Seminar by Prof. Martin Warnke

Seminar by Prof. Martin Warnke

September 29, 2023

Prof. Martin Warnke

A theoretical physicist, computer scientist, and digital media scholar concerned with the media cultures of computer simulation.

How computer simulations cause strange epistemological shifts in science and society – A case study in Quantum Physics

What, if we did physics with computers, like everything else in digital cultures? Not only in the lab, where computer equipment is ubiquitous? So, what if also physics theories would fundamentally rest on computer simulation methods like in many other disciplines, like biology or linguistics?

Prof. Warnke will answer this question by presenting a case study done on those famous thought experiments in Quantum Physics like the Double Slit that puzzles the philosophy of science since a century. What he observed together with the ethnographer Dr Anne Dippel is an epistemological shift away from First Principles towards algorithmic rule based descriptions of nature by computer simulations. A stunning side effect of this transition is that honorable paradoxes like the particle wave duality, the (non) existence of Schrödinger's Cat and Einstein's Spooky Action at a Distance vanish by becoming no longer necessary.

Could a methodology like a simulation that typically stands for deceit and fake and that heavily shake our society, do computer simulations show a way out of epistemological pains that lasted for a hundred years since the invention of Quantum Physics? It seems so. And this is very strange.

On digital narratives

“The digital narrates the present as if it were the past. The digital narrates the future as necessary overcoming of the present. And it narrates the past as an obsolete presence. It does so with a horizon of radius zero. Almost.”


🕙 Friday 29 September 2023, 10:30am - 12:00pm 📍 The C-Centre, NAH 313 Humanities Building, CUHK