dr. S. (Sebastian) de Haro Ollé
Amsterdam University College
Science Park AUC
Science Park 113 Room number: 2.23
Science Park 113
1098 XG Amsterdam
Sebastian De Haro
Senior lecturer in philosophy, mathematics and theoretical physics at the Amsterdam University College and the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam. Tarner scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge (2015-2020) in Philosophy of Science and History of Ideas, where I work with Jeremy Butterfield. Member of the Vossius Center for History of Humanities and Sciences at the University of Amsterdam. I did my PhD in theoretical physics in 2001 under Gerard 't Hooft (Nobel Prize in Physics 1999).
My current research in philosophy focuses on dualities, the equivalence of theories, and emergence. Regarding equivalence and dualities: we have recently worked out a schema for dualities, and I am interested in how the schema relates to discussions of theoretical equivalence and physical equivalence. I am also interested in the bearing of recent accounts of equivalence for the notions of theory, model, and interpretation. Regarding emergence: I aim at explicating ontological vs. epistemic emergence, based on the notions of theory and interpretation developed in the project on dualities and equivalence. I am particularly interested in the applications of ontological emergence to the emergence of spacetime and the emergence of gravity. See my list of publications under a separate research tab.
I also work on scientific understanding with Henk de Regt, on the relation between science and philosophy, and on other aspects of the epistemology of science. I work on the history of quantum gravity with Jeroen van Dongen.
I have active interests in the history and philosophy of information, the philosophy of technology, and philosophy of mind: on how these fields inform philosophy of science, and on how philosophy of science can be informed by them.
My reserach in theoretical physics is on the holographic description of gravity and topological aspects of quantum field theories. In particular, I am working on the extension of the holographic principle to space-times with a positive cosmological constant, using a special class of solutions called 'instantons'.
- This autumn I will join the Black Hole Initiative at Harvard University, as a visiting fellow in philosophy.
- Essay Prize from the University of Chicago at Illinois and University of Geneva for my paper Spacetime and Physical Equivalence (May 2017).
- Invited speaker, Quantum Gravity: Physics and Philosophy, IHES Paris (24-27 October 2017).
- Speaker and symposium organiser, The Ninth European Congress of Analytic Philosophy, LMU Munich (21-26 August).
- Invited speaker, Probing the spacetime fabric: from concepts to phenomenology, Trieste (10-14 July 2017).
- Speaker, Symmetries and Asymmetries in Physics, Hannover (6-8 July 2017), joint talk with Jeremy Butterfield.
- Invited speaker, Seven Pines Symposium, Minnesota (17-21 May 2017).
- Speaker at the Annual Conference of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science in Cardiff, UK (7-8 July 2016).
- Speaker at the Sixth International Conference Integrated History and Philosophy of Science, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Shared talk with Jeroen van Dongen. (3-5 July 2016).
- Invited speaker at Oxford Philosophy of Physics Seminar (9 June 2016).
- Invited lecture at LSE's Sigma Club, London (6 June 2016).
- Colloquium in Philosophy, Logic and Philosophy of Science, Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (1 June 2016).
- Sharing a talk with Jeremy Butterfield at Carlofest, Carlo Rovelli's 60th birthday conference in Marseille (23-27 May 2016).
- Speaker at Philosophy of Science in a Forest, the three-yearly conference of the Dutch Association for Philosophy of Science (19-21 May, 2016).
- Invited speaker at the Conference on emergence at the Université Catholique de Louivaine, Louvaine-la-Neuve. Shared talk with Elena Castellani (8-11 May 2016).
- 4-minute pitch, showcase cutting edge research directions in philosophy of physics in The Netherlands, at the meeting of the National Science Agenda (Nationale Wetenschapsagenda) Route 5, Felix Meritis, Amsterdam (22 March 2016). The slides can be found here.
- Visit the new Vossius Center for History of Humanities and Sciences of the University of Amsterdam!
