Virtual Entities in Science




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RWTH Aachen University and TU Berlin are jointly organizing a series of workshops titled “Virtual Entities in Science.”


RWTH Aachen University and TU Berlin are excited to offer a four-week online workshop series on the concept of the virtual starting on Friday, March 5. The workshops will be held online on four consecutive Fridays from 2 to 6pm. Each workshop session will consist of a keynote and speaker presentations held by leading international experts.

Generally the term "virtual" is predominantly associated with the world of computing. In science, however, the concept of the virtual has a much longer tradition: virtual displacements and virtual images were introduced in classical physics as early as the 18th century. In modern physics, the term is mostly associated with the quantum world, first and foremost with the “virtual particle” of quantum field theory.

The workshop series addresses the historical formation and philosophical interpretation of concepts of virtual entities in physics and other disciplines. Speakers include particle physicist JoAnne Hewett from Stanford University, philosopher of science Tarja Knuuttila from the University of Vienna, and historian of science Arianna Borrelli from Leuphana University Lüneburg.

The full program is available for download at the conference website: Virtual Entities in Science: A Virtual Workshop

The workshop sessions are hosted by the DFG Research Unit The Epistemology of the Large Hadron Collider, which investigates the philosophical, historical and sociological implications of the activities of the Large Hadron Collider project (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, CERN for short.

The research unit is a collaborative project of scientists from RWTH Aachen University, Bergische Universität Wuppertal, the University of Bonn, TU Berlin, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), and the University of Klagenfurt.

Professor Robert Harlander and Dr. Jean-Philippe Martinez from RWTH and Professor Friedrich Steinle and Dr. Adrian Wüthrich from TU Berlin were instrumental in organizing the workshop series.