Understanding Quantum Physics: The Meaning of the Wave-Function

The wave function is arguably the main innovation of quantum theory. Nonetheless, its status is far from being understood. For almost a century by now, the wave function has mostly been seen as an operational tool for computing quantum probabilities by physicists and philosophers alike. Exceptions, which were long marginalized, are the Many Worlds Interpretation, Bohmian Mechanics and Collapse Theories of the GRW type.

However, John S. Bell’s work related to quantum entanglement and quantum nonlocality, as well as recent research concerning the epistemic versus real character of the wave function, have brought the issue of the nature of the wave function to the frontier of physics research. In philosophy of physics, the status of the wave function also is hotly disputed:

  • Is it a physical object like a field?
  • Or is it a nomological parameter, which can be integrated into the traditional philosophical views of laws of nature (Humeanism, dispositionalism, primitivism)?

This summer school combines philosophy of physics, mathematical and theoretical physics, and state of the art experiments to answer fundamental questions about the nature of the wave function in order to enhance our understanding of quantum physics.

Date and Location

18 – 23 July 2016
Saig (Black Forest), Germany


The summer school is organized and funded by

Scientific Committee

Claus Beisbart (University of Bern, Switzerland)
Dirk-André Deckert (LMU Munich, Germany)
Detlef Dürr (LMU Munich, Germany)
Michael Esfeld (University of Lausanne, UNIL, Switzerland)
Stephan Hartmann (LMU Munich, MCMP, Germany)
Christian Wüthrich (University of Geneva, Switzerland)