Register for O'Hara Philosophy of Physics Lecture "Emergence and Naturalness" - Professor David Wallace, November 21, 2019

Emergence and Naturalness Lecture Poster

Join us for Emergence and Naturalness, David Wallace, Mellon Chair in Philosophy and History & Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh on November 21, 2019, in Kane Hall Room 210 at 7 pm, part of the O'Hara Philosophy of Physics Lecture Series.

Register here for the Emergence and Naturalness lecture


If we want to start with the physics of the very small—molecules, atoms, subatomic particles—and work out the physics of large-scale systems— dust grains, iron bars, planets—we need to assume more than the laws of the very small: we have to make an additional assumption, often called “naturalness.” Despite the name, this assumption is puzzling in many respects, and the puzzle deepens into paradox because in our best theories of fundamental physics it seems to fail in two very specific places—the mass of the Higgs boson, and the rate of expansion of the Universe. This lecture will explain what the naturalness assumption is, why we need it in almost all of physics, and why its failure in particle physics and cosmology is one of the deepest problems in contemporary physics.