De 16/07/2015 hasta 18/07/2015

Donostia/San Sebastian (Spain), 16 to 18 July, 2015.
Palacio de Miramar

The last decade saw a surge in new scholarship on the history of quantum physics, built upon new sources, interpretations, and historiographical approaches. Three successful meetings in Berlin (2007), Utrecht (2008) and Berlin (2010) triggered a momentum of innovative projects and novel publications on the topic, which this conference wants to follow and expand upon. The Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC) and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) jointly organize the fourth edition of this series of conferences, to be held in Donostia/San Sebastian (Spain).

Contributions are welcome by scholars working on the history of quantum physics broadly understood from as many points of view as possible: from the conceptual to the sociological, from the institutional to the philosophical, from the academic to the popular. Particular interest will be paid to the following issues:

- The old quantum theory: Its emergence from an array of seemingly unrelated problems in diverse areas such as statistical physics, radiation theory, and spectroscopy; how it was applied to an increasing number of problems; and how the physics community came to recognize its limitations

- The genesis of modern quantum mechanics in the period around 1925, its conceptual development, the interplay with experiment, its socio-cultural and institutional context, as well as the debates about the different mathematical formulations of the theory (matrix and wave mechanics, transformation theory) and their physical interpretation (statistical interpretation, uncertainty principle)

- The acceptance of quantum mechanics as a new basis for physics (atomic, molecular, nuclear, and solid-state) and parts of chemistry; the early developments of quantum field theory and quantum gravity; and subsequent developments up to the present, including philosophical interpretations, experimental developments, and pedagogical and popularizing practices.

Please send an abstract of up to 500 words by January 15th, 2015, to the following e-mail address: Accepted abstracts will be notified by February 15th, 2015. There may be a small number of stipends (for accommodation only) available for especially interesting contributions by junior scholars. Please indicate on your submission if you want to apply for a stipend.


Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC) and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG), with the collaboration of the group PRAXIS.

Scientific committee:

Alexander Blum (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science)
Christian Joas (Ludwig Maximilian Universität, München)
Christoph Lehner (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science)
Jaume Navarro (University of the Basque Country)
Jurgen Renn (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science)
Iñaki San Pedro (University of the Basque Country)

Previous meetings: