On the 24-25 November, 2016, Geraint Lewis and I will be running the 2016 Fine-tuning, the Multiverse and Life Workshop, hosted at the University of Sydney. We’re hoping to get a good crowd of physicists, astronomers and philosophers together to chat about these interesting issues.
Abstract: Issues of fine-tuning and naturalness are central to evaluating such physical and cosmological theories as inflation and extension to the Standard model of particle physics, including supersymmetry. In addition, our values of the fundamental constants of nature have the seemingly rare ability to support the complexity required by life. This has become an important way to test multiverse theories: the predicted observed value of fundamental “constants” depends on the values that permit the existence of observers.
In light of these challenges, this workshop will bring together physicists, cosmologists, astronomers and philosophers of science for two days of invited and contributed talks, and discussion sessions. Topics covered will include:
- The nature of fundamental constants,
- Physical theories of the multiverse,
- How to reason with (or, perhaps, avoid altogether) anthropic principles,
- Fine-tuning as it relates to the foundations of science and metaphysics,
- The role of probability theory in evaluating cases of fine-tuning and naturalness, and
- The conditions for life and complexity in the universe.
Venue: Sydney Nanoscience Hub, School of Physics, University of Sydney
Date: Thursday 24 – Friday 25 November, 2016.
Places are limited to 60 attendees.
Note that this is immediately before the 2016 International Symposium on Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics (COSPA), also hosted at the University of Sydney, 28 Nov – 02 Dec 2016.