What is life? Are viruses alive?

The next meeting will take place on Fr 16.6. 18:00 again in Tunnel Vienna. This times topic will be: What is life? Are viruses alive? presented by Geli and Patrick.
Please read into and watch the materials provided in order for us to have a common basis of knowledge for the discussion:

Level 1:

Watch this video explaining in brief what Viruses are and discussing differences in organization compared to things perceived as alive.

Level 2:

Read these articles discussing how newly found giant viruses might alter our previous understanding of aliveness/alivehood/alivebeing?
level 3:
Read a physicists perspective on the subject in Erwin Schroedingers book: What is life? A book that is based on a course of lectures held in 1943.

Should we colonize Mars?

The next meeting will take place on Fr 2.6. at 18:00 again in Tunnel Vienna.
This times Topic will be: Should we colonize Mars?, prepared by Thomas.Please make use of the great amount of Literature Thomas provided and read into the topic so we can have a nice discussion:

Level 1 Fundaments
As basis for our discussion I take this article in the Jacobin Magazine on the difficulties of governing a future Mars colony:
A critical view on Space X’s endeavours of colonizing the red planet and their moral context:
Level 2 Background
A response on the Aeon article on Space X’s efforts and how space exploration can aid humankind:
More on the Jacobin Magazine article in an interview with the author:
For more on space fairing context, a somewhat blue-eyed but fun to read article on how we would colonize Mars as part three of a series of posts on space colonization by waitbutwhy:
Level 3 Moar, moar, moar!
Videos and articles on the context of space travel:

Paul Feyerabend’s “against method”

The next meeting will take place on Fr 5.5. at 18:00 at the Tunnel Vienna Live and will be hosted by Moritz:

First, the plan was to cover current views in philosophy of science, because of the last discussion about the wiener Kreis and logical positivism. So I will try to be as recent as my knowledge permits and talk about Paul Feyerabend and his famous book “against method” (well, it was 1975 but I guess that’s recent in philosophy).

To discuss what came after logical positivism, please read a basic overview about Poppers Critical_rationalism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_rationalism (for those of you, who speak german please read the german one because it is much better).

This is necessary to understand Feyerabends criticism of science as ideology: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemological_anarchism

And about his interesting life between physics and philosophy i recommend the 5. Chapter of https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feyerabend/#FeyeLateWorkTowaRelaButThenBeyoIt.

Enjoy the reading and I’m looking forward to an interesting discussion!

The Vienna Circle and its Philosophy

The next Naturwissenschaftscafé will take place on Friday 21st April at 6pm at Strudlhofgasse 4. The topic will be the Vienna Circle and its philosophy.

Please read into to material provided below to prepare for the meeting.

Level 1
To get an overview of the Vienna Circle just have a look at the Wikipedia article:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna_Circle

Level 2
For a bit more background there are some sources I can suggest you to look into:

Interview of A.J. Ayer on Logical Positivism and its Legacy : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nG0EWNezFl4

Prof. Christian Damböck, who also held a talk on the Symposium, wrote a book about the Vienna Circle (Ausgewählte Texte des wiener Kreis). He published a postface which I strongly suggest you to read (unfortunately in German): Nachwort zu Ausgewählte texte des wiener Kreis:
https://homepage.univie.ac.at/christian.damboeck/texte/Der_Wiener_Kreis-Nachwort.pdf

Level 3
For those of you, that really want to spend more time learning about the Vienna Circle, read the following:

Book (which I will bring with me to the NWC): Sie nannten sich der Wiener Kreis, exaktes denken am rande des Untergangs by Karl Sigmund

and the article of Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/vienna-circle/#Per

How to choose the right Quantum Interpretation: Macrorealism, Contextuality and Decoherence

The next NWC will be held upcoming Friday 7th April at 6pm at the faculty of physics in Strudlhofgasse 4.

First, I would like you to revisit the materials from last time about Bells Inequality and local realism. Also Flavio already included nice material about Leggett-Garg Inequalities and macrorealism.

Second, here are my resources:

Level 1: I will cover basically the Legget-Garg and Kochen-Specker Theorems and how they could be experimentally tested to rule out certain QM Interpretations similar to Bell’s Inequality and local realism. A good starting point:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leggett%E2%80%93Garg_inequality
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kochen%E2%80%93Specker_theorem

Level 2: Kofler and Bruckner have written a nice comparison between Bell and L-G, also thinking about experiments that violate macrorealism:
https://arxiv.org/pdf/1207.3666.pdf
And (my all-time favorite) Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has a review over Kochen-Specker and it’s implications:
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kochen-specker/

Level Experimental Metaphysics:
Well, in one meeting we probably won’t have time to cover more, but for the sake of completeness on experimental tests of quantum foundations, one has to add the current notion of decoherence as most promising solution to the measurement problem. Also this gives an idea why the many-worlds interpretation gains momentum right now.

Here is a recent overview of how decoherence relates to different interpretations:
https://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/0312059.pdf

And the legendary lecture of Harvard Professor Sidney Coleman “Quantum Mechanics in your Face”: