Density Matrix Realism Workshop

November 24, 2020
Department of Philosophy, University of Birmingham

United Kingdom


University of Birmingham

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Provisional Schedule (times GMT)

2.30-3.00: Katie Robertson (Birmingham)
‘An introduction to density matrix realism: what’s at stake?’

3.00-3.45: Owen Maroney (Oxford)
‘DMR, thermodynamic asymmetry, and the interpretation of quantum theory’

10-min break

3.55-4.40: Roderich Tumulka (Tuebingen)
Title TBC

20-min break

5.00-5.45: Eddy Keming Chen (UC San Diego)
‘The Wentaculus: Density Matrix Realism Meets the Arrow of Time’

10-min break

5.55-6.25 General discussion and wrap-up


Eddy Keming Chen (UC San Diego)
‘The Wentaculus: Density Matrix Realism Meets the Arrow of Time’

In this talk, I explain my understanding of how to be a realist about the fundamental density matrix of the universe, and discuss the ramifications of such realism for understanding the arrow of time. Since the resultant theory is inspired by the “Mentaculus Vision” of David Albert and Barry Loewer, I call the overall pacakge “The Wentaculus,” where “W” stands for the fundamental density matrix. Unlike the Mentaculus, in the Wentaculus there is a uniquely possible initial quantum state of the universe. In this way, the Wentaculus does away with the need for a probability distribution over initial quantum states. I bring the Wentaculus to bear on several problems in the foundations of physics and the philosophy of science, including the nature of the quantum state and the status of the Past Hypothesis.

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November 24, 2020, 2:00pm BST

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University of California, San Diego
University of Birmingham

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