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Workshop on Cosmology and Time

April 16 - 17, 2013

Workshop Description

What is the status of time in modern cosmology? Is time real, or is it a convenient illusion? Should the arrow of time be part of physics or should it be explained away? Are all the laws of physics time-reversal invariant? Should we treat time as a parameter or as an observable? What exactly do we measure when we measure time? When scientists try to unify Relativity Theory and Quantum Mechanics in their cosmological models of the universe, how does that unification affect the scientific account of time? What is the relation of time to spacetime? Is time (or spacetime) continuous or discrete?

The orientation of this workshop is retrospective and philosophical. The discussion about time that spans the twentieth century, and continues to the present day among cosmologists and philosophers, forces the articulation of important issues concerning the nature of time.




There is no registration fee. However, because of limited seating capacity, all participants must register by Friday, April 10, 2013. Please email Randi Neshteruk to register for the workshop.

Workshop Poster


Workshop Location

The workshop will be held in the Institute for Gravitation and the Cosmos seminar room, 320 Whitmore Laboratory on the Penn State University Park campus.

Program and Workshop Abstracts

The program of talks is available at

Hotel Information

Participants will be staying at the Days Inn and the Rodeway Inn in State College. We also recommend the Atherton Hotel.

Organizing Committee

Emily Grosholz (Philosophy/IGC, Penn State), Gordon Fleming (Emeritus, Physics, Penn State) and Abhay Ashtekar (Physics/IGC, Penn State)

Workshop sponsors: Penn State's Department of Philosophy, Center for Fundamental Theory/IGC and Schreyer Honors College

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