« April 2010 »

Thu Apr 1, 2010

Analogy and Cognitive Style in the Process of Invention: The Roots of Inventor Stanford Ovshinsky’s Alternative Energy Genius

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Location: 208 DeBartolo

Lillian Hoddeson Department of History, University of Illinois

Studies in cognitive science show analogy to be a motor of cognition.  This talk argues that analogy may also be among the most important motors of human invention.  The career of the self-educated tool-maker Stanford Ovshinsky, in time a prolific Detroit-based inventor, illustrates how cross-disciplinary analogy-making can lead to pioneering invention. 

Wed Apr 28, 2010

Decoherence and Reality *The Cushing Memorial Lecture*

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Location: 117 DeBartolo

Jos Uffink Institute for History and Foundations of Science, University of Utrecht (Netherlands)

This talk will review the implications of the program of "environment-induced decoherence" for the foundations of quantum mechanics, in particular for the so-called "measurement problem". In the first part of the talk I will try to explain how environment-induced decoherence is supposed to address this problem, or at least part of it. As is well known, decoherence cannot solve the part known as the "problem of outcomes" in quantum measurements, but it is generally believed to solve the so-called "preferred basis problem".