Virtual entities in Science: a virtual workshop
TTK is co-organizing a workshop in the context of the project "Virtual Particles" (A1) of the DFG Research Unit The Epistemology of the Large Hadron Collider. The workshop will be held online on four consecutive Fridays: March 5, 12, 19, and 26, 2021.
The concept of the “virtual” has a long tradition in physics, with "virtual displacements" or "virtual images" dating back to long before the dawn of the digital age. In today’s physics, the term "virtual" is mostly associated with the quantum world, first and foremost with the “virtual particle” of quantum field theory.
In other disciplines, however, use of the term "virtual" without a digital connotation is much rarer. The basic idea behind the terminology of the virtual, however, could be much more common, even outside of physics.
For this workshop we invite contributions that address the historical formation and philosophical interpretation of concepts of virtual entities in physics and other disciplines – in whatever terms they may come. The main goal of the workshop is to bring to the fore similarities and differences in the meanings and functions of these concepts. Work that integrates philosophical and historical approaches is particularly welcome.