CfR: The Quantum, the Thermal and the Gravitational Reconciled: Physics and Philosophy in the Varied Landscape of the Intersections (MCMP/LMU Munich, June 24-26, 2022)

Submitted by Erik Curiel (MCMP, LMU Munich).


“The Quantum, the Thermal and the Gravitational Reconciled: Physics and Philosophy in the Varied Landscape of the Intersections”
MCMP, LMU Munich
24.-26. June 2022


Quantum, thermal, and gravitational theories constitute the three great pillars of modern fundamental physics.  Each is, prima facie, conceptually and physically independent of the other two, and finds its application in regimes well separated from those of the others.  Indeed, central principles of each are in manifest tension with those of the other, if not outright contradiction: general relativity admits causal and topological structures seemingly inconsistent with quantum mechanical dynamics; the superpositions of quantum mechanics conflict with general relativity’s fixed causal structures; and both are in manifest tension if not outright contradiction with the most characteristic features of thermodynamics, viz., irreversibility and temporal asymmetry.  It is thus of paramount importance that we investigate how our three best, most fundamental theories fit together, if indeed they do at all.  In the past and in recent times, physicists and philosophers have worked together in remarkably fruitful ways in each of the three fundamental fields.  This conference will explore these philosophical and foundational issues that arise where two or more of these three frameworks intersect.  Our aim is to foster such collaboration at the intersections of the three.  As such, we will be guided by the irenic spirit (and person) of Jeremy Butterfield, whose work, magisterially spanning these topics, has inspired and continues to inspire, all of us.



Public-health conditions permitting, we plan to hold the conference in-person, with no video connections, although the talks and Q&A will be recorded (pending agreement by the speakers).  Please send registration requests by 29 May 2022 using the following form:

The fees for the conference and dinner are as follows.

– Senior researchers with permanent positions (associate and full professors, etc.): conference fee EUR 40
– Junior researchers (assistant professors, post-docs, etc.): conference fee EUR 25
– Students (bachelors, masters, doctoral, etc.): no conference fee
– Conference dinner (for everyone): EUR 30

Dates and Deadlines

Registration Deadline: 29 May 2022

Conference: 25-26 June 2022

Conference Dinner: 25 June 2022


Erik Curiel, MCMP/LMU Munich
Sebastian De Haro, University of Amsterdam
Bryan Roberts, London School of Economics 
Katie Robertson, University of Birmingham