Causal and Classical Concepts in Physics is a coordinated network of three research projects. It continues research developed within a former DGICYT project
Causality,
Determinism and Probability in Quantum Mechanics and General
Relativity (BFF200201552).
The main common objectives are:
 1) To research metaphysical and methodological aspects of the practice of causal inference in science, with a particular emphasis on quantum physics.
 2) To research the nature of causality in the
general relativity theory, defending a skeptical position with respect to a robust and well defined form of causation in that theory.
 3) To clarify the relationship between classical and quantum physics, with the aim of establishing whether the presence of classical concepts (such as classical Newtonian causation) in quantum physics is inevitable, or rather a legacy that could be superseded by means of a reduction of the classical to the quantum.
Each project has its own specific objectives:
::  "Causation in General Relativity Theory"  Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Principal Investigator: Prof. Carl Hoefer.
Main Objectives:
:  To evaluate arguments in favor and against as to whether or not the G transformations group must be taken as the fundamental symmetry group in general relativity theory. 
:  To carry on a philosophical analysis regarding the applicability of Nöther's theorems to general relativity theory, aiming to clarify the status of energymomentum conservation within the theory and to explore the relationships between the conclusion of such analysis and the causal interpretation of the processes the theory describes. 
:  To study and criticise some arguments by Earman and Belot on the socalled "frozen dynamics" problem in the Hamiltonian formulation of general relativity theory, and to explore the connections that these arguments may have to the well known "problem of time" that arise in some approaches to quantum gravitation. 
:  To develop, following some previous research by Hoefer, Hugget, Pooley and Brown, a noncausal perspective of the link between the spacetime structure and inertial motion. 

::  "Causation, Propensities and Causal Inference in Quantum Physics"  Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Principal Investigator: Prof. Mauricio Suárez.
Main Objectives:
:  To evaluate relative achievements of (objective) realist and pragmatist theories of causation (Dowe's and Salmon's "process" theories of causation on the realist side, and Price's and Menzies' perspectival "agency" theory on the pragmatist side), as well as their possible applicability to quantum phenomena in their different interpretations (collapse, manyworlds, Bohm), aiming to defend a plural notion of causation. 
:  To study and compare the different causal models for EinsteinPodolskyRosen (EPR) correlations, as well as to propose new models for these and compare their relative virtues. 
:  To evaluate the applicability of the Causal Markov Condition and the correspondent Reichenbach Common Cause Principle in both deterministic and probabilistic domains in general and in the more quantitative sciences (quantum physics and econometrics) in particular. More specifically, to evaluate their possible applicability to EPR correlations in the different interpretations of quantum mechanics, including collapse and Bohm's deterministic alternative. 
:  To develop a new notion of propensity that is able to accommodate quantum nonlocality within the different interpretations, while keeping metaphysically neutral, so that it allows for an empiricist analysis in terms of conditional statements. 

::  "Classical Concepts and Metaphysical Presuppositions in Quantum Physics"  Universidad de Granada
Principal Investigator: Dr. Henrik Zinkernagel.
Main Objectives:
:  To clarify Bohr's position on the conceptual necessity of classical physics within quantum physics, and to analyse how basic classical physics concepts –like causality and time– could be indispensable for the interpretation of quantum mechanics. 
:  To analyse the achievements of decoherence with respect to the quantum to classical transition, particularly in the cosmological context. 
:  To explore the presence and use of ideas such as wave, particle and trajectory within the different interpretations of quantum mechanics, and specifically in Bohm's theory. 
:  To carry out a study of recent experimental achievements in order to establish the implications both for the classicalquantum relation and for the metaphysical presuppositions in the different interpretations. 

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last updated 13/02/2008