Could the physical world be emergent instead of fundamental, and why should we ask?

The next Naturwissenschaftscafé will take place on Wednesday the 6th of June at 20:00 in Wuk. This time Marius will give us an introduction into the paper “Could the physical world be emergent instead of fundamental, and why should we ask?”, which was published by his supervisor Markus Müller.

There are two versions of this paper, a long one and a short one. Both are on the arxiv under the following links:  (short version)  (Full version)

And additionally you can find a presentation Markus Müller gave about this topic under:



The fundamental energy cost of time measurement

The next Naturwissenschaftscafé will take place on Wednesday the 23rd at 20:00 in Wuk. This time Manu will talk about his master thesis on “The fundamental energy cost of time measurement” . Since he is not finished yet he will give you an introduction into Autonomous quantum clocks and show you what he did so far. For the non-physicist of you: He will try to keep it very basic so you can join the discussion as well.

  • If you are interested in the clock model and the figures of merit  he uses, it is quite instructive to read:
    Autonomous quantum clocks: does thermodynamics limit our ability to measure time?
  • For those of you interested in quantum thermodynamics in general he recommends:
    The role of quantum information in thermodynamics — a topical review


The physical interpretation of probability and the quantum theory

The next Naturwissenschaftscafé will take place on the 9th of May at 20:00 in Wuk. This time Flavio will talk about The physical interpretation of probability and the quantum theory. You may find following suggested literature helpful:

  • Book:
    “Philosophy and Probability” by Timothy Childers (pp. 33-36)
  • Extended conference paper:
    “The physical motivations for a propensity interpretation of probability, and the reactions of the community of quantum physicists” by Flavio

In order to get one of the above texts please contact e.schwarzhans(at) .

Bohmian Mechanics

The topic of our next meeting will be Bohmian Mechanics  and will be presented by Gerd. This is especially fortunate, since the next guest at our lecture series will be Antony Valentini (see ), who will talk about the The De Broglie-Bohm Pilot-Wave Theory.
As always, the meeting will take place at the Tunnel. This time we will meet on Tuesday 13.3. at 20:00.


How to charge a quantum Battery

The new semester is going to start soon and with it our Naturwissenschaftscafè is going to continue. Hopefully all of you had relaxing holidays and were able to recharge your energy.

The topic of the next meeting is going to be “How to charge a quantum Battery” and will be prepared by Ben. It will take place on the 28th of February at 19:00 in Cafè Tunnel.

To get some insight on the topic please consider reading the provided literature:

  • To get the idea of why it is even important to think about the problem of charging a battery please read Enhancing the charging power of quantum batteries:
  • To read into the protocol Ben is using, you can read Page 12-14 of Precision and Work Fluctuations in Gaussian Battery Charging:

Since this is a rather specialized topic and we are a very interdisciplinary community Ben will keep it rather basic. So please don’t hesitate to come if the topic makes you interested.

Besides that there will be an organizational discussion about the day and time of our meetings in the new semester and some other stuff.

Lecture series on foundations of science: Scientific Realism

Whether there exists something ‘real’ to be described by science is one of the oldest question in philosophy of science, and it is one of the fundamental pillars on which scientific disciplines are built. In particular, are theoretical entities introduced by scientific theories merely useful predictive tools, or rather do they offer a faithful description of an outside ‘real’ world? Do we have scientific (i.e. non-metaphysical) methods to discriminate between these world views?

In this regard, foundations of natural sciences were shaken by the advent of quantum mechanics. Indeed, this theory demolished most of the a priori ideas, upon which classical theories were built, including the conception of reality. Crucial fundamental issues in quantum theory, such as the ontological status of the wave function and of the properties of particles are still heatedly debated. As D. Mermin pointed out, “today, nearly 90 years after its formulation, disagreement about the meaning of the [quantum] theory is stronger than ever. New interpretations appear every day. None ever disappear”.

Despite the importance of the concept of realism for science, fundamental issues of such a kind are rarely treated in as much detail as they would deserve in university courses. Therefore, a group of students of the University of Vienna from different scientific fields (see have organised a lecture series devoted to the subject of scientific realism. The lecture series will consist of nine lectures (in SS 2018), held by some of the most prominent (both international and local) professors in the field of foundations of quantum mechanics and philosophy of science. Moreover, the lecture series will be an official course of the University of Vienna, for which students could get ECTS upon passing an exam.

Further information can be found on Ufind under the following link:

This initiative has been stimulated also by a very successful (over 200 attendees) symposium on foundations of science, entitled “Shut Up and Contemplate!”, which was organised in March 2017 (


What is Fundamental?

In our next meeting Flavio will discuss the question “What is Fundamental?” and expound his and Chiara’s viewpoint on the topic. The meeting will take place on the 17th of January at 8pm in Tunnel Vienna.

The Topic was inspired by the Community Essay Contest of  Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi), in which Flavio and Chiara participate. Their essay “Demolishing prejudices to get to the foundations” can be found and commented under the following link:

To have some structure, the suggested way of reading the essay is:

  • Level 1-general idea:
    Until page 6, second paragraph (the one ending with “for every future scientifically significant theory.”)
  • Level 2-examples from physics:
    the whole text