To mark the 110th anniversary of Hermann Minkowski’s groundbreaking lecture “Space and Time” the main theme of the Fifth International Conference on the Nature and Ontology of Spacetime will be the nature of spacetime – whether spacetime should be regarded as an abstract mathematical notion modelling an evolving present or spacetime represents a block universe or a growing block universe?
Physicists are especially encouraged to attend because even relativists hold widely different views, e.g., that
(i) spacetime is nothing more than a mathematical continuum (which is essentially Poincaré’s view that prevented him from discovering the spacetime structure of the world and from developing the mathematical formalism of spacetime physics)
(ii) the question of the reality of spacetime belongs to philosophy (which is hardly physics at its best because the question of the dimensionality of the world can be answered only by physics).
Despite that the focus of the fifth spacetime conference will be on the main theme, the Scientific Organizing Committee invites papers from physicists and philosophers on any topics related to the nature and ontology of spacetime.
In addition to talks and poster sessions, special coffee hours will be included in the program to stimulate more informal discussions among the participants. For this reason we encourage interested colleagues to attend the conference even if they do not plan to give a talk or present a poster.
Contributed papers in the form of extended abstracts of between one and two pages should be emailed by Wednesday, February 28, 2018 to 2018conference[AT]minkowskiinstitute.org. Submissions will be reviewed and notification of acceptance will be given by Wednesday, March 21, 2018.
The location of the conference has been specifically chosen to combine a research meeting and a vacation (at affordable price).
Scientific Organizing Committee:
Dennis Dieks (Utrecht University)
Mauro Dorato (University of Rome Three)
George F. R. Ellis (University of Cape Town)
Robert Geroch (University of Chicago)
Eleanor Knox (King’s College London)
Vesselin Petkov (Minkowski Institute, Montreal)
Steven Savitt (University of British Columbia)
Anguel Stefanov (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
James Owen Weatherall (University of California, Irvine)
Christian Wuethrich (University of Geneva)