The observer and the world
On July 14, 2021, starting at 15:30, within the series Highlights in Frontier Physics of the PhD course in Physics, Professor Gershon Kurizki (Weizmann Institute, Israel) will deliver a seminar entitled The observer and the world: Does science describe the Universe?
Abstract. What is the rapport between us ("observers") and the World? My personalized tour through science and culture will present the view that the observer plays an indispensable and active role in shaping the World. There are grounds, deeply rooted in human culture, to maintain that Science does not reveal the World, as claimed by Einstein, but rather reflects our cognition, as believed by von Neumann, Wigner and Schroedinger. This view is supported by the fact that Information, an overtly human-centered notion, is key to thermodynamics and quantum mechanics. I will show that, remarkably, it can affect allegedly "objective" observables: work, motion, temperature. The unavoidable question is: who possesses the Information on the World? The answer, I surmise, takes us outside the realm of physics.