- Invited speaker at DICE2016, International Workshop on Spacetime - Matter - Quantum Mechanics in Castiglioncello, Tuscany, Italy (12-16 September 2016).
- Talk at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Geneva, Switzerland (14 January 2016). It was part of the Chicago-Geneva joint seminar of the project Beyond Spacetime, live broadcasted on YouTube. See the YouTube film embedded below.
- My paper Emergence in holographic scenarios for gravity was published in SHPMP!
- Visit to Massimo Bianchi's String Theory Group at Tor Vergata, Rome (10-13 Nov. 2015).
- Talk at the conference Effective Theories, Mixed Scale Modeling, and Emergence, University of Pittsburgh, USA (2-4 Oct 2015)
- Invited speaker at the conference Duality in Contemporary Mathematics - Philosophical Aspects, workshop at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal (3-5 Sept 2015)
- Invited speaker, Humboldt University Berlin, Interdisciplinary Excellence Cluster Image Knowledge Gestaltung. Research Seminar (24 Jun 2015)
- Invited speaker at the conference Equivalent Theories in Physics and Metaphysics, Princeton University, NJ, USA (20-22 March 2015)
- Spreaker at the Philosophy of Physics section of the conference on Philosophy of Science in Dubrovnik, Croatia (13-17 April 2015)
- My paper Dualities and Emergent Gravity: Gauge/gravity Duality, for a special issue of Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, edited by Elena Castellani and Dean Rickles (27 Jan 2015)
- My abstract for the 1st Munich Graduate Workshop in Mathematical Philosophy: Philosophy of Physics (9-11 April 2015) at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, LMU, just got accepted!
- A Holographic Universe?, slides from my talk for a general physics audience at the 17th International Interdisciplinary Seminar, London, 1-6 January, 2015, available here.
- Emergent Time and Emergent Space in Quantum Gravity, Max-Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, 15-18 Dec. 2014, Potsdam. Slides available here.
- Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association, 6-9 November 2014, Chicago, USA, where I gave a joint talk with Jeremy Butterfield on "Two kinds of Under-Determination of Space-Time Structure". Slides available here.
- Foundations of Dualities, Florence, 15-16 September, 2014. Paper coming out soon! "Dual and Emergent Gravity: AdS/CFT and Verlinde's Scenario". Slides available here.
- Latest paper: Instantons and the Hartle-Hawking-Maldacena Proposal for dS/CFT, published in JHEP.
- Foundations of Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Gravity, 24-25 April 2014, Imperial College, London, working group meeting for EU COST Action MP1006.
- Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 27 April 4 May 2014, colaboration financed by EU COST project The String Theory Universe.
- Emergence in Holographic Scenarios for Gravity, preprint on PhilSci (with D. Dieks and J. van Dongen), 9 April 2014.
- I am teaching a course on AdS/CFT: Student Seminar Theoretical Physics, March-May 2014.
- Reduction and Emergence in Holographic Scenarios for Quantum Gravity, talk given at the conference Reduction and Emergence in the Sciences, LMU Munich, 14-16 November 2013.
- Science and Philosophy: A Love-Hate Relationship, talk given at the conference Rethinking Liberal Education, Amsterdam, 15 June 2013.
- Lecture notes Symmetries and the Quantum Universe, see link below.
- Forty Years of String Theory: Reflecting on the Foundations, Special Issue of Foundations of Physics. Editors: G. 't Hooft, E. Verlinde, S. de Haro, D. Dieks.
- Seminar at École Polytechnique, Paris, 23 October 2012.
- My book on recent results in physics, in Dutch at Prometheus/BertBakker. 2014.
- Follow the developments on Twitter @sebastiandeharo.
Talks for a General Audience
- Physics, Metaphysics, and Emergence. Conference 'Can Science Shape a New Humanity?', London, 6 January, 2018.
- Changing Views on Space, Time and Spacetime, Wijsgerig Festival Drift, 13 May, 2017. Joint talk delivered with F.A. Muller.
- Emergence and Reduction in Science. International Interdisciplinary Seminar on 'What differentiates human persons from animals and machines?', London, 4 January, 2017.
