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Heinz von Foerster 100
Organizing Institutions:
Heinz von Foerster Gesellschaft / Wien
ASC – American Society for Cybernetics
WISDOM – Wiener Institut für
  sozialwissenschaftliche Dokumentation und Methodik

Institut für Zeitgeschichte | Universität Wien
AINS – Austrian Institute for Nonlinear Studies
GianCarlo Ghirardi

Can the reduction process peacefully coexist with special relativity?

International Center for Theoretical Physics and
Department of Physics, Miramare University of Trieste

Almost immediately after the formulation of quantum mechanics the problem raised by the instantaneous collapse of the far away entangled partner of a system subjected to a measurement process has led the scientific community to raise and debate the problem of the compatibility of such a process with relativistic requirements. The problem has acquired a greater relevance after the proof, by J. Bell, of the irreducibly nonlocal causal character of quantum mechanics.
A lively debate concerning this matter went on up to the first half of the eighties. The same problem emerged with new strength in connection with the elaboration of consistent and precise proposals, in particular Bohmian mechanics and collapse models, aimed to overcome the measurement problem. Obviously, the question changed from a completely general to a more specific one: do such models admit relativistic generalizations, and if it is so, what price one has to pay to get the desired coexistence?
A detailed discussion of the problem of locality and of the different aspects characterizing it will led us to reconsider the problem under a new perspective and to briefly review its present status.


Born in Milan, on October 28, 1935. Graduated in physics Summa cum Laude at the University of Milan,
July 15, 1959. Full Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Trieste University and Director of
the Department of Theoretical Physics. His research interests cover various topics: Quantum scattering
theory, Symmetries in quantum Theories, Algebraic Methods, S-matrix theory, Decay processes. Since 1983
his specific research interests have been the mathematical and conceptual foundations of quantum mechanics.
He is member of the Editorial Board of Foundations of Physics and of Studies in History and Philosophy of
Modern Science. He is president of the Italian Society for the Foundations of Physics.

Research interests:
Foundations of Quantum Mechanics
Dynamical Reduction Models

Author or co-author of more than 170 papers, almost all in International Journals or in the
proceedings of Internatinal Conferences. Co-author, with L. Fonda, of the book:
"Symmetry Principles in Quantum Theories", M. Dekker, N.Y., 1970. Author of a contribution
of about 300 pages to the book: "Filosofia della Fisica", Bruno Mondadori Editore, Milano, 1997.
Author of the book "Un'occhiata alle Carte di Dio", Il Saggiatore, Milano, 1997 (Note: this book
appeared with the title "Sneaking a look at God's Cards", for the Princeton University Press USA, 2004).