Infinities and Cosmology
Date: 18-21 March 2013; a three-day miniseries followed by a one-day workshop
Venue: Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Wilberforce Road, Cambridge CB3 0WA
Cosmology involves infinities, or at least the prospect of infinities, in various ways: the most obvious being the potentially infinite age and size of the universe, and the possible occurrence of actual infinities at local spacetime singularities or at the beginning of the Universe. But there are also other kinds of infinity to consider; for example, the possibility of enhanced spatiotemporal scope for computation, or the unlimited proliferation inherent in the concept of the multiverse and the problems encountered in defining probabilities in this context. These topics will be explored in this three-day series and the following full-day workshop.
Talks will be aimed at both physicists and philosophers of science: all are welcome.
Organisers: Professor John D Barrow FRS, Dr Jeremy Butterfield FBA, Dr David Sloan. Part of a joint University of Cambridge/University of Oxford research project on 'Establishing the Philosophy of Cosmology'.
Registration is now open: please complete the online booking form. The registration fee is £50 (£20 for students), payable by credit/debit card online when booking. Lunch and coffee on all days (18-21 March) are included for registered participants. (Please note that the registration fee does not include accommodation - if this is required please see the Practical Information section below for links to accommodation information and booking websites).
Speakers (Infinities and Cosmology miniseries, 18-20 March 2013):
Anthony Aguirre, University of California Santa Cruz
Mihalis Dafermos, University of Cambridge / Princeton University
Michael R Douglas, Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, Stony Brook University
George Ellis, University of Cape Town
Mark Hogarth, University of Cambridge
Simon Saunders, University of Oxford
|Monday 18 March||Tuesday 19 March||Wednesday 20 March|
|09.00 - 10.00||Registration (09.00-09.45)
Welcome and introduction (09.45 - 10.00)
|09.30 -10.30||George Ellis: Infinities of age and size (including global topology issues) (ii)||09.30 - 10.30||Simon Saunders: At home and at sea in an infinite universe: Newtonian and Machian theories of motion|
|10.00 - 11.00||George Ellis: Infinities of age and size (including global topology issues) (i)||10.30 - 11.00||Coffee||10.30 - 11.00||Coffee|
|11.00 - 11.30||Coffee||11.00 - 12.00||Anthony Aguirre: Infinite and finite state spaces||11.00 - 12.00||Mark Hogarth: Infinite computations and spacetime|
|11.30 - 12.30||Anthony Aguirre: Infinite and finite spacetimes||12.00 - 13.00||Michael Douglas: Can we test the string theory landscape? (ii)||12.00 -13.00||Mihalis Dafermos: Singularities and cosmic censorship in general relativity (ii)|
|12.30 - 14.00||Lunch||13.00 - 14.15||Lunch||13.00 - 14.15||Lunch|
|14.00 - 15.00||Michael Douglas: Can we test the string theory landscape? (i)||14.15 - 15.15||Mihalis Dafermos: Singularities and cosmic censorship in general relativity (i)|
Please note this timetable is provisional and may be subject to slight change
Thursday 21 March - Workshop
Confirmed speakers are Professor Gary Gibbons (University of Cambridge), Dr Martin Sahlen (University of Oxford), Professor Philip Welch (University of Bristol), Dr Laura Mersini-Houghton (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Dr Francesca Vidotto (Radboud University Nijmegen) and Dr David Sloan (University of Cambridge). The timetable for the workshop programme will be confirmed shortly.
09.30 – 10.15 Talk
10.15 - 11.00 Talk
11.00 - 11.30 Coffee
11.30 – 12.15 Talk
12.15 – 13.00 Talk
13.00 – 14.15 Lunch
14.15 - 15.00 Talk
15.00 - 15.45 Talk
Registration form: please complete the online registration form to book your place. The conference fee is £50 (£20 for students) payable by credit/debit card online when booking. Lunch and coffee on all days (18-21 March) are included for registered participants.
Directions and travel information for the Centre for Mathematical Sciences can be found here.
Accommodation: Conference Cambridge provides an online search and booking portal for accommodation in college rooms for individual visitors. The Visit Cambridge website provides an accommodation search and booking facility for local B&B and hotels. Alternatively, the University of Cambridge Accommodation Service provides information on some short-stay accommodation options.
We are grateful to the John Templeton Foundation for their support for this event.