- Strings and Quantum Gravity. Consequences for Reductionism. University of Navarre, Pamplona, Spain. June 21, 2011.
- De zoektocht naar een unificerende theorie. De Leidsche Fles, symposium 'De randvan de wetenschap', Universiteit Leiden, 10 november 2011.
- Hiërarchisch of democratisch? Over de eenheid van de natuurwetenschap. Jaarlijkse nationale natuurkundeconferentie Fysica 2011, sessie Interdisciplinariteit van de realiteit, VU, April 15, 2011.
- Black Hole Horizons: The Gravity of Paradigms. CREA lecture series, March 9, 2011, Amsterdam.
- Wat rechtvaardigt de eenheid van de wetenschap? Waar alfa, bèta en gamma samenkomen. College StudieMarathon, Oude Manhuispoort, UvA. 19 januari 2011.
List of Publications
See my list of publications on Google scholar.
Lecture Notes (download)
General fields in which I can supervise your thesis:
- Philosophy of physics and Philosophy of science
- General philosophy
- General relativity
- Quantum Field Theory
- String Theory and Quantum Gravity
- Mathematical Physics
Theses (MA, MSc):
Generally, I will supervise theses on one of the two following broad topics:
- Philosophy of physics and philosophy of science
- General philosophy
- History of science
- Gauge/gravity dualities and the Holographic Principle
- Topological Quantum Field Theory
- Quantum Information and Origin of Gravity
- De Haro, S. (2017). Dualities and emergent gravity: Gauge/gravity duality. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 59, 109-125. DOI: 10.1016/j.shpsb.2015.08.004
- De Haro, S. (submitted). Spacetime and Physical Equivalence. Synthese.
- de Haro, S., Teh, N., & Butterfield, J. N. (2016). On the Relation between Dualities and Gauge Symmetries. Philosophy of Science, 83(5), 1059-1069. DOI: 10.1086/687938
- De Haro, S., & Butterfield, J. N. (2016). Conceptual Aspects of Gauge/Gravity Duality. Foundations of Physics, 46(11), 1381-1425. DOI: 10.1007/s10701-016-0037-4
- De Haro, S., Teh, N., & Butterfield, J. N. (2016). Comparing Dualities and Gauge Symmetries. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 59, 68-80. DOI: 10.1016/j.shpsb.2016.03.001
- De Haro, S. (2016). On Artigas and Analytic Philosophy. Scientia et Fides, 4(2), 215-243. DOI: 10.12775/SetF.2016.027
- De Haro, S., Henke, J., & Tang, D. (2015). [Review of: A. Cappelli, E. Castellani, F. Colomo and P. Di Vecchia (Eds.): The Birth of String Theory]. Foundations of Physics, 45(6), 657-660. DOI: 10.1007/s10701-015-9900-y
- Dieks, D., van Dongen, J., & de Haro, S. (2015). Emergence in holographic scenarios for gravity. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 52, 203-216. DOI: 10.1016/j.shpsb.2015.07.007 [details]
- De Haro, S., & Petkou, A. C. (2014). Instantons and the Hartle-Hawking-Maldacena Proposal for dS/CFT. The Journal of High Energy Physics, 2014(11), . DOI: 10.1007/JHEP11(2014)126
- De Haro, S., & Hahn, A. (2013). Chern-Simons Theory and the Quantum Racah Formula. Reviews in mathematical physics, 25(3), . DOI: 10.1142/S0129055X13500049
- De Haro, S., 't Hooft, G., Dieks, D., & Verlinde, E. P. (2013). Forty Years of String Theory: Reflecting on the Foundations. Foundations of Physics, 43(1). DOI: 10.1007/s10701-012-9691-3
- De Haro, S. (Author). (2016). Reply to James Read on Background-Independence. Web publication/site, Beyond Spacetime, Chicago-Geneva.
- De Haro, S. (2013). Science and Philosophy: A Love-Hate Relationship.
Writing a popular science book