of space and time. I will conclude by sketching some recent results on the 'effective quantum dynamics' of Open Systems, in particular on 'Quantum Brownian Motion'.