Space and Time 100 Years after Minkowski

Physikzentrum Bad Honnef
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Tipologie Kurs
Ort Bad honnef
Dauer 6 Tage
  • Kurs
  • Bad honnef
  • Dauer:
    6 Tage


Wo und wann
Beginn Lage
auf Anfrage
Bad Honnef
Hauptst. 5, D-53604, Nordrhein-Westfalen, NRW, Deutschland
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Beginn auf Anfrage
Bad Honnef
Hauptst. 5, D-53604, Nordrhein-Westfalen, NRW, Deutschland
Karte ansehen


Conference language is English.

Hermann Minkowski's famous lecture held in Cologne on September 21, 1908 was a milestone on the way to our modern understanding of space and time. In it Minkowski laid bare the mathematical core of the special theory of relativity - the unification of space and time into four-dimensional spacetime. Although at first sceptical, Einstein soon adopted this point of view and constructed with its help his theory of general relativity, in which gravitation is interpreted as a manifestation of spacetime geometry. The general theory of relativity provides the basis of our physical world view at the non-quantum level, and its applications range from cosmology to everyday life. However, modifications in our understanding of space and time are expected to emerge from a more fundamental theory that unifies gravitation with quantum theory; promising candidates are quantum general relativity and string theory. In the history of science, Minkowski's lecture can be interpreted as the end point of a development in geometry. It marks the transition from space as a unique concept in the sense of traditional Euclidean geometry to space as a model. In this new paradigm, many different spaces are considered, and the most appropriate one is selected. In our centennial conference, concepts of space and spacetime will be addressed from the points of views of physics, mathematics, and the history of science. We aim to do justice to Minkowski's great contribution. On the one hand, the historical development and in particular Minkowski's contribution will be discussed; on the other hand, we shall highlight the concept of spacetime in modern physics and mathematics as well as possible modifications in future theories, notably quantum gravity. The conference will be strongly interdisciplinary and should be attractive, in particular, for undergraduate and graduate students of the considered disciplines, but also for more senior scientists. Programme: The planned schedule is as follows:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: three lectures in the morning and three in the afternoon.
Wednesday: three lectures in the morning and an excursion in the afternoon.
Friday: three lectures and a general discussion in the morning, the seminar finishing at noon.

The exact programme will be announced as soon as possible. Speakers

Edward Anderson (University of Cambridge, UK) Relational dynamics

Julian Barbour (College Farm, South Newington, UK) Was spacetime a glorious historical accident?

Frauke Böttcher (Universität zu Köln, Germany) The notion of space in the 18th century - the dissociation of the mathematical and physical notion of space

Helmut Friedrich (Max-Planck-Institut für Gravitationsphysik, Potsdam, Germany) Global structure of spacetime in general relativity

Domenico Giulini (Max-Planck-Institut für Gravitationsphysik, Potsdam, Germany) The structure of geometrodynamics

Hubert Goenner (Universität Göttingen, Germany) On the history of the geometrization of space and time

Jeremy Gray (Open University, Milton Keynes, UK) Gauss and non-euclidean geometry

Friedrich Hehl (Universität zu Köln, Germany) Metric-affine theories of gravity

Claus Kiefer (Universität zu Köln, Germany) Concepts of space and time in quantum gravity

Renate Loll (Universität Utrecht, Netherlands) Path integrals in quantum gravity

Jean-Pierre Luminet (Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, France) Topology of the universe

Jesper Lützen (Universität Kopenhagen, Denmark) Physics and geometry before Minkowski

Philippe Nabonnand (Archives Henri Poincaré, Universität Nancy II, France) La quatrième géométrie de Poincaré

Hermann Nicolai (Max-Planck-Institut für Gravitationsphysik, Potsdam, Germany) Spacetime and string theory

Hans-Peter Nilles (Universität Bonn, Germany) Higher-dimensional space-time and the unification of fundamental interactions
David Rowe (Universität Mainz, Germany) On Minkowski's contributions to the special theory of relativity

Erhard Scholz (Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany) Spatial extension, forces and their symmetries: crystallographic symmetry concepts in the 19th century

Engelbert Schücking (Department of Physics, New York University, USA) tba
Friedrich Steinle (Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany) Early electrodynamics and concept of space

Norbert Straumann (Universität Zürich, Switzerland) Unitary representations of the inhomogeneous Lorentz group and their significance for quantum physics

Scott Walter (Archives Henri Poincaré, Universität Nancy II, France) The scandal of spacetime

Zusätzliche Informationen

Maximale Teilnehmerzahl: 60

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