>> Talks on the science and philosophy of Emergence
at the Dutch Institute for Emergent Phenomena
DIEP organises regular DIEP seminars which you can watch below and other events. On Jan 22nd 2019, DIEP organised a focus session on Emergence at all length scales at Physics@Veldhoven (see full programme here), covering topics from hard/soft matter to quantum gravity and quantum theory. On May 25th 2018, DIEP organised a focus session on Emergent Phenomena during the Route 2 community building day (see full programme here), featuring talks on emergent phenomena by scientists in different fields including theoretical physics, biophysics, hard and soft condensed matter, mathematics and cosmology. Below you find a brief note on the speaker, abstract and the recording of each talk.
>> DIEP Seminars
DIEP Seminar #1 22nd June 2018: Jeremy Butterfield, Cambridge U.
On Dualities and Equivalences Between Physical Theories
Jeremy Butterfield is a distinguished philosopher of physics and a senior research fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. He works on philosophical aspects of emergence and visited DIEP from the 20th-23rd of June 2018. As part of his stay he gave a talk on dualities and its relation to emergence.
On the DIEP concept and structure (and notions of emergence)
Jácome coordinates some of the DIEP effort and works on string theory, black holes, hydrodynamics and elastic membranes. In this talk he presents the original debate within modern physics of reductionism versus emergentism starting with Dirac and ending in Anderson. He gives a catalog of the plurality of definitions of emergence that have been proposed in the literature and finally he mentions the research questions that DIEP is interested in.
From brains to black holes: information and emergent phenomena
Vijay works on string theory and holography investigating how gravity, space and time emerge from quantum theory. But his investigations on fundamental questions such as these have led him to study information processing in biophysics and the brain. Besides being an active high energy physicist, he is the head of a group on biophysics.
Alix works on condensed matter and new emergent phases of matter. Her talk will give a broad overview of such phases that arise from strong electron-electron interactions such as unconventional superconductivity, exotic types of magnetic and electric order as well as quantum criticality. Alix will argue that condensed matter can be an excellent tool for the study of emergence, where, by means of experiments, emergent states can be characterised in detail, some of which are still lacking a proper microscopic understanding.
Frank works on probability theory and the emergence of macro-dynamics from statistical systems, which can be viewed as an instance of the laws of large numbers. Examples of emergent dynamics include hydrodynamics but also universal equations such as the heat equation emerging from the chaotic motion of molecules. Frank is also interested in how accurate these equations are and the universality of the fluctuations around it.
Joop works on the structural formation of large cosmological structures such as galaxies by means of hardcore numerical simulations that mimmic the beginning period of the evolution of the universe. He is interested in the emergence of the cosmic web and the relations between black holes and galaxies. Joop will be discussing different aspects of emergent phenomena that appear in cosmology, including self-organisation processes at cosmological scales.
Daan Frenkel, Cambridge U.
Merging and emerging behaviour in us and around us
Daan works on the interface between chemistry, soft condensed matter and nano materials, developing new methods for numerically simulating large classes of physical systems at different length scales which exhibit different types of emergent behaviour: nucleation in colloids, phase transitions in DNA molecules and self-assembly in proteins. Through his work you will find out how so many different sciences are interconnected at different scales.
Center for Materials Theory, Rutgers, Hubbard Theory Consortium
Emergence and Reductionism: An Awkward Baconian Alliance
Reductionism is the marvellous idea that as we take matter apart to its smallest constituents, and understand the laws and forces that govern them, we can understand everything. Emergence, by contrast, is the intriguing idea that as matter comes together, it develops novel properties and unexpected patterns of collective behavior. Reductionism and emergence play an intertwined role in the everyday life of the physicist, yet we rarely stop to contemplate their relationship: indeed, the two are often regarded as conflicting world-views.
During the last years it has become clear that space and time are not fundamental but emergent notions that arise from underlying, more fundamental building blocks. In this talk the main ideas behind this key example of emergence, in particular the important role of quantum entanglement and quantum information, will be described, and applications to black holes and various open problems will be addressed.
The Emergence of the Classical World from Quantum Theory
Despite traditional claims to the contrary (based on the WKB Approximation, Ehrenfest’s Theorem, eigenvalue asymptotics, etc.), it is not at all clear how and in which sense classical physics is a limiting case of quantum physics. This is true even in the non-relativistic, non-field theoretical case, not to speak of the derivation of space-time, gravity, and classical field theories from quantum theory. The framework of Emergence provides a natural language for this problem. We explain this framework and review recent progress in the non-relativistic case.