BHI Colloquium, November 28 | "What should we believe about black holes?," Carl Hoefer | "Boundary Dynamics of Two-dimensional Dilation Gravity Models,” Hernan Gonzalez


Tuesday, November 28, 2017, 1:30pm to 2:30pm


BHI Conference Room (211) 20 Garden Street, Cambridge

Carl Hoefer
Universitat de Barcelona (UB)

An important issue addressed by philosophers of science is the question of “scientific realism”: When, and why, should we believe in the truth or approximate truth of the contents of our best science, when those contents concern facts and entities that are not empirically accessible in any direct sense? The stance I defend urges caution regarding much of the content of fundamental physical theories, but confidence in our knowledge of the existence of many theoretical entities (and their core properties) in physics — including black holes. Using comparisons with examples from earlier periods in the history of physics, I will discuss the attitudes that are justified for philosophers (and the public) to have concerning current black hole physics, and how things are somewhat different for black hole physicists themselves.


Hernan Gonzalez
Vienna University of Technology

We consider two-dimensional dilation gravity models in the presence of (topological) matter fields. These theories do not propagate bulk degrees of freedom, therefore, its classical dynamics corresponds to one-dimensional actions located at the boundary of the space-time. We analyze and compare the properties of these actions with similar features observed in the semi-classical behavior of the SYK model and its suitable extensions.

See also: Philosophy, Physics