The quantum mechanics' revolution between physics and philosophy 


Institutional Communication Service

10 January 2023

The twentieth century changed the way we describe reality. Glorious nineteenth-century physics could not explain phenomena such as thermal radiation, the kind that causes the sun to be yellow and a glowing ember in a red fireplace. The solutions proposed by physicists such as Max Planck led to a new, revolutionary and counterintuitive picture of the world: energy cannot vary freely but only according to discrete quantities, like indivisible bricks named quanta. Quantum physics was born, with its duality between wave and particle, the impossibility of simultaneously determining the speed and position of a particle, and the (entanglements) of particles. It is a revolution not only for science but also for philosophy and intuitive knowledge of the world, as discussed in the series of three encounters "The World at Random?" held at the USI Litorale.

Organised in collaboration with the Institute of Philosophical Studies (ISFI) of the USI-affiliated Faculty of Theology in Lugano, the lectures featured physicist Cesare Alfieri in dialogue with three philosophers: Federico Laudisa, associate professor at the University of Trento; Cristian Mariani, a researcher at USI; and Claudio Calosi, assistant professor at the University of Geneva and lecturer at USI. 

An overview of the three meetings was published in Ticino Scienza: "So revolutionary, so 'impossible': here's quantum mechanics for you"