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Accueil > Archives > Anciens projets de recherche financés > Projet ERC Philosophie de la Gravitation Quantique Canonique > Evénements > Quantum gravity : physics & philosophy

Quantum gravity : physics & philosophy

International Workshop


International Workshop,
October 24–27, 2017,
Institut des hautes études scientifiques (IHES), Bures-sur-Yvette

Research in quantum gravity represents a particularly suitable ground for a productive confrontation between physics and philosophy. But for this to become an authentic dialogue, and not a mere epistemological complement to the scientific discourse, it is essential that the dialogue be centred around questions which meet the demands and goals specific to these two disciplines.

The main goal of this workshop is to bring together internationally renowned physicists and philosophers to explore the various possible modes of collaborations enabled by the current status of the theories seeking the unification of quantum mechanics and gravity. It will focus on transversal questions, and more particularly on the principles and methods employed in quantum gravity. We shall try, as far as possible, not to confine the discussions to epistemological clarifications of the “foundations”, but to show instead that the questions at stake might be potentially as important and general in their consequences as were those raised, at the beginning of the 20th century, by the theories of general relativity and quantum mechanics.

Indeed, quantum gravity reactivates long-standing questions about the relation between physical theories and empirical observations, the exact role (foundational or merely heuristic) of “principles”, the identification of the basic objects or structures of a theory (problems of reduction and emergence), the mathematical characterisation of becoming and the meaning of time, the singularity of the object “universe”, the stability of the laws of nature, etc.

The four days of conferences will be organized around the following thematic units : the principles of quantum gravity, black holes, holographic correspondences, quantum cosmology, emergence of spacetime, the status of time in quantum gravity and quantum geometries.

This workshop also aims to provide students and young researchers with an overview of the major conceptual issues of this vast field of research.

Registration : Participation to the workshop is free. For lunch, there will be an optional catering service (10€/lunch). To register, please send us an email with your last name, first name and affiliation to erc.philoquantumgravity[at] and indicate whether you wish to use the catering service.

To the dedicated website,

and all informations : venue, ...

Organizers :
Gabriel Catren (CNRS, SPHERE, ERC project PhiloQuantum Gravity), Thibault Damour (IHES), Elie During (Univ. Paris Ouest Nanterre, IRePh), Federico Zalamea (CNRS, SPHERE, ERC project PhiloQuantum Gravity)

Speakers Institution

Costas Bachas

Department of Physics, Ecole Normale Supérieure
Steven Carlip Department of Physics, University of California Davis
Alain Connes Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques
Dennis Dieks University of Utrecht
Yuval Dolev Department of Philosophy, Bar-Ilan University
Sebastian de Haro University of Amsterdam
Gary Horowitz Department of Physics, University of California Santa Barbara
Theodore Jacobson Department of Physics, University of Maryland
Claus Kiefer Institute of Theoretical Physics, University of Cologne
Carlo Rovelli Center of Theoretical Physics, Luminy
Gabriele Veneziano Theoretical Physics Department, CERN
Tiziana Vistarini Department of Philosophy, University of Colorado Boulder

Schedule —to download program and abstracts

2017 Tuesday 10/24 Wednesday 10/25 Thursday 10/26 Friday 10/27
Gabriele Veneziano
Quantum Gravity or Gravity for the Quantum : String Theory’s Lesson
Costas Bachas
Holographic Dualities and Quantum Gravity

Dennis Dieks
Physical and Experiential Time

Ted Jacobson
What Can Black Holes Teach Us About Quantum Gravity ?
Slides of the talkVideo recording Slides of the talk
Video recording
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Coffee Break Coffee Break Coffee Break Coffee Break
Steven Carlip
Why We Need Quantum Gravity and Why We Don’t Have It
Sebastian de Haro
Dualities and Emergence

Yuval Dolev
Time, Experience and Quantum Gravity
Tiziana Vistarini
Modality after String Theory

Slides of the talk
Video recording
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Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
Carlo Rovelli
Physics and Philosophy of Quantum Gravity :
What I Think We Have Understood and What We Do Not Know

Alain Connes
Why Four Dimensions and the Standard Model Coupled to Gravity -
A Tentative Explanation From the New Geometric Paradigm of NCG
Gary Horowitz
Spacetime in String Theory

Claus Kiefer
Conceptual Issues in Quantum Cosmology

Slides of the talk
Video recording
Video recording Slides of the talk
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Coffee Break Coffee Break Coffee Break Coffee Break

Presentation Research Axes Practical Information
Members Calls for application
Seminar "Philosophy
& mathematical physics"
"(Id)entity : : (Id)entification"

This workshop has received funding from the European Research Council, undert the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013 Grant Agreement N° 263523, ERC Project PhiloQuantumGravity).