Jeffrey Barrett Much of Professor Barrett's work has focused on attempts to resolve the quantum measurement problem in non-relativistic quantum mechanics and in quantum field theory. His most recent work in this area has concerned Hugh Everett's interpretation of quantum mechanics. He also has research interests in the proper metaphysics and epistemology of physics.
JB Manchak Professor Manchak works on the foundations of general relativity, with a focus on issues concerning the global topological and causal structure of spacetime. Some of his recent work has concerned time travel and spacetime singularities.
James Weatherall Professor Weatherall works on philosophy of cosmology and on the mathematical and conceptual foundations of classical field theories, including general relativity, Newton-Cartan theory, and (classical) Yang-Mills theory, and on quantum field theory. Some topics of special recent interest have included the role of geometry and symmetry in classical field theories and the status of various central principles of these theories, such as the "geodesic principle" of general relativity. He is currently working closely with Chris Smeenk (University of Western Ontario) on the project New Directions in Philosophy of Cosmology.
Penelope Maddy also shares some research interests with the members of this group, particularly in the question of how mathematics works in application to the world.
Current students in this group include Sarita Rosenstock (Yang-Mills theory, theoretical structure and equivalence), Marian Gilton (charge in Yang-Mills theory), Chris Mitsch (von Neumann on the foundations of quantum theory), Tim Schmitz (quantum computation and the measurement problem), Mike Schneider (philosophy of cosmology), Elliott Chen (history of philosophy of physics; concepts of body). Recent alumni include Benjamin Feintzeig (University of Washington) and Sam Fletcher (University of Minnesota). Affiliated Faculty include Donald Saari and Daniel Whiteson. These faculty are among those available for course work and consultation for students pursuing the Physics Emphasis.
The philosophy of physics faculty maintain close research ties with Charlotte Werndl (Salzburg) and her research group through the Salzburg Exchange Program; in addition, the Irvine-London-Munich-PoliMi-Salzburg network in philosophy and foundations of physics aims at fostering the collaboration between faculty, researchers and students based in the Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science at the University of California Irvine, the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, the Department of Mathematics and the META group at the Politecnico di Milano, and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Salzburg. The activities of the network include the circulation of scholars among the four schools, as well as the organization of regular workshops on dedicated topics and an annual international conference for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. In addition Professor Weatherall has an ongoing collaboration with Professor Chris Smeenk of the University of Western Ontario on the Philosophy of Cosmology, including regular joint group meetings. The Southern California Philosophy of Physics Group -- consisting of faculty, post-docs, and graduate students from colleges and universities throughout Southern California, including UCSD, UCLA, USC, Occidental, CSU LA, and Chapman -- meets two to three times per quarter at UC Irvine.
Upcoming and Recent Workshops
Dark Energy Workshop
Summer Institute: Philosophy of Cosmology
Philosophy of Cosmology Kick-Off Workshop
Philosophy of Physics Workshop
Ongoing Activities of the Physics Group
Philosophy of Physics Reading Group