MSI Friends and Alumni: Free will & determinism

Date & time

5.30–7.30pm 14 June 2012

Speakers

Professor John Hutchinson

John, together with Craig Savage (physics) and David Chalmers (philosophy) teach a course to some of the top maths and science students on this topic.

The central idea is the 'Free Will Theorem' of John Conway and Simon Kochen of Princeton Maths Department. The result is based on three axioms about the physical universe which, while counterintuitive, have been experimentally verified numerous times and are now universally accepted. From this they prove that if experimenters have a certain amount of free will, then so do atomic particles.

The result also goes to the core of the scientific method and the ability to do experiments to test hypotheses.